Category Archives: Planning

A Colour Chart for Goudhurst!

The High Weald has concluded an analysis of the colours that make up our landscape and have published a colour chart which can be used to guide developers and planning authorities on what colours can be used in new developments to help to integrate it into the landscape successfully.

The advice is practical providing details of materials and suppliers in order to ensure new developments integrate and are ‘good neighbours’ with existing  buildings and landscapes.

The full document can be found on the High Weald website and the document can be found in our resources page.

Vision and Objectives Workshop

In building our Neighbourhood Plan the first activity will be to create short and long term visions for our Parish and set out the overall  objectives for the Neighbourhood plan.

Come along, help set the pattern for future development in the Parish and influence the direction and content of Neighbourhood plan.

This workshop will be held in Goudhurst Parish Hall on the 9th September starting at 9:00 am and finishing around 1:00 pm.

This will be an interactive session and will use the information gathered in the questionnaire to drive the meeting agenda.

  • 9:00 –  Registration & refreshments
  • 9:15 –  Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:30 –  How do we create a Neighbourhood Plan?
  • 9:45 –   NDP questionnaire – how do we use the results?
  • 10:00 – Housing Needs Survey – what did it tell us?
  • 10:15 – Build our vision – develop visions for our Parish
  • 11:00 – Review ‘visions’ and give feedback
  • 11:15 – Choosing our vision
  • 11:30 – Refreshments
  • 11:45 – Setting our Objectives
  • 12:15 – Review objectives and feedback
  • 12:30 – Q&A
  • 12:50 – Sum-up and next steps.

The results will be published on the website and in posters around the village.

This will be followed by three further workshops:

  • Housing and Design – 23rd September Goudhurst Parish Hall
  • Traffic and Economy – 7th October Kilndown Village Hall
  • Landscape and Community – 21st October Kilndown Village Hall

Workshops – Your chance to directly influence the Goudhurst Neighbourhood Plan

You will have completed the questionnaire and now it is time to use the information we gathered to develop our Neighbourhood Plan.

We are hosting four public workshops in September and October which will use the questionnaire data and the evidence we have gathered so far to develop the key components of our plan.

This is your chance to directly influence the direction and content of Goudhurst Neighbourhood plan. The workshops will run from 9:00 to 13:00 on each day. The workshops will be interactive and the output produced in each session will be included in our final plan.

  • Vision and Objectives – 9th September  – This session is the starting point for the overall process and  will create both a short and long term vision for the Parish setting the objectives of our Neighbourhood plan. The meeting will be held in Goudhurst Parish Hall.
  • Housing and Design – 23rd September – Housing is one of the most important areas for the Neighbourhood Plan and a large amount of our efforts will be focused on developing design and development policies,  the types of housing we need in Goudhurst, identifying sites and managing change in the community over the next 15 years. The meeting will be held in Goudhurst Parish Hall.
  • Traffic and Economy – 7th October – Traffic is an important issue across the Parish and this session will look what how we might address the issues raised in the Questionnaire. The workshop will look at policy areas to manage development and will identify projects and activities that we can deliver as a community to improve traffic. This workshop will be held in Kilndown Village Hall.
  • Landscape and Community – 21st October – The questionnaire responses show that as a Parish our Landscape and Community is an extremely important part of life in Goudhurst. The things we value, the facilities we use and our concerns all contribute to our overall quality of life. By registering for this workshop you are helping to ensure that our heritage remains an important part of our future. This workshop will be held in Kilndown Village Hall.

We would like to have some idea of the numbers and, if possible,  we would like you register you interest so we can get a sense of numbers attending each session. You can register for each of the workshops by completing the format the bottom of this page or by reserving your places on the lists at Burgess Stores or the Quarry Centre.

The results of each session will be published following the workshops.

Questionnaire Results Summary – Landscape

There were four questions which related to the landscape.

  • 31 – How important to you is the preservation of the existing landscape?
  • 32 – How important is it to you that Green Spaces within the Parish should be kept for community enjoyment/recreation and be immune from future housing development?
  • 33 – How important is it to you that Historic Buildings and Sites across the Parish are protected from future housing development?
  • 34 – Most of the Parish is within the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), which is currently protected from development. How important is it to you that the AONB continues to be protected?

All questions related to the AONB, Green Spaces, our Landscape and our Historic Buildings received over 90% positive(very or fairly important) support.  Perhaps, and not unsurprisingly, the things we value most in our hilltop settlements are the views we have both from and to the surrounding countryside.

Questionnaire Results Summary – Social and Community

The community questions centred around what we value in our community, the facilities that we use and our concerns.

What we value

The three things we value most reflect the quality of life in the Parish with a Sense of Community, Views, Rural Living and a Safe Environment topping the list.

Our Concerns

What we Use

When it came to facilities the Post Office, Village Shops and Footpaths & Bridleways were the most frequently used each month.

What needs to improve

Your three immediate priorities were public recycling, phone coverage and broadband.

These are quite different from your long-term vision of what is needed in our community where the focus is around community and environmental objectives.

Questionnaire Results Summary – Traffic

Our first question asked whether our roads are adequate for the vehicles using them?  82% felt the roads are not adequate for the current volume of traffic.

Subsequent questions established an almost universal concern around the number and size of HGV’s travelling through the parish.


Again, when it came to traffic problems, the size of vehicles also topped our list of concerns.

We confirmed anecdotal evidence that people feel that the roads in our communities are generally unsafe for walking, cycling or riding.

We asked ‘Which road causes you most concern?’ and you overwhelmingly chose Goudhurst village as the number one problem.

A number of options to improve traffic safety were included in the Questionnaire and responses to these show that Speed Limits were seen as potentially the most beneficial. These options, along with other ideas, will need to be tested in the autumn workshops.

Questions around Bus usage shows that local bus services are used by only 18% of responders with those under 30 more dependent in bus services.


Questionnaire Response Summary – Housing

Housing questions are a key question group in the questionnaire and the responses received will influence many of the policies of the final Neighbourhood Plan.  From your responses, there is a general consensus around the need for more housing in the Parish, the types of housing that we need, the scale of any new developments and where developments should be.

Additional development is supported within the Parish with 52% believing we need new homes. A level of 5 homes per annum was suggested as a target and again 52% of the community see this level as ‘about right’.

84% felt that we should should support housing for people on low income with a local connection and 79% supported the inclusion of a policy which encourages and supports self-build homes for local people.

What, where and how should development be delivered?

There is a preference in our community for smaller homes. This need was also reflected in our recent Housing Need Survey which highlighted the lack of smaller houses in the Parish with older residents wanting to downsize and others needing their first step onto the property ladder. Census data shows that we have twice the national average of houses in the bands F, G, H housing types and half the national average for bands C and D.

As seen in other Parishes, 90% would prefer smaller developments where the impact of development can be more easily assimilated.

There is also a preference to re-use sites before building on greenfield sites. The challenge in the Parish is the availability of such sites.

A series of Design Statements were broadly agreed with a large majority wanting to maintain the character of our settlements as well as preserving the views in and out of our settlements. There was consensus on the need for parking and outside space but questions around increased housing density and diversity of design showed a more even split across all communities.

Was the questionnaire representative of the Parish?

We will shortly be publishing the full results from the recent business and residents survey online. We will though also be publishing  summary information in a series of posts over of which this first.

Geography and demographics

The Questionnaire was completed by over 46%  of the community (an estimate based on census data). There are some small percentage differences in opinion across age ranges and communities but in general the results show a broad consensus across the Parish.

Responses were received from 92% of the post codes in the parish. Those post codes with nil response represent only 3% of homes.

Responses were evenly split across gender and across communities.

Of those responding 27% have children under 14.

In our community, 43% of respondents are not in paid employment, 39% are in full time and 18% in part time employment.

The 43-54 age group generated the largest number of responses and overall these results are in-line with the census data with the only group proportionately lower than expected being those aged 14-17.

In general, our population remains stable with relatively even distribution across the residency periods. Some 61% of the population have lived in the Parish for more than 11 years.

Of those responding 27% have children under 14.

In our community, 43% of respondents are not in paid employment, 39% are in full time and 18% in part time employment.

Questionnaire Results Exhibition – 24th July

The results of the recent Business and Residents surveys will be published in an exhibition to be held in St Mary’s church from the 24th July until early September.

The exhibition provides results for each  question providing the total number of responses and the percentages by either age, gender or by village. There are some clear messages in the data.

The results will be published as a series of posts over the coming weeks and shared on Facebook. An analysis document is also being prepared and this will be available for download later in August.

These results form a key part of the evidence base for the Neighbourhood Plan and they will be used as the basis for workshops taking place in September, October and November. Details of these workshops and how to book your place will be published shortly.