The plan is in! We now face our biggest challenge – How can you help us?

Nov 29, 2021

Fundraising for the next phase of the process

The TWBC Local plan has now been submitted to the Government who have appointed Matthew Birkinshaw BA(Hons) MSc MRTPI as the Inspector to review all the documentation submitted, including our, and your, representations at Regulation 19. There is a lot to wade through so this will inevitably take him a while, maybe three months. The Inspector will consider all the evidence and identify his list of Matters, Issues and Questions (MIQs) that require further investigation. This provides us with the opportunity to submit further evidence in response.

Following that, the Inspector will hold public hearings to assist his judgment of whether the Local Plan is legally compliant and sound. He may identify ‘main modifications’ required to make the Plan sound, which would then go out for further public consultation.

Our Inspector now has control of the timetable, and the chart below shows only indicative timings. He has recently been assessing the Hambleton District Council local plan where a main modifications consultation occurred nearly 12 months after the public hearings.

We need to engage specialist planning barristers and consultants to assist our further submissions to the Inspector, and to represent us at the public examination. To be able to challenge the well-funded and resourced proponents of the Plan, on anything close to an even playing field, is going to come with significant cost. Whilst we have significant funds available, we estimate needing at least another £25,000 for this examination stage.

Please follow the link below to see how we are making it easier for people to donate and to take advantage of Gift Aid. For example, a £1,000 donation becomes £1,250 with Gift Aid: a big difference!

Donate graphic

Thanks to your generosity we have come a long way, but we need to up the momentum to sustain us through this crucial next stage. Thank you!

What’s the latest with TWBC’s leader Counsillor Dawlings?

In our Halloween Newsletter we shared the correspondence we have had with TWBC’s Leader Councillor Dawlings. In summary, the chronology goes like this:

    • We write on 26th September 2021 asking about if, and when, the Local Plan will be submitted.
    • He replies (or someone drafted it for him) on 28th September 2021; we thought it a pretty unsatisfactory response in which he majored on “…. environmental concerns have to be at the heart of everything the Council does!” Really????
    • We write again on 4th October 2021 pointing out the reality behind the very phrases he uses in his previous reply, and to ask TWBC to ”pause” the Local Plan process as several other Councils already had chosen to do.
    • We don’t get a reply but in the Autumn issue of “The Local” (TWBC’s quarterly update) in “An Interview with the New Council Leader” he makes some bizarre statements about the Local Plan.
    • We write again on 27th October 2021 still having not received any reply to express our dismay at the news that the Local Plan is to be submitted, and politely asking for a reply to our letter of 4th October.
    • He had the decency to reply, and apologise for the delayed response, on November 12th. You can see from his response that it adds little to the understanding of the Plan:
      • His response on carbon emissions is restricted to those created by TWBC; nothing said about those that arise as a result of large-scale building development
      • He brushes aside the “why not pause the Plan for a while?” question by saying to do so would turn this into “a never-ending process” – it feels like that already!
      • Then, basically it’s blah di blah di blah, especially about landscape issues which TWBC clearly have no interest in whatsoever!
      • The Local Plan was submitted on 1st November 2021, and the Inspector, Matthew Birkinshaw BA(Hons) MSc MRTPI, was appointed earlier this week.

We have pointed out to Mr. Dawlings that whilst he is a Councillor for the Benenden ward his role as Leader of the Council covers all the wards in the Borough, including Capel, and therefore he has responsibilities associated with that for all the residents of the Borough.

Paused Councils

As mentioned in the last Newsletter several Councils across the country have “paused” their Local Plan process because of the apparent resolve of Mr. Gove as Secretary of State for the Ministry of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (MLUHC) to significantly change the Planning White Paper that has been in progress for some time. He has indicated that a draft could be available in early 2022.

We are tracking what other Councils are doing and have so far identified 13 who are in the process of “pausing”, and there are probably more, we’ll keep you posted. It begs the question “If there is a going to be a significantly different Draft White Paper in the relatively near future, and other Councils are “pausing” their process, why on earth were TWBC so keen to submit theirs ahead of these changes?” Answers on a postcard please!

The Grand Christmas Raffle

One of the ways everyone can contribute is to take part in our Grand Christmas Raffle; the tickets are £5 each and the prizes are worth winning! Tickets are available at the Dovecote pub and Five Oak Green Service Station, and on occasion we will be selling them in the bar at The Poacher & Partridge or send an email to

You can also buy tickets online before 17th December. The prize draw will be held on 18th December.

Save Capek Xmas Raffle Tickets

In other news…


Working together with Capel Parish Council and the Capel Greenbelt Protection Society

Hugh Patterson, Chair of CPC and the TWBC Councillor for the Capel ward, has recently sent a great letter to Michael Gove; it says everything we need to be saying very succinctly!

Save Kent's Green Spaces logo

Save Kent’s Green Spaces Day of Action

By the time you read this the Day of Action will have happened; we have had a lot of media interest. In East Capel and Tudeley we had almost 200 participants! That is amazing, we were expecting 40 at best! Thank you to those who were able to attend, and the weather Gods were with us!

We will be publishing another newsletter shortly focused on this topic where we will be showing photographs, lists of who participated and what media coverage was achieved.

Watch this space!


We Are Not Alone

As above we did write to Mr Gove in October; so far, no reply. However, our close neighbours in Wealden, who are also part of the Save Kent’s Green Spaces Day of Action, have also had an interchange with Mr. Gove’s office. Another good letter and an unexpectedly detailed response.

As ever the Save Capel Executive would like to thank you all for your continuing support. If anyone is interested in contributing more to the campaign, especially by assisting with the raffle and other fund raising, please contact us via email to





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

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