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Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council blasts Tunbridge Wells Local Plan including Capel, Tudeley Village

Council chiefs have blasted plans to build almost 7,000 homes in a neighbouring borough.

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) has raised concerns over proposals for several major developments drawn up by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) as part of its draft Local Plan.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council wants to build almost 7,000 new homes. Stock pic. (19690572)
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council wants to build almost 7,000 new homes. Stock pic. (19690572)

The plans include the creation of a "garden village" of 2,800 homes in Tudeley - with proposals for a further 4,000 homes in a ring around Paddock Wood - of which 1,500 also fall within the parish of Capel.

In recent weeks, TMBC has taken the unusual step of calling a meeting to discuss the neighbouring authority's plans.

Now, TMBC's planning policy manager Ian Bailey has penned a letter to the planning policy team at TWBC, branding the potential effects the developments could have on Tonbridge "a matter of serious concern".

He wrote: "The proximity of some of the major development proposals to the borough boundary and specifically, the south east of our main settlement of Tonbridge, is a matter of serious concern due to the potential impacts on the local highway network, rail services and other community infrastructure including health care and education, particularly when combined with planned developments in Tonbridge as part of our own Local Plan."

He also raised concerns about plans for a new secondary school at Capel, suggesting a "more sustainable solution" would be for it to be built at or near the new development at Tudeley - "reducing the need to travel to a site on the periphery of Tonbridge".

He said TMBC needs assurance that it will be involved in future planning decisions regarding developments that are likely to have "significant impact" on Tonbridge.

Mr Bailey added that the authority "recognises the challenges facing" Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, but feels a collaborative approach between the two councils would help mitigate negative impacts on local services.

A spokesman for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said: "We have been liaising with TMBC during the preparation of the draft Local Plan.

"The policies specifically state that we will work closely with neighbouring authorities on the infrastructure requirements of the Plan.

"Representations received in the consultation period will be considered and taken into account, together with further evidence, when preparing the final version of the Local Plan before it is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate."

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