Case Study: 350 homes, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Background

Our client sought inclusion in the Tunbridge Wells Local Plan for a greenfield site on the edge of a small town in Kent.

Challenge

Our client faced competition from two other developers which were promoting alternative greenfield sites in the town for development.

Solution

  • We organised meetings for our client with the ward members for the town, the Kent County Council division member and the Headmaster of the local secondary school, and assisted with a presentation to the town council: all designed to understand the views of key local stakeholders.
  • We drafted and sent a detailed briefing letter to all members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Local Plan Working Party, explaining why our client’s site was the most appropriate location for new housing and how development there could alleviate flooding problems. This was followed by telephone calls to members to gauge views.
  • We assisted the client with their participation in a public exhibition organised by the town council, at which the three rival developers presented their proposals to residents. Using a carefully crafted feedback form we gathered opinions from residents on our client’s proposals and compiled these in a feedback report.
  • We then drafted and sent a second briefing letter to all members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council ahead of the Cabinet’s vote on site allocations, urging support for our client’s site. The Cabinet ultimately voted to support allocations on both our client’s site and one of the competing sites.

Result

  • The Tunbridge Wells Local Plan was approved by a Planning Inspector in June 2016 with an allocation for up to 350 houses on our client’s site.
  • An application for 375 houses was unanimously approved by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Planning Committee in December 2016.

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