Planning News June 2017



The Planning Committee met in June in Smarden. This bulletin contains news relating to applications dealt with and decisions handed down since the last meeting in May, as well as proposed future action on some current applications.


ABC Proposed ‘Main Changes’ to the Ashford Local Plan 2030. The public consultation ends on Thursday 31 August at 23:59. Comments can be made via this link or (you will need to register to submit comments). If you wish to channel comments via WKPS please do so by 15 August to the Planning Committee Secretary, Peta Grant, .

The following link will take you to Site Allocations, existing and extended, and new sites for housing allocations.


  1. Correction of the Minutes para. 2 of Chair’s Report — this should read TWBC Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation.


17/01319/OUT/TW Land at Triggs Farm, Cranbrook Road, Goudhurst TN17 1DP — Outline (access not reserved) — Demolition of the property known as Kestral, Cranbrook Road, Goudhurst and erection of new access road and ten detached dwellings. WKPS objected.

17/502003/FULL/MA Hawkenbury Farm, Hawkenbury Road, Hawkenbury, Tonbridge TN12 0EA — Erection of a single storey garden room extension and alterations. WKPS supported.


16/01790/AS Braid Farm, Burnthouse Lane, Smarden TN27 8PJ — Change of use of agricultural land to 50 pitch holiday complex with new washroom, laundry, toilet and refuse block. WKPS objected. ABC REFUSED.

17/00284/AS Hoopoe House, Maytham Road, Rolvenden TN17 4NP — Demolition of existing garage and erection of two storey side extension with first floor window on the east elevation, erection of front porch, and repositioning of vehicular access. WKPS supported in principle with concern over loss of privacy to neighbour. ABC PERMITTED.

16/01322/AS Mechanical Components Ltd., Church Farm, Bell Lane, Smarten TN27 8NT — Redevelopment of an existing commercial/industrial site to accommodate 5 no. commercial units. WKPS objected. ABC PERMITTED.

16/01431/AS Milee, Nickley Wood Road, Shadoxhurst, Ashford TN26 1LZ — Change of use of land for the stationing of 4 gypsy pitches and associated development and the erection of a goat barn (part retrospective). WKPS objected. ABC PERMITTED.

16/504891/FULL/TW Land at Walkhurst Road, Benenden — Erection of 12 dwellings comprising 2 no. 1 bed apartments, 4 no. 2 bedroom dwellings, 4 no. 3 bedroom dwellings, 1 no. 4 bedroom dwelling, and 1 no. 5 bed dwellings together with associated access, car parking/garaging, open space and surface water attenuation basin. WKPS objected. TWBC PERMITTED.






  1. ABC revised draft Local Plan to be published soon with a 6 week consultation period. An extra meeting of the planning committee will be held in mid July to discuss the site allocations.
  2. NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) — High Court ruling — paragraphs 14 & 49 conflict between sustainable housing development (permission to be granted unless any adverse impacts significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits) and an LPA’s lack of a 5-year land supply for housing. The ruling appeared to come down on the side of the developers (i.e. para. 49). This ruling creates an obvious threat to the Weald and indicates to us that the AONB and SSSIs are simply not regarded as important enough to protect. We will continue to raise objections in such cases.
  3. The Chair is to retire from September 2017; the new chair will be an existing planning committee member.


17/01619/FULL/TW Long View, North Road, Goudhurst TN17 1JJ — Demolition of existing dwelling and associated buildings, and erection of replacement dwelling and garage. Contemporary design, low level, sedum roof. No D&A statement. Replacement build located centrally in plot, stark contrast with surrounding buildings, not pastiche, discreet as low lying. Very few quality contemporary designs coming forward. WKPS to support.

17/00735/AS Thorne Farm, Lambden Road, Pluckley TN27 0RB — Demolition of existing outbuildings and the construction of 4 houses and associated garages with annexe accommodation. Existing access between existing houses to the plot. Accepted site in the Neighbourhood Plan. Designated as a site for able-bodied downsizers; only one house is single storey, others could be family homes. Houses are well spaced out with one in each corner of the plot with access road running through the middle. Not within walking distance to the village. Extends village boundaries. WKPS to support but to express concern about precedent.

 17/00708/AS Land north of 14 Westwell Court, Tenterden — Erection of a 56 bed care home and 23 units for assisted living (Use Class C2) comprising 16 cottages and 7 flats (including manager’s accommodation) with associated landscaping, parking, stores and service areas, estate roads, access and landscaping buffers. Outside LBD, development will be highly visible from Cranbrook Road, narrow access, increase in vehicles, too close to the traffic lights on A28 access. Tenterden is becoming overburdened with care homes. Proximity to TENT1 where there is a lot of accommodation but not for the elderly. Residential blocks are a disaster — 2 storey small terraced houses with no lifts to first floor. Care Home ok internally — good facilities, cafe, garden, hairdresser, medical facilities, resident nurse, own rooms, end of life care. BUT greenfield site, appalling access and wrong location. WKPS to object.

17/00789/AS 142 High Street, Tenterden TN30 6HT — Demolition of existing rear extensions, change of use and conversion from offices and storage to a single residential dwelling, erection of detached garage with office/playroom at roof level and associated garden and decking, erection of fencing, walls, gates and railings. (Note: also 17/00790/AS relates for LBC) This will improve this part of the High Street, a number of retail premises have been converted back to residential accommodation. WKPS to support.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This paragraph deals with actions planned rather than already taken. Readers are asked to note that the opinions and action points are those expressed by the planning committee as a whole. They are not always the final decisions. Many items discussed at meetings require further research before we reach a final decision on action to be taken.


TWBC will be required to find sites for about 650 new homes per year for the next 20 years, plus a 5% buffer, plus employment, retail and leisure sites, schools and health facilities and other associated infrastructure. The Consultation seeks views on 5 options for development growth:

Option 1: ‘Focused Growth’ as existing Core Strategy i.e. mainly Tunbridge Wells/Southborough with smaller proportion to the other 3 main settlements of Paddock Wood, Cranbrook and Hawkhurst and limited development within the rural areas.

Option 2: ’Semi-dispersed Growth’ mainly as Option 1 but a percentage of development directed to some of the ‘larger’ villages (Brenchley, Five Oak Green, Goudhurst, Lamberhurst, Pembury) and limited development within the remaining villages and rural areas.

Option 3: ‘Dispersed Growth’ development distribution proportional across all of the borough’s settlements including the villages.

Option 4: ‘Growth Corridor-led Approach’ development distribution focused around the A21 close to Tunbridge Wells and Pembury, as a new ‘growth corridor’.

Option 5: ‘New settlement growth’ a new freestanding ‘Garden Village’ with no location identified.

We asked our VRs in Benenden, Hawkhurst and Goudhurst for their preferences on the options. Between them they opted for Options 1 to 4 with Option 5 standing out as completely impractical even if an appropriate location was found. We also noted that Hawkhurst PC supported Option 4 in parallel with Option 5.

After deliberation and discussion the committee were unanimous in their preference for Option 4 the A21 growth corridor on the basis that the major part of the development would be in one place and the widening of the A21 improves transport connections. BUT, it must be properly planned, not piecemeal, and the appropriate infrastructure must be included. In other words, the planning must be a whole design.