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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

Stages of the Local Plan

The new Local Plan has been through three previous periods of public consultation, as indicated on the flow chart below. These have related to an Issues and Options (Regulation 18) stage, a Draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) stage and most recently a Pre-Submission version of the  Local Plan (Regulation 19).

Flow chart showing the stages of the Local Plan

Further detail about these previous stages of the Local Plan is available.

The Local Plan has now been submitted, along with all supporting documents, to the Secretary of State for independent examination, the next stage in the statutory plan making process. Further information is available on the Examination of the Local Plan.

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 (October 2021). The Council will be reviewing the Local Development Scheme soon.

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).