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Planning Committee approves development on important employment site

A new industrial estate for Tunbridge Wells on land at Lucks Lane, north of Paddock Wood, has been given the go ahead.

The strategic employment site, which developers say could support more than 2,000 jobs, was given outline approval by the Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday 19 October 2022, subject to completion of a legal agreement to secure over £250,000 of local infrastructure.

The development forms the first part of proposed plans to transform Paddock Wood into a garden settlement, through the delivery of 3,500 homes. New employment opportunities are an integral element of creating a sustainable community and jobs to serve the expanded town. The industrial estate will provide around 15,000sqm of floorspace for light and general industrial businesses, and a further 3,100sqm of additional office space.

The development accords with work the Council has undertaken in preparing its proposed new Local Plan and will include road widening at Lucks Lane and future improvements to the local road network, bus route enhancements, cycling and walking provisions and enhancements to biodiversity.

Councillor Hugo Pound, Cabinet member for Housing & Planning said: ‘The emerging local plan has been developed to ensure that we have right housing, employment and infrastructure in the right locations across the Borough to enable the whole area to flourish both now and in the future. This development is one step on that path and I welcome the decision to approve it. More local employment opportunities will be essential to sustainable development in Paddock Wood and beyond.

The developer’s plans include green space, and preservation and improvement of key areas of woodland, hedgerows and a local orchard.

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