Issue - meetings

*The Local Plan Regulation 19 consultation on the Local Plan and Sustainability Appraisal and Submission

Meeting: 21/01/2021 - Cabinet (Item 81)

81 *The Local Plan Regulation 19 consultation on the Local Plan and Sustainability Appraisal and Submission pdf icon PDF 581 KB

To consider and decide on the recommendations as set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED – That Full Council be recommended:


1.     To agree to undertake consultation on the Pre-Submission of the Local Plan 2020-2038 (Regulation 19) and its supporting Sustainability Appraisal in March/April-May 2021

2.     To agree that after the Regulation 19 consultation, to submit the Local Plan 2020-2038, Sustainability Appraisal and associated documentation to the Secretary of State in July 2021

3.     To agree that the Head of Planning be authorised to make minor modifications to the Local Plan and Sustainability Appraisal prior to commencement of Regulation 19 consultation to ensure clarity, robustness and for consistency, with any minor modifications to be agreed wit the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation.


REASON FOR DECISION: To commence a public consultation in accordance with the overall timetable for the production of the Local Plan


Mrs Hazel Strout representing Friends of the East End, Benenden had registered to speak which included the following:


I speak about the hospital sites at Benenden’s  smallest hamlet, the East End.


Aside from the hospital and its associated buildings, there is nothing at this site, no school, no play group, no shop, no pub, no tennis courts , no community hall, no daily bus service - and it is all three miles from both the centre of Benenden and the centre of Biddenden.


This is why Biddenden is requesting an extension to the referendum on the Neighbourhood Plan.


Benenden Health Care Society, who own the hospital, has stated, in its comments on the Local Plan, that it has no intention of supplying amenities. A developer would have no power to do so either. How could a developer offer the hospital’s tennis courts or its café for public use?


This Plan proposes a new village in the East End without acknowledging that this is what it is doing, and without providing any of the amenities which would otherwise be required.


Previously developed land does not trump sustainability neither in the borough’s policies, nor in the NPPF.


The land at the hospital site is previously developed, but it is not industrial land. Land does not qualify as brownfield if transport and other facilities are absent and if the land is of high environmental value.


There are four LWS (Local Wildlife Site) at this site. Not low grade ones. Top Grade. They are of national importance.


The Local Plan follows the Neighbourhood Plan and not the other way round.  In 20 18, TW officers were planning 174 houses on site 158, which consists of almost 5 hectares in the heart of Benenden.


Site 158 (minus .7 of a hectare), had, in 2006, been approved by the borough as one of two possible sites for the new Primary School. When the school was built elsewhere, 158 remained available for housing.


Councillor Dawlings, at a Benenden Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee meeting, said he would talk down that number - 174 houses. He did. The site, once thought appropriate for a school, has now been allocated no houses whatsoever.


By ignoring 158, and by allocating so many houses to the East End, the Council is seems to be courting a challenge.


Mr Jan Mueller representing Save Capel had registered to speak which included the following:


Councillors, I would ask you not to sign off the Plan in its current form but to allow the time to develop a plan that is forward-looking, enjoys public support and is not at risk of being derailed further in the process.


I would like to share three considerations:

First – the Local Plan proposes to squeeze half of new development into one parish (Capel) that only houses 2% of the Borough’s population.  This is not equitable.                                                                                       It is also not popular.  In Regulation 18, over 95% of the 1,000 responses to Capel objected to the plans!  In response, the housing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81