Tunbridge Wells Local Plan and Evidence

Our efforts to develop a Neighbourhood plan for Goudhurst are running in parallel with the borough who are developing their Local Plan.  Tunbridge Wells have published their first major document in support of the new Local Plan.  The Tunbridge Wells Local Plan – Issues and Options consultation document is open for public consultation from the 2nd May to the 12th June 2017. We would encourage you to respond to the document with any concerns you may have. The NDP team will provide a full response to the document which we will publish on this site.

You can respond directly on the TWBC Consultation Page or using the Local-Plan-Issues-And-Options-response-form

The ‘Issues and Options’ paper sets out the clear challenge that the borough faces – the need to build 13,000+ new homes in an area that is predominately AONB and Green Belt.

The document sets out a range of potential options to deliver this total over the coming years. This is a consultation document and not a plan but there is an evidence base that underpins the options and assertions in the document .

One of major changes for Goudhurst is the settlement hierarchy. In past plans all of the villages had been grouped together and were given no formal allocation for housing. The villages are now in a hierarchical list with Goudhurst at the top of that list. The hierarchy was determined using the Settlement Role and Function Study detailed below.

The evidence base is detailed below:

 Strategic Housing Market Assessment This Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)considers housing need in Sevenoaks District and Tunbridge Wells Borough using a common methodology .This is not setting a target and is not moderated by any constraints.
 Transport Strategy The Tunbridge Wells Transport Strategy, prepared jointly by TWBC and KCC sets out the vision for transport in the borough between 2015 and 2026. It includes the following:
 Parking Strategy In a rural borough like Tunbridge Wells, many of us rely on our cars to live our lives and the vibrant towns and cities within the Borough rely on accessible parking to allow people to visit, shop, eat, drink, dwell and enjoy themselves.
 Cycling Strategy This Cycling Strategy includes actions and principles which support the promotion
of cycling and the delivery of related infrastructure in The borough.
 Development Constraints Study This report presents the current evidence on various constraints that are likely to impact on how much, and where, future growth could be located in Tunbridge Wells borough. As well as numerous environmental and landscape constraints, the Council is aware that transport and congestion can be a problem in many areas. This report aims to set out and highlight areas where such constraints are present.
 Economic Needs Study This Economic Needs Study (ENS) has been prepared by Turley, in association with Colliers International, on behalf of Sevenoaks District and Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils.
Settlement Role and Function Study Settlements have been ranked on three scales to deternine the hierarchy of settlements. This is the document that places Goudhurst in the third tier of villages.
Tunbridge Wells Borough Landscape Character Assessment 2017 An updated view of the borough including Gouhurst.
 Interim Habitat Regulations Assessment Impact of change and development on heritage sites (predominately the Ashdown Forest)
Historic Landscape Characterisation 2014 to 2017 This document looks at the parish from a historical perspective identifying the age and development of our landscape.
Interim Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment Sites in Goudhurst that have come forward in the current call for sites. A new call for sites is being issued on the 2nd May 2017.
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