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Hundreds join Save Capel protest in Tunbridge Wells against homes plan

More than 100 protesters turned out for a march against proposals for two garden villages.

Members of the Save Capel campaign group took to the streets of Tunbridge Wells this afternoon in a bid to see off the housing schemes.

Save Capel protest in Tunbridge Wells
Save Capel protest in Tunbridge Wells

The council's Local Plan allocates space for 1,500 homes near Capel, east of Maidstone Road, and a further 2,800 at Tudeley, east of Hartlake Road.

Protesters set off from Calverley Grounds at noon and proceeded along Crescent Road and Calverley Road, down Grovesnor Road and Mount Pleasant Road, along the High Street and London Road before returning to the park.

Adults and children walked through the streets holding banners and placards, banging drums and blowing whistles.

Nine-year-old Rory Rich, who lives in Alders Road and attends Capel Primary School, said: “I really enjoyed marching for Save Capel. It was important to me because this is going to shape how my generation will live in the future”

The Mueller family, including Jan, his wife Natasha, 44, and their children Maxim, 13, Alexandra, 10, and Daniel, eight, who live in Half Moon Lane, Capel, joined in with the procession.

Save Capel protest in Tunbridge Wells
Save Capel protest in Tunbridge Wells

Speaking about his motivations for taking part, Mr Mueller, 47, said: "We live about a mile away from the proposed developments in Tudeley Village and regularly walk the public footpaths that cross the proposed development site - lovely countryside that will be ruined by this ill-thought out plan."

His daughter, Alexandra, a Derwent Lodge pupil, said: "The march was fun and loud and it was nice how the pedestrians supported us as we walked past.

"It was an important thing to do for the environment and the green belt."

Dr David Parrish, 64, of Sherenden Road, Tudeley, said: "The current council is failing the voters. Capel residents have been kept in the dark, communicated to too late with over-complex documentation. The day of reckoning, May elections, is approaching."

Farah Brooks-Johnson, a spokeswoman for the group, said: "Loads of people have no idea that Tunbridge Wells has all this beautiful countryside so it was really worth doing."

Save Capel demonstrators picketed the Town Hall in August
Save Capel demonstrators picketed the Town Hall in August

As they did the walk, the group picked up signatures on their online petition.

This not the first time it has campaigned against the plan, holding a march on Town Hall in August.

Mrs Brooks-Johnson revealed the group is now setting its sights on arranging a rally in Tonbridge as it believes the town will be more affected than Tunbridge Wells and needs saving just as much as Capel.

The group is attending the Tonbridge farmers market on Sunday, October 12 to speak to residents about the proposal.

Read more:All the latest news from Tunbridge Wells

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