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Support

Proposed Submission Development and Site Allocations (DaSA) Local Plan

Representation ID: 24388

Received: 07/12/2018

Respondent: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Representation:

RDC and TWBC have previously engaged in joint discussion relating to cross boundary issues under the Duty to Cooperate (DtC).

One issue relates to the A21/A268 crossroads at Flimwell. TWBC considers that highway improvements are required. TWBC would welcome further discussion with RDC on this matter.

The main urban area of Royal Tunbridge Wells acts as a service centre for parts of the rural north of Rother District. As agreed, TWBC will keep Rother informed of any developments or changes which may affect the provision of such services. It is also known that Rother residents use facilities in nearby settlements such as Hawkhurst and Sandhurst. It is anticipated that where the expansion or new provision of such facilities is required, financial contributions may be sought from development within Rother.

TWBC would be happy to continue regular liaison and DtC meetings with RDC. Without prejudging the outcome of the TWBC local plan work there should be no presumption that there is capacity within the borough of Tunbridge Wells to accommodate unmet development needs from another authority area.

TWBC is undertaking preparation of a new Local Plan and is currently preparing for consultation next year.

Full text:

Duty to Cooperate

RDC and TWBC have previously engaged in joint discussion relating to cross boundary issues such as housing, employment, transport, infrastructure, water resource and supply (Bewl Water), landscape, AONB, the Ashdown Forest and other needs under the Duty to Cooperate (DtC).

One issue that has formed part of these discussions relates to the A21/A268 crossroads at Flimwell. It is known that HGVs currently have problems turning left from Hawkhurst onto the A21 at the crossroads, causing serious detriment to highway safety. TWBC considers that highway improvements are required to rectify this problem. Given this and the fact that there may possibly be further development at Hawkhurst, as indicated by a current submission which TWBC is considering for an Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Opinion (18/03008/EIASCO) for residential led development of around 400 dwellings including a relief road and associated infrastructure on the site of Hawkhurst Golf Club (High Street at Hawkhurst); this warrants further the need for highway improvements at the crossroads. TWBC would welcome further discussion with RDC on this matter.

It is recognised that the main urban area of Royal Tunbridge Wells (RTW) acts as a service centre for parts of the rural north of Rother District where residents are likely to travel to RTW for work, medical needs (including the hospital at Pembury), shopping and leisure. As agreed in previous DtC discussions, TWBC will keep Rother informed in future engagement of any developments or changes which may affect the provision of such services. It is also known that Rother residents use other facilities, such as medical facilities and educational facilities in nearby settlements such as Hawkhurst and Sandhurst located in close proximity to the southern borough boundary of Tunbridge Wells. It is anticipated that where the expansion or new provision of such facilities is required, financial contributions may be sought from development within Rother district towards the funding of such provision.

It is noted that the Rother DaSA Local Plan document does not make any reference to the DtC or the possibility of RDC asking for assistance to meet any unmet needs (housing/economic) from an adjoining authority area or vice versa. We can confirm that TWBC would be happy to continue regular liaison and DtC meetings with RDC as the RDC DaSA Local Plan progresses to examination, and in relation to the progression of the new TWBC Local Plan, and allocations within this - please see below. However, without prejudging the outcome of the TWBC local plan work there should be no presumption that there is capacity within the borough of Tunbridge Wells to accommodate unmet development needs from another authority area. We would ask that account is taken of this when considering the representations made to the Regulation 19 consultation.

As you will be aware from previous engagement and DtC meetings, TWBC is also undertaking preparation of a new Local Plan, which is intended to have a plan period of 2013-2033. Having completed the Issues and Options consultation process last year, TWBC is currently preparing the Draft Local Plan document ready for consultation (Regulation 18) next year and will formally consult RDC when the plan progresses to this stage.

We hope this information and response is of assistance and clarifies TWBC's position.