Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Some of our services have temporarily stopped or changed. See our Changes to Council services page for services’ status and our Coronavirus updates section for latest information.

Rural Land Owners

If you are a land owner with land in one of the villages in the Borough and would be interested in selling the land and in doing so benefiting the local community, then Tunbridge Wells Borough Council would be interested to hear from you.

If the land is situated outside of the 'Limits to Built Development (LBD)' and therefore in an area where development for market housing would not normally be permitted, it may still be possible to sell your land to a Housing Association (HA) for a local needs housing scheme.

HA's are not for profit organisations that provide much needed affordable housing for local communities. They are regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency and provide good quality, energy efficient affordable homes to rent or lease.

To be considered the land would need to: 

  • be well related to the village it is intended to serve
  • normally not more than 400 metres from the edge of the LBD of the village
  • have safe pedestrian access to key local services, for example a school, shops or be located where pedestrian links can be readily provided
  • have the scope to provide good vehicular access, without any significant visibility problems

Sites outside of the LBD where market housing would not normally be permitted, will impact on the price that you can expect to receive for the land. In recent years HA's have paid circa £5,000 - £10,000 per dwelling unit.

Factors that will influence the price that a HA will be able to pay for the land are:

  • whether the land is fully serviced (i.e. close to services such as utilities and highways) or not
  • abnormal costs such as land clearance, flood defences, contamination or wildlife mitigation
  • requirement to put in footpath links to the village centre and other highway/access measures.

Any housing built would be prioritised for people with a local connection to the parish using the following criteria:

  • living in the parish for a specified time
  • strong family connections to the parish
  • employment within the parish
  • providing an important service to the wider community

For all rural exception sites, planning conditions are imposed to ensure that properties are kept in perpetuity for local people with an identified housing need.

If you would like more information or wish to discuss some land that you own then please contact the affordable housing officers or the planning policy team.

A - Z of council services