Published: 12:23, 21 July 2019
| Updated: 09:13, 22 July 2019
Controversial proposals for more than 400 homes and a relief road on the site of a golf club have taken a step forward after a planning application was submitted.
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council received a scoping request from Hawkhurst Golf Club’s owners, Cedar Drive Ltd, last year in a bid to determine whether or not the site would be suitable for development.
The 45-hectare site was opened in 1968 and currently sits in the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty.
Plans then went on show for the public to see in February, though since then it appears developers are looking to add an extra eight homes to the project.
A formal planning application has now been submitted and validated by the council and seeks permission to demolish the existing clubhouse and squash courts and redevelop the existing golf course.
Bosses are then looking to build in its place up to 417 properties and a care home as well as other facilities.
These include a doctors' surgery and community hall, a public park and open spaces, as well as a relief road, which would run between the A268 to and from Flimwell, and the A229 to and from Cranbrook.
However, the proposals have been met with opposition in the last 12 months, and formal objections to the planning application have already been made in the last few days.
Michael Skinner of Rye Road said: "The road infrastructure just can't handle the increased volume of traffic.
"Hawkhurst crossroad is gridlocked at times already with the increase in usage caused by construction of new dwellings completed in the last six years... enough is enough" - Michael Skinner
"Hawkhurst crossroad is gridlocked at times already with the increase in usage caused by construction of new dwellings completed in the last six years. Enough is enough."
Project spokesman Jonathan Buckwell said earlier this year that great care had been taken to ensure the landscape-led design is "sympathetic and wholly in keeping with the surroundings", with the proposals being made up of several small development areas, reflecting a "village feel" rather than that of one large estate.
Furthermore, the new road would help reduce the levels of traffic through Hawkhurst and relieve congestion at the crossroads.
He added: “The golf course is under-used and has seen a significant decline in membership in recent years.
"The site offers a unique opportunity for Hawkhurst to meet its proposed housing allocation in the Tunbridge Wells Local Plan at a site at the heart of the village, rather than in outlying areas of the parish.”
More by this authorTom Pyman