Policies – Areas Under Consideration

We are developing the policies for the Goudurst Neighbourhood plan based around our vision and objectives and linked directly to the evidence we have gathered over the last year from the questionnaire and workshops. Our policies will reflect the needs and ambitions of our community. Our vision for Goudhurst is:

‘Goudhurst in 2033 will be a vibrant hilltop village that is safe, has a balanced community with sustainable housing standards, good local services, managed traffic and walkable roads; a community that supports change and development but remains quiet and unspoilt’

Our objectives, established in our autumn workshops were:

  • Objective 1: Housing and design  –  To build on the picturesque jumble of designs that are characteristic of our parish through small scale developments incorporating affordable homes that are environmentally sympathetic (, energy efficient, flexibly designed to meet residents changing needs (including Lifetime Homes), individual in character, of materials that age well and with safe access to amenities.
  • Objective 2: Traffic and economy   –  To improve traffic in Goudhurst parish area we will have controlled traffic movement, improved parking (High Street – long / short term), implemented traffic calming (flows, reduction, hard design) and developed and encouraged flexible community transport. We will also educate (safer roads, safer lanes, separate). However, we are also aware that our economy needs traffic – white van man, tourism. We will create broadband [for] business, a community business hub / and drive support of local shops and more local shops (i.e. butcher).
  • Objective 3: Landscape and the environment   – To retain and manage vistas from within and without, To support and enhance the existing constraints to development (AONB) etc. To have safe footpaths and bridleways,  To retain agricultural land and open countryside and woodlands as they are, avoiding indusrial appearances and bypass
  • Objective 4: Community facilities and services   –  To develop pride in the community through social engagement using social media, developing sustainable infrastructure resulting in a safer community.

We are developing policies that reflect the aspirations and goals of our community. We are looking at all areas, discounting nothing and making no assumptions about how our objectives might be met by national or local policies. Our overall process for developing policies for the plan follows the following steps:

  • Review our evidence
    • Identify issues we have found in our community
    • Understand the views opinions of residents
    • Review the goals, objectives and aspirations of the community
  • Set our objectives for each policy area and identify policies that deliver our objectives and reflect our evidence
  • Review those policies against:
    • TWBC local policies and National policies
    • Retain policies that reflect a specific Goudhurst need
    • Defer to national and local policies where Goudhurst needs are met

Housing Policy Strategy

Our housing strategy is directed towards improving the sustainability of Goudhurst Parish as a demographically mixed and balanced community. It therefore targets:

  • Improving the balance in our housing stock with more smaller homes to allow people to remain in the community4
  • Delivering more affordable housing for rent or shared ownership tied to local need
  • Ensuring affordable housing is provided to those with a strong local connection (combine)
  • Delivering market housing suitable for downsizing and smaller households
  • Delivering housing to support an ageing population
  • Developing housing at a scale which is appropriate to the character of our Parish where new residents can integrate easily into community life.
  • Giving lower priority to larger dwellings. It is accepted that a small number of larger homes may be necessary in order to secure viability of sites while delivering a minimum of 40??% affordable housing core strategy in 35.

Our housing policies are designed to address the aspirations of our residents as expressed in their responses to the questionnaire and in the autumn 2017 workshops. Policies in the following areas are under consideration:

  • H1 Number of New Homes
  • H2 Housing Mix
  • H3 Tenancy Mix
  • H4 Development mix
  • H5 Density
  • H6 Meeting the HNS targets
  • H7 Allocating affordable housing
  • H8 Retention of Affordable housing
  • H9 Rural Exception sites
  • H10 Housing for rural workers
  • H11 Replacement Dwellings
  • H12 Conversion to flats
  • H13 Re-instatement of previously sub-divided properties
  • H14 Combining multuplr Properties into one house
  • H15 Self-build
  • H16 Infill
  • H17 Conversion of Gardens

Design Policy Strategy

The overall landscape and design inherent in our communities were consistently highlighted by our residents as important to their view of our Parish as a good place to live and as a key reason for continuing to live in the Parish. Policies under consideration include:

  • D1 Design Standards
  • D2 Applications proposing development of poor design that fail to take the opportunities available for maintaining and/or improving the local character and the quality of the area and the way it functions will not be supported.
  • D3 Housing space standards?
  • D4 Presumption for sustainable development
  • D5 Proposals for development must demonstrate that they will make a positive contribution to sustainable development, enhancing the self-reliance of the local community / economy by:
  • D6 Inside the Conservation areas
  • D7 Outside the conservation areas
  • D8 Live work – (moves to Employment & Skills Policies)
  • D9 Conversion of agricultural buildings
  • D10 Size of extensions

Employment and Skills Policy Strategy

Our Community and Wellbeing strategy is based upon our residents sense of community and focused on their needs and aspirations detailed in our questionnaire results and in our workshops. It therefore targets:

  • Support local businesses and local employment
  • Support increased tourism
  • Protect retail and commercial premises
  • Support live/work initiatives

Our housing policies are designed to address the aspirations of our residents as expressed in our questionnaire and the autumn workshops. In summary.

  • E1 Tourism
  • E2 Conversion of business premises to housing
  • E3 Conversion of retail premises to housing
  • E4 Developments that increase HGV movements
  • E5 Change of use from residential

Countryside and Environment Policy Strategy

Our Countryside and Environment strategy is focused on maintaining our unique landscape and heritage which is noted as some of the finest in Europe. The Parish has two conservation areas. The landscape and setting scored very highly in our questionnaire and is one of the principal reasons for living in parish. It therefore targets:

  • Maintaining our distinct hilltop profiles
  • Protect our heritage
  • Protect views in and out of our settlements

Policies under consideration include:

  • C1 Increase the Limit to Built Development (LBD)
  • C2 Building in the AONB
  • C3 Biodiversity
  • C4 Climate Change
  • C5 Small Scale Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Schemes
  • C6 Solar Panels on listed buildings.
  • C7 Solar Farms
  • C8 Light Pollution
  • C9 Green Spaces
  • C10 Trees
  • C 11 Views
  • C12 Habitat sites
  • C13 Flooding
  • C14 Medieval field patterns
  • C15 Heritage

Community and Wellbeing Policy Strategy

Our Community and Wellbeing strategy is based upon our residents sense of community and focused on their needs and aspirations detailed in our questionnaire results and in our workshops. It therefore targets:

  • Improving and developing community facilities and services
  • Retaining community assets for future generations
  • Providing universal access to facilities and services
  • Managing the loss of retail and commercial space to housing
  • Improving our communications infrastructure

Our housing policies are designed to address the aspirations of our residents as expressed in our questionnaire and the autumn workshops. In summary. Policies under consideration include:

  • CW 1 Community Facilities and Services
  • CW 2 Accessibility
  • CW 3 Developer Contribution
  • CW 4 Conversion of business premises to housing
  • CW 5 Converting what is a seen as a village asset into something else.
  • CW 6 Broadband/Communications infrastructure

Traffic and Transport Policy Strategy

Traffic and Transport remains one of the most important issues in our community. The Neighbourhood Plan needs to address this issue by:

  • Delivering policies to manage future development
  • Initiating projects to address key issues
  • Reduce the levels of congestion
  • Improve road safety

The policy areas under discussion are:

  • T1 Residential Car Spaces
  • T2 Safe travel to school
  • T3 Linkage to existing or proposed pavements/footpaths
  • T4 Sustainable transport
  • T5 Community Transport
  • T6 Traffic control
  • T7 Impact of development


Decide the pattern of future development in Goudhurst