Agenda item

Application for consideration - 22/01929/OUT Swatlands Farm, Lucks Lane, Paddock Wood


Planning Report and Presentation – The Head of Planning Services submitted a report in respect of application PLA47/22 Swatlands Farm, Lucks Lane, Paddock Wood and this was summarised at the meeting by Mr James Moysey Principal Planning Officer and illustrated by means of a visual presentation.


Updates and additional representation – Since publication of the agenda:


·        Condition 22 was amended to read: The developer should have regard to the MRL acoustic report (ref RL/100/1836.1v1 dated February 2022) and shall submit for approval written evidence that the development at each reserved matters stage meets all the recommendations specified in the report prior to occupation. The development shall thereafter be carried out in accordance with the approved details.


Reason: In the interest of preserving residential amenity.


Registered Speakers – There were 4 speakers that registered in accordance with the Council’s Constitution (Planning Committee Procedure Rules)



·        Helen Wren, a local resident

·        Mr David Ebdon, a local resident



·        Mr Jonathan Buckwell, Planning Director DHA Planning

·        Mr Rob Smith, DHA Planning


Matters of Clarification by Officers and Committee Members’ Questions to Officers included:

                 i.          Paragraph 10.210 of the report addressed the timing of the application where it stated, that an application had been submitted and the LPA was required to assess the application on its merits and determine.

                ii.          Kent County Council (KCC) Highways and National Highways had been consulted on the application and had deemed the access arrangements suitable and acceptable and considered that it had no detrimental impact on highway and pedestrian safety.

               iii.          Condition 33 in the report outlined details of the signage strategy.

              iv.          Paragraph 10.168 in the report addressed flooding which was highlighted along with conditions related to sustainable drainage, specifically condition 18.

                v.          Condition 19 in the report outlined carbon reduction and it was noted that these buildings were modern which adhered to modern day building regulations.

              vi.          The Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Environmental (TWBC) Team had been consulted and raised no objections and conditions 22 and 23 addressed noise and external lighting.

             vii.          As part of the signage strategy, it was confirmed that a left only sign was required at the entry/exit point of the application site.

            viii.          Officers considered that the available evidence showed a need for this employment given that the economic evidence base that underpinned the emerging local plan showed that there was need for employment growth in the Borough and TWBC needed to prepare and plan for that.

              ix.          In a report undertaken by SKW Paddock Wood was identified as a successful industrial location however, there was limited room for expansion within the existing employment areas and limited vacant units. Jobs needed to be created in order to create a sustainable new community.

                x.          It was advised that enforcement of the road signage was within the limits of both TWBC and KCC Highways.

              xi.          It was advised that the traffic modelling had been based on a worst case scenario in terms of the mix of uses, where the most number of employees on site were arriving and departing in peak hours and this ensured that the mitigation secured and delivered was capable of mitigating anything within the scope.

             xii.          The master planning work that had been undertaken for the submission local plan for Paddock Wood as well as other surrounding sites and in addition to the 3,500 new homes had been factored in and a robust and comprehensive infrastructure schedule had been provided.

            xiii.          The concerns of residents related to storage was acknowledged. The flood/drainage strategy was discussed and it was advised that there were a number of different options that the applicant had to consider as part of the final scheme at reserved matters stage.

           xiv.          It was confirmed that the application would not be allowed to progress if the mitigation measures related to flood risk were not delivered.

             xv.          If Members were minded, it was within their gift to vary the wording of the Condition 22 which related to the acoustic report to include reference to each reserved matters stage.

           xvi.          Officers advised that they considered the conditions in place were robust, and prevented occupation of premises until Southern Water carried out their measures.

          xvii.          It was advised that Section (S) 106 payments had been agreed and these went towards a pot of money for longer term schemes that had been identified e.g. roundabout, bus route subsidy as well as others.

        xviii.          With regard to safety and security, this was something that would be looked at in much greater detail at reserved matters stage, however, an informative had been added for the applicant which suggested some of the comments made by the Police were taken on board.

           xix.          Design South East, a design view panel who had experience in delivering garden settlements across the country, had provided expert advice to TWBC. These consultations which were expected to continue provided expert input into how to ensure security of public whilst open links were maintained and retain an open site.


Committee Member debate and Officer clarification included:

                 i.          Flooding spoken about at length and it was acknowledged as a major concern for residents, however it was felt that it had been addressed in the report and would be looked at further at reserved matters stage.

                ii.          It was suggested that Southern Water had not visited the site and did a desktop survey.

               iii.          It was considered that access to the new development within the existing Luck’s Lane rural lane that not been able to mitigate increased HGV traffic and increased traffic to feed the site.

              iv.          It was suggested that not enough consideration had been given to access via the Maidstone Road.

                v.          Light and noise pollution was raised as a concern.

              vi.          Possible protection of wildlife and trees on site issues were highlighted.

             vii.          Officers confirmed that it was not uncommon to have an extensive list of conditions for an outline application this size. It was expected that the number of conditions would be tightened at reserved matters stage.

            viii.          Members were reminded that conditions were in place to direct development and to sure that it was delivered in accordance with the standards set by Members decision and were the standard requirement from any planning approval.

              ix.          The design review panel was welcomed.

                x.          It was hoped that the attenuation tanks were enough to improve flood management.

              xi.          It was noted that this was an allocated site in the submission local plan, and Members acknowledged that they needed to judge it on it’s merits.

             xii.          It was felt that the plan was appropriate and the work gone into the conditions was noted.


Decision/voting – On the basis that members were satisfied that all relevant planning considerations had been covered within the report, a motion was proposed by Councillor Bland, seconded by Councillor Warne and a vote was taken to approve the application in line with the officer recommendation.


Councillor Moon requested that his vote against the Officer recommendation be noted.


RESOLVED – That application PLA47/22 be granted subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement and the plans, conditions and informatives as set out in the agenda report and amended condition 22.

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