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Fury over plans to build 4,000 new homes on Tonbridge border

Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council has “serious concerns” over plans to build thousands of homes just over its border.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has drawn up a local plan earmarking 2,800 houses for Tudeley and 1,500 in Capel, with an additional new medical centre, sports hub, primary schools and proposed improvements to traffic links, flood mitigation measures and extended secondary school.

Now a letter written by Ian Bailey, the planning policy manager at Tonbridge and Malling, has described the major developments as “a serious concern due to potential impacts on the local highway network, rail services” and community infrastructure.

He said both authorities must work together to tackle issues like housing.

He said: “Tonbridge and Malling support the proposed approach to meeting the identified needs for future development in Tunbridge Wells within the borough, subject to both authorities proactively working together to ensure all cross-boundary issues are satisfactorily addressed as part of the local plan process.”

Mr Bailey said the area already faces infrastructure challenges in Tonbridge and surrounding villages.

He continued: “TMBC believes that some of these will present delivery challenges for the allocation due to appropriate mitigation measures not being feasible.

“However, we wish to work collaboratively with TWBC to explore all possibilities and particularly welcome the early identification of a number of junctions requiring mitigation within TMBC.

“The implications of this allocation and the new settlement at Tudeley, which is unlikely to justify the introduction of an additional railway station between Tonbridge and Paddock Wood on future rail capacity to London, will need to be the subject of ongoing discussions.”

He added: “This extends not only to train services but to commuter parking and likely travel habits.

“The frequency of services at Tonbridge station make this the more likely destination for commuters when compared to Paddock Wood.”

The borough council also called for TWBC to readdress the placement of a primary school in Capel, suggesting an alternative location between the new garden settlement in Tudeley and Paddock Wood.

By Brittany Tijou-Smith

Source: Kent Live

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Major plans revealed to build 14,000 new homes across south Worcestershire by 2041

A HUGE plan to build 14,000 extra homes across the south of Worcestershire in the next two decades has been revealed.

The revised draft South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) which sets out a blueprint for where homes, offices and other developments could be built up to 2041 includes a new 5,000 home village next to the soon-to-open Worcestershire Parkway railway station and an extra 1,000 homes in Rushwick.

The major document also includes plans to build 810 more homes across Worcester – including 495 homes in Diglis – as well as developments on the edge of the city including 101 homes in Bevere and 40 new homes in Fernhill Heath.

The document also sets out ambitions to build 730 homes in Droitwich, 880 homes in Malvern, 200 homes in Evesham and 600 homes in Pershore.

On top of that, 900 new homes have been earmarked to be built throughout villages in Wychavon and 390 homes throughout villages around Malvern.

A new 2,000-home town at Throckmorton Airfield near Pershore would also be built as well as a new secondary school and two primary schools, shops and offices and acres of land for employment.

The major new village near Worcestershire Parkway would include thousands of homes, a new secondary school and three primary schools, 50 hectares of employment space near to the M5, new shops and offices and would likely include a doctor’s surgery, a new police and fire station, a town hall, a leisure centre and sports facilities.

The ‘expansion’ plans for Rushwick also include a new railway station and 500-space car park and a new primary school.

The 14,000 extra homes would be on top of the 28,370 already assigned to be built in the current SWDP.

Planners across the three south Worcestershire district councils – Worcester City Council, Wychavon District Council and Malvern Hills District Council – looked at more than 900 potential sites for development.

Worcester City Council will have the first say on the plans next Tuesday (October 22) before councillors in Wychavon and Malvern Hills discuss it throughout the rest of the month.

If backed by all three councils, the updated SWDP will still have to go through a six-week public consultation – which would hopefully begin on November 4 – before approval.

By Christian Barnett

Source: Hereford Times