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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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