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Examination of the Local Plan

Following the period when representations were invited on the soundness of the Pre- Submission version of the Local Plan (Regulation 19), our Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State for independent Examination on 1 November 2021.

Representations received to the Pre-Submission (Regulation 19) Consultation have also been submitted to the Secretary of State along with a suite of evidence base documents and documents relating to tests of compliance. These documents are on our Core Documents page.

Click on a heading below to open and view the content in that section.


Matthew Birkinshaw BA(Hons) Msc MRTPI has been appointed by the Secretary of State as the Planning Inspector for the examination of the Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan 2020 - 2038.

The Inspector's task is to consider the soundness of the submitted Plan. The Inspector will also consider whether the Local Plan meets the requisite legal and procedural requirements. In order to do so, the Inspector will assess the Local Plan, the evidence base on which it was created, as well as all of the representations submitted during the public consultations.

The Programme Officer undertakes the administration of the examination under the direction of the Planning Inspector and all communications are handled by the Programme Officer.

The Programme Officer is Charlotte Glancy.

Contact details

Postal address

Programme Officer
C/O Banks Solutions
80 Lavinia Way
East Preston
West Sussex
BN16 1DD

Publication of Stage 2 Matters 2-5 Hearing Statements - 18 May 2022

Hearing Statements for Matters 2 to 5 (Week 2) can be viewed under the drop down heading Stage 2 Hearing Statements Weeks 2-4 below. Hearing Statements for Matters 6 to 9 (Weeks 3 to 4) will be uploaded in due course, when received from the Programme Officer.

Publication of revised Hearing Programme, Stage 2, Days 4-6 with Participants - 18 May 2022

Publication of revised Stage 2 Matters, Issues and Questions - 22 April 2022

Publication of revised Guidance Note, Hearing Programme and Stage 2 Matters, Issues and Questions - 14 April 2022

The Inspector has issued revised documentation for the Stage 2 part of the Local Plan Examination, these including a revised Guidance Note, revised Stage 2 Hearing Programme and revised Stage 2 Matters, Issues and Questions. They can be viewed below.

Publication of a Public Notice detailing Stage 2 Examination hearing dates - 12 April 2022

Under Regulation 24 of the Local Planning Regulations (2012, as amended), a Public Notice has been published setting out the dates, times and location of the Stage 2 Examination hearing sessions. The Public Notice can be viewed below.

Update from Inspector 7 April 2022

A post hearing letter from the Inspector (ID-08) has been published below. This letter sets out the Inspector’s decision to proceed to Stage 2. The documents mentioned in Paragraph 2 of the letter are published as PS-025PS-023 and PS-024. As stated in paragraph 3 of the letter, we are now working to agree dates for Stage 2. The relevant public notices will be published and a revised stage 2 programme when dates are agreed.

The Inspector has issued an agenda (ID-07 - set out below) for the additional Duty to Co-operate hearing session scheduled for 29 March 2022.

The Inspector has published a letter (ID-06 - set out below) regarding the Stage 1 hearings. This will have an impact on the programming of Stage 2 of the examination.

In light of the additional information and the invitation to respond, the Inspector has extended the deadline for submitting hearing statements for Stage 2. For the hearing session currently scheduled to take place on Thursday 24 March 2022, the deadline for submitting statements remains the same - Tuesday 15 March 2022. However, for hearing sessions due to take place in Week 3 of the examination (Tuesday 29 March – Friday 1 April 2022), the deadline for submitting hearing statements has been extended to Friday 18 March 2022.

Publication of the Inspector’s Guidance Note, Hearing Programme and Matters Issues and Questions

The Inspector has published his Examination Guidance Note, Hearing Programme and Matters Issues and Questions.

The Examination Guidance Note provides further information on the procedural and administrative arrangements for participants in the Examination, including relevant deadlines and how to contact the Programme Officer.

Please note that some typographical errors have been amended since version 1 of ID-04 was issued. The timetable itself has not been amended.

Publication of a Public Notice detailing Examination hearing dates

Under Regulation 24 of the Local Planning Regulations (2012, as amended), a Public Notice has been published setting out the dates, times and location of the Examination hearing sessions. The Public Notice can be viewed below.

If you have any queries on these documents, please direct them to the Programme Officer.

Those wishing to view the Examination hearing sessions are encouraged to do so online.

The Stage 1 hearing sessions (weeks 1 and 2) were held between Tuesday 1 March and Thursday 3 March and Tuesday 29 March in the Council Chamber and may be viewed via

Revised Stage 2 hearing sessions will be held between Wednesday 25 May and Tuesday 19 July.

The hearing sessions to be held on Wednesday 25 May to Friday 17 June (weeks 3 and 4) and Tuesday 5 July to Friday 8 July (week 6) will be conducted in Committee Rooms A & B.

The hearing sessions to be held on Tuesday 21 June to Friday 24 June (week 5) and Tuesday 12 July to Tuesday 19 July (weeks 7 and 8) will be conducted via Zoom.

All Stage 2 hearing sessions may be viewed via Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s YouTube channel. The streams for past sessions will be saved on the YouTube channel and will be added to the Stage 2 hearing sessions playlist.

Please see the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Hearing Programmes for the full timetable.

At the examination hearing session on Tuesday 1 March 2022, the Inspector asked the Council to provide minutes of meetings between Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Maidstone Borough Council. The Inspector also invited the Council to provide summaries of the meetings held as part of the 'Strategic Sites Working Group'. This information has now been provided. Should participants wish to make any comments on the additional information, this should be done in writing by Friday 11 March 2022. Additional comments should only relate to the further information provided. 

Should any changes be required to the scheduled hearing programme, participants will be notified in writing with updates provided through the examination website.

For information

Matter 1

Additional statements from absent participants from Matter 1 Hearings

The Stage 2 Hearing Statements for Weeks 3-4 will be made available when received (estimated w/c 23 May).

Matter 2

Matter 3

Matter 4

Matter 5

PS_010 Link to Interactive Policies Map (November 2021) (formerly document 3.153)

PS_019 Borough Landscape Character Assessment Supplementary Planning Documents (formerly document 3.162)

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and guidance from government, the Planning Inspectorate has published guidance on site visits, hearings, inquiries and events.

You can view the guidance on the GOV.UK website.