Tenterden town councillors are studying radical new government proposals to change the planning laws.
The Town Council’s planning committee last night (Monday, 7 September) reviewed a letter from Ashford Borough Council (ABC) leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson, in which he outlined provisional proposals in the ‘Planning for the Future’ white paper. ABC is the principal planning authority for Tenterden.
The letter said that the white paper proposed simplifying local plans and creating three areas for potential developments – growth areas to allow substantial development, renewal areas with some development, and protected areas where strict controls would apply.
He added: “It is likely that Ashford will be expected to increase the number of new dwellings being built each year as a result of these changes. There are also changes proposed to the affordable housing threshold, which would mean less of these are required in the borough.”
Tenterden Town Council planning committee chairman Cllr John Crawford requested that every member of the Town Council should submit their comments on the proposals. “It is important that we reach a consensus council view and take a pro-active stance, as this will have major implications on the borough and town as to where developers will have automatic outline planning permission to build ”, he said. “This has serious unintentional consequences where development could be granted that is totally unsuitable and unsustainable. There has to be suitable challenge allowed by the community to ensure the right type of development takes place in the right places to provide homes with sustainable transport to centres of employment.”
Cllr Crawford is also attending a conference staged by the Kent Association of Local Councils and the Countryside Charity (formerly the Campaign to Protect Rural England) to help formulate an initial response to the white paper.
Click here to read the government white paper.