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The new Local Plan for Tunbridge Wells borough will provide the basis for determining the suitability of development proposals across the borough to 2038.

Much has changed since 2010, when the current strategic plan (the Core Strategy) was adopted, in particular the increased levels of housing and economic development need.

The role of the Local Plan is to set out the spatial vision and strategic objectives for the borough, as well as the development strategy needed to meet those objectives. It details overarching place shaping policies for each parish and settlement within the borough, as well as specific site allocations to deliver the strategy, and detailed development management policies to be applied to all new developments across the borough.

It aims to strike a balance between:

  • growth to meet current and future housing needs
  • safeguarding the borough’s important natural and historic environments

Consultation took place on Issues and Options for the new Local Plan in 2017 and on a Draft Local Plan in autumn 2019. Response reports setting out all duly made comments have been published.

Having considered comments from these earlier consultations and undertaken more evidence work, the Borough Council has now published its Pre-Submission Local Plan. This is subject to a 10-week period for making representations from 26 March to 4 June 2021.

The process and overall timetable for the Local Plan, as well as for other planning documents, is contained in the Council’s latest Local Development Scheme (February 2021).

When finally adopted, the new Local Plan will replace the existing 2006 Local Plan, the Core Strategy (2010) and the Site Allocations Local Plan (2016).