Published: 06:01, 14 September 2021
A developer has launched a public consultation on its plans to build on Brick Kiln Farm in Cranbrook.
The Hill Group has already gained outline planning permission from Tunbridge Wells council to build 180 homes on the site back in February 2020 and has now produced a "masterplan" showing the details of its proposals.
The land is allocated for development in the emerging Tunbridge Wells Local Plan, and plans for the site were first put forward by Persimmon back in 2016, when they were opposed by Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council.
Hill Group kicked off its consultation with a public exhibition in the Vestry Hall in Cranbrook, yesterday afternoon and is inviting the public to submit comments by this coming Sunday, September 12.
A steady stream of villagers visited the hall, one of whom was Cllr Kim Fletcher, chairman of the Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish Council.
He said: "I think the majority of people were unexpectedly surprised by the proposals.
"They are definitely a huge advance on those put forward previously by Persimmon."
He said: "There are some iconic building designs in the mix, not just everything out of the same box.
"The homes are going to be heated by ground heat pumps, rather than traditional gas boilers, and importantly for the parish council, they are retaining all the walkways through the valley, so that people will be able to continue to access the town on foot or by bicycle rather than by car."
Cllr Fletcher said: "Hill Group has been doing a very good job so far. We've had good dialogue with them and I'm confident we can get a successful outcome."
The current proposal is for seven areas of residential development separated by green corridors. The Ancient Woodland to the south of the site will be preserved and protected by a buffer zone. A potential link through will be allowed to enable access of adjacent land to support further development in the future.
Terry Gamble, the senior development manager at Hill, said: "Great care has been taken in the development of the masterplan to ensure that the proposals are sympathetic to the site's setting within the AONB and neighbouring ancient woodland."
'The plans are a huge advance on those put forward previously'
He said: "A ‘landscape-first’ approach was taken. We have also incorporated a network of footpaths and cycle paths across the site to boost sustainability and help ease dependence on the car, not only around the site, but when connecting from the site into Cranbrook."
"We are very much looking forward to hearing the community's views on the proposals, which will be taken into consideration ahead of a planning application being submitted to Tunbridge Wells council in the autumn."
For more information on the proposals, visit: www.landatbrickkilnfarm.co.uk or call freephone 0800 368 7592.
The planning reference for outline permission already granted is 16/502860