Reviewing planning applications is the core of the Society’s work. Through its team of scrutineers, the Planning Committee reviews the lists of planning applications in the Weald for three Borough Councils—-Tunbridge Wells, Ashford & Maidstone. The Committee consider the effect of applications on natural landscapes, conservation areas, listed buildings and considerations such as people’s privacy and design features. Objections are made if the Committee considers that an application does not comply with planning policy or is detrimental to the environment or residents’ interests. Frequently comments are sent in when an application is acceptable in principle but would be improved, for instance, by the use of more appropriate materials or by a development being scaled down.
The Planning Committee’s views and procedures are based on planning policies and regulations, particularly those of the National Planning Policy Framework ( NPPF) and local borough planning documents.
Planning Committee meetings are held in different locations often hosted by one of our Village Representatives; members who provide useful information to Scrutineers on cases being considered by the Planning Committee. VRs are a vital link with local opinion in the villages, and can also draw our attention to possible planning contraventions, and to public consultations or meetings on planning applications.
Weight is given to WKPS submissions to the three boroughs through our balanced and mature response to planning issues.