"We don't want Tenterden to become another Bournemouth"
Proposals to build a 56-bed care home and 23 units for assisted living on land north of Westwell Court were unanimously rejected at last night’s (4 May) meeting of Tenterden Town Council’s planning committee.
The meeting heard that significant new objections had been raised against the application, which has come before the committee on seven occasions over the past three years.
Councillors heard that developers of care homes and retirement flats would not be liable to make any financial contribution (known as Section 106 money) to benefit the town as a whole, unlike builders of domestic housing estates.
It was also pointed out that if Westwell Court’s application succeeded, together with two other pending proposals for developments designed for retirees, it would put an intolerable burden on Ivy Court Surgery.
Committee chairman Cllr John Crawford said that not one of the issues raised by the committee had been addressed in the new application.
They included failure to adhere to government planning guidelines and accord with the Local Plan; did not meet the design parameters on the layout of major developments; impacted on the setting of a High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; and breached tree protection rules. Committee vice chair Cllr Kate Walder said local residents had commissioned an independently produced tree survey, which reinforced the committee’s objections.
Following the meeting, Cllr Walder added: “We have had more than 300 letters from residents objecting to Westwell Court. Many of them are from retirees who say ‘we simply don’t need this development’.
“We don’t want Tenterden to become another Bournemouth or Lytham St Anne’s.”