Save Capel has been liaising with a number of other groups challenging Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s draft Local Plan. One of those groups, Stop Overdevelopment of Paddock Wood, is directly linked to the plans for East Capel, and we wanted to draw your attention to their work and, if you can, consider how you may be able to help them.
Stop Overdevelopment of Paddock Wood, local residents and other Paddock Wood supporters have joined together to campaign against Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s (TWBC) disastrous draft Local Plan. The planned number of new houses for Paddock Wood over the next 15 years now stands at 3,600. This is in addition to the thousand already in progress over the three recent consented developments and will double the size of the town. The campaigners believe that the housing quota should be more evenly distributed across the borough.
A representative of Stop Overdevelopment of Paddock Wood spoke at the TWBC Cabinet meeting on January 21st to outline some of their concerns. They have also have been given a slot to speak at the upcoming full council meeting on February 3rd. And the campaign team has already made a stir within the planning department at TWBC and will be meeting with them soon.
The campaigners are very concerned about Paddock Wood’s environmental issues and the fact that there seem to be omissions in the plan concerning these matters, especially:
- Transport and infrastructure
- Loss of workable farmland
- Disregard to COVID-related statistics
- Town centre development, now that the Churchill appeal has been successful.
The group does understand that housing is needed within Paddock Wood, but it is clear the draft Local Plan does not benefit many of the local residents – in particular, the so-called affordable housing is not affordable to them and current developers Berkley Homes are indeed working alongside a housing association in London, which begs the question, ‘what about Paddock Wood residents looking to buy their own home?’.
There are also limited options in terms of traffic management around the area. Many roads are narrow and unable to be widened due to the flood management ditches and the railway bridges, which Network Rail does not plan to widen.
Stop Overdevelopment of Paddock Wood would like to encourage all Paddock Wood residents to act now and write to their local borough councillors – details can be found at www.writetothem.com. The campaign team in Paddock Wood also need proactive help with the campaign organisation over the regulation 19 consultation.
Please see its website www.sodpaddockwood.wordpress.com for further details. If you would like to join the Facebook group, head over to www.facebook.com/groups/stopoverdevelopmentofpaddockwood, which will give you the most up to date information on how the campaign is progressing.
Don’t let TWBC ‘SOD Paddock Wood’.