Stage 2 of the inspector’s hearings – Who knows what he’s thinking?

Aug 27, 2022

Dear Supporters,

As the latest round of the Stage 2 examination hearings have come to a close, including the two strategic sites of Tudeley Garden Village and East Capel/Paddock Wood, we wanted to give you a brief update on the situation to date.

We were exceptionally well represented at all hearings by our legal team of Paul Brown (QC), James Neill and Simon Bell, and consultant John Russell of Motion, all ably supported throughout by Stewart Gledhill, our Chair, and other members of the Executive. Many of the important points raised by the inspector through his response to the TWBC Local Plan submission in his matters, issues and questions, were cross questioned at length by the Inspector. Where appropriate evidence was provided to reinforce and strengthen our case by the addition of commentary by our legal and consultant representatives.

Importantly, we were not alone in this quest to undermine the soundness and deliverability of this proposed Local Plan as many other contributors to the hearings, both professional and personal, provided additional compelling and factual evidence against the overall soundness, deliverability, and viability of the Plan. Indeed, it seemed almost daily that TWBC were quite alone in their enthusiasm for the plan. 

Understandably,it is very difficult to judge the Inspector’s opinions and views on the discussions, however there was significant criticism of the plan from most participants, particularly with respect to the strategy of the two strategic sites of Tudeley Garden Village and East Capel/Paddock Wood. Safe to say that all representatives of TWBC had some very awkward questions to answer which appeared not to go unnoticed by the Inspector. 

The Stage 2 hearing sessions will re-commence on Tuesday 5th July, however the sessions most appropriate to Capel will start on the afternoon of the 12th of July where Save Capel will be represented by Charlie Keeling, who has been leading the Transport & Infrastructure Team for Save Capel, and our specialist Consultant John Russell of Motion. Additional sessions after this date will be attended by Save Capel as appropriate, the final day of the examination currently scheduled for the 14th of July.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the end of the process, or a point of decision-making. The Inspector will review all that he has seen and heard, and it could be mid to late August before we know his findings and decision about the TWBC Local Plan.

Thank you once again for your continued support which has enabled us to present our case in the best, most professional way. 

Ian Pattenden
Head of Fundraising
Save Capel Executive


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