So what exactly is it? The Local Plan is a document which sets out the details of where the Council intends to allow new homes to be built, the size and type of houses it needs, and other policies about employment sites (shops/offices), transport, parking, green spaces and heritage assets.
Why get involved? These are the policies that will shape the future of your town. If you want to have a say, you need to speak up now. It is extremely difficult to challenge the Local Plan once it has been adopted.
How do they work? Each Plan goes through two consultation stages, after which it is submitted to the Secretary of State to be examined and then if found to be “sound”, adopted by the Council.
Once adopted, the Plan is the starting point for all planning decisions. Whilst it’s very important that it represents local needs, there is obviously a strong ‘pull’ from the central government, especially in this area, to build more homes.
Tonbridge & Malling’s Plan is currently in its last phase of consultation before being submitted for examination. The consultation ends on 19 November, so act quickly to get your voice heard.
Tunbridge Wells’ new Plan has been slightly delayed, the first consultation phase is March 2019.
The consultation ended on 5 October for Wealden’s Plan (which covers the southern edge of Tunbridge Wells), and it’s headed towards Examination in Public early next year. Wealden’s website will tell you when the hearings are to take place.