The Latest “Promises” by TWBC to The Inspector…

Oct 31, 2023

Dear Supporters

We hope you had an enjoyable summer and weren’t holding your breath for news about Capel’s future.

Further to our last update in July “The Long and Winding Road” it appears that TWBC’s road to an adopted Local Plan continues to get longer, and more twisty – but there now looks that there may be a significant landmark in sight!

The indications after that update were of a response to the Inspector in August, then September, and finally last week TWBC provided a schedule of (more certain?) dates for a decision on the way forward. You can read the 26.09.2023 letter here, where you’ll see that the proposed response and its approval have been delayed again:

  • Discussion at the Planning & Transportation Cabinet Advisory Board (PTCAB) at their meeting on November 13th, having cancelled their scheduled meeting on October 9th.
  • Assuming the PTCAB agree with Planning Function’s recommendations, this will then go to the Cabinet at their Meeting on 7th December.
  • Assuming the Cabinet agree with the PTCAB, then this will go to a Full Council Meeting on December 13th for a decision on whether to proceed.
    We can expect a six-week public consultation (basically a second Reg 19) to start early in the new year where Save Capel, yourselves, and others can respond to TWBC’s proposals. Following that, the revised plan and our responses will be submitted to the Inspector. He will then likely schedule further hearings to deal with any questions he needs to address.

Crucially, we expect to hear what is now proposed for Tudeley and East Capel early next month, ahead of PTCAB on 13.11.2023. Whatever is decided about the Capel sites, we anticipate significant housing to remain in the plan which we will scrutinise and continue to challenge. We will also be watching how much taxpayers’ money ends up being spent on all of this extra time and effort, and the value generated.

It beggar’s belief that the Council will have a taken a full year before deciding how to deal with the Inspector’s initial findings!!

So, what is the Save Capel Executive doing in the meantime….?


The More “Visible” Things:

  • Continuing to achieve discussions with the various political groups that make up TWBC.
  • Looking for opportunities to continue to promote Save Capel’s campaign through all media channels including social media.

The Less “Visible” Things:

  • We monitor daily what is going on with Government, County Councils and other Borough/District Councils, and other Campaign Groups up and down the country, through Google Alerts, etc. Examples of a typical day’s FYI’s (For Your Information) updates are included in “In Other News” below.
  • Liaising with neighbouring Councils (e.g., TMBC) and Campaign Groups, including Stop Over-Development in Paddock Wood (SODPW) and Save Our Heathlands (Maidstone), to see how we can support each other.
  • Maintaining our relationships with legal advisors and other expert consultants to keep them updated and provisionally securing their services for the next round of Consultations.
  • Keeping in touch with our very generous donors to ensure that we have the funding necessary to employ these experts and strengthen our chances of success in the next phase of the process.
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Support your Local Charity…

Capel Greenbelt Protection Society (CGPS) is looking for new Trustees: to assist with the continuance of their support, through donations, of protecting and using the Greenbelt and educating the public about the value of Greenbelt land. CGPS supports local organisations that protect (as Save Capel is doing), use (e.g. the Capel Allotments and Capel Path Rangers) or educate (e.g. Schools and Youth groups).

Please check out their activities here.

Only a few hours a month is required along with oversight governance in respect of the legal obligations to perform as a Registered Charity should. No experience is required as you would be joining a successful, supportive, team.

The Trustees have been extremely supportive of our campaign and if you are interested in joining them, please contact Stewart or email them at :

David Parrish, Konrad Legg, Hilary Andrews, Robert Assirati

Thank you.

In Other News

  • Kent County Council – The finances of KCC appear to be a parlous state, not as bad as Birmingham City Council, well not yet. Only last week they announced that they are putting County Hall in Maidstone up for sale …..what next?
  • Tandridge was one of the first Local Plan issues encountered on fyi’s three years ago, and its 4,000 proposed home “garden village” at Godstone; it doesn’t seem to be any further forward! After a cost to taxpayers of over £3.5m, a land scam and ignoring residents comments (any of this sound familiar?) it looks like they’re going to abandon their Plan and start again.
  • In a similar conundrum, Kirklees Council are feeling the need to fully review and update their Local Plan, but it will cost over £2m if the current Plan is found unfit for purpose ….again, anything sounding familiar here? 
  • Salisbury City Council looks to be going further than strong words, they are looking to seek legal advice for a fight opposing sites put forward by Wiltshire County Council. It looks like the City Council and a number of local Parish Councils are up for a fight with the County Council.
  • The previous one is a reminder of the ridiculous stance taken by KCC a few months ago demonstrating their reluctance to invest in road infrastructure for new developments, suggesting “active travel” instead!! – 46 comments on this one!!
  • Staying closer to home, TWBC has approved a brownfield site for houses and apartments where there used to be a pie factory! 94 homes, and a community centre, are proposed but only 10% of these will fall into the “affordable” category which some Councillors slated. But the Planning Officer recommending the scheme said the developers faced a £1.9m “clean-up bill” as it’s a brownfield site which reduces their appetite for a larger proportion of affordable housing! 
  • Some good news for protesters in Kings Langley after plans to build nearly 900 homes have been scrapped in the latest update to the Three Rivers Council Local Plan.
  • DLUHC (or for the uninitiated the Department of Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities), Mr Gove’s Government Department. Mr Gove has appointed a new Housing Minister, Rachel MacLean, who is the 15th Housing Minister since 2010 which equates to an average tenure of eight months!  She’s ruffling some feathers though and has made herself unpopular with Spelthorne Council who wanted to withdraw their Local Plan to have another go, but she has refused them permission to do so.
  • The Government & Opposition Parties, please remember we are an a-political campaign, but many of you will have been perplexed by the variety of proposed policies and promises of the three major political parties concerning whether or not to build on the Green Belt, as featured in the national news over the last few weeks. Who’s winning your vote?!

This is all against the backdrop of the local plan process continuing past the all out local council elections in TWBC in May where there are significant ward changes affecting Capel. We will update you on these changes nearer the time. And, of course, a General Election later next year.  

Save Capel will have an opportunity to respond to TWBC’s revisions when they are published, and  we will likely need to engage legal, and other advice, as we have done at other stages in the process. If you would like to make a donation or pledge your support to assist us please follow the link above.

As ever, the Save Capel Executive would like to thank you all for your continuing support. We’d love to hear your feedback on this via email to

Stewart, Ian, Dave, Maggie, Charlie, Jan, Mark, and Chris

Your donation could make the difference. Please help us Save Capel

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