Turnden – Decision called in by Secretary of State
The Secretary of State has called in the review from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s decision to give permission for Turnden – there will be a REVIEW!
Turnden – Shocking news.
Berkeley homes have decided NOW is an appropriate time to
apply for further planning permission at Turnden for now more than 160 houses!!!! Please remember that the original application was for just 30 or so……
This is whilst we are all social distancing, working from home and self-isolating. It is our opinion that Berkeley homes are taking advantage of the situation and behaving in a totally unscrupulous way. No public consultation. No face to face meetings with resident groups. No easy way for the public to meet and discuss the application and their views.
After various letters to Tunbridge Wells Planning department it is clear that TWBC Planning do not agree with us!!??!! Why are they so keen to allow this application through? An easy way to meet their housing targets and push through following their controversial DLP? It is callous and shocking in the extreme.
Some unanswered questions from TWBC:
How relevant will those numbers and targets be after this life changing pandemic? The housing market will certainly not be in the same position it was before.
How will the infrastructure to support a development this size be implemented and funded, when the this country needs to get itself and the NHS back on its feet after the current crisis?
It is incredibly short sighted of Tunbridge Wells Planning Department to allow this application to be considered. At the time of writing this letter to you we have asked some of our councillors to respond and when we have the responses we will share – but at this point it has been our local councillor, Nancy Warne, who wrote a strongly worded response to Berkeley Homes and Tunbridge Wells Planning Department you can read here:
‘It was with utter incredulity that I read your email below. That Berkeley Homes have the gall to suggest they are acting "in the public interest" by attempting to undertake a virtual "public consultation" on a controversial planning application for a major development in the AONB, in contravention of national planning policy, in the middle of a national health crisis, displays an absolute contempt for our community and a complete lack of both professionalism and morals.
This unseeming rush to push ahead with your own interest is the most cynical act in the catalogue of Berkeley Homes' errors with regard to Turnden. Over this weekend, our community leaders are preparing our response to the Covid-19 crisis in order to support the most vulnerable in our parish, and if you have any moral compass at all I would suggest that you start diverting your generous resources into helping in the same way.
If you value ours or any other community at all, I would urge you to postpone submission of a
planning application and public consultation at Turnden.
Cllr Nancy Warne
Member for Benenden & Cranbrook’
As mentioned we are asking the other councillors to respond so that we all know who is in agreement.
During this strange and worrying time a daily walk is one consolation in which we can all find solace. Connecting with nature and appreciating the rural locality with its wide range of flora and fauna and wildlife on offer. It is clear in the April springtime we are privileged to live in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a protected area and not one that should be built upon. This is National Policy but one that TWBC wish to steamroll over whilst everybody is doing their bit to save lives and the NHS.
This development will forever change the landscape and destroy our beautiful countryside. And for what? A detailed assessment of housing need for the Parish revealed this number of houses, particularly of this type, were not needed!!! We already have enough homes being built in the parish – the homes are needed elsewhere where there are jobs and transport infrastructure.
Transport is a key point here too. This development raises other extremely serious concerns about road safety. If it goes ahead it means there will six vehicular accesses in 200m on the most dangerous stretch of A229 in the parish. This is an accident blackspot. There will also be more cars on the road as residents need to commute to their place of work, meaning more traffic clogging up pressure points such as Goudhurst.
WHAT YOU CAN DO - NOW - FROM HOME
So we ask you now to spend five minutes getting in contact with your councillors and MP and asking what they intend to do. Why this development is being forced through by TWBC staff under so little scrutiny? Specifically, we ask you to email or write to:
Our Member of Parliament Helen Grant:
To the Parish Council:
Stephen Baughen Head of Tunbridge Wells Planning:
Your Local Councillors:
Recently we are pleased to say that all local TWBC councillors have come out against this development and we will be posting their statements on this site.