The proposals in the draft Local Plan for additional housing in Tenterden in the period to 2030 are mainly limited to the implementation of Phase B of the TENT1 development. This was previously proposed to be developed during the period up to 2021 under the provisions of the Tenterden and Rural Sites Development Plan Document (adopted October 2010).
The development of the Tilden Gill site, which was recently granted outline planning permission on appeal, is not mentioned in the Local Plan.
It is proposed that the Beechwood Farm site lying between Acacia House and London Beach Golf Club and Hotel should be developed for “Exclusive” housing of up to three large properties of exceptional size and architectural quality. The draft Local Plan states:
“This site is located on the A28, Ashford Road on the entrance to the built up settlement of St. Michaels, Tenterden. The London Beach Golf Club and Hotel is situated to the north of the site but is not visible, due to the set back nature of buildings. The site is overgrown scrub and contains a significant mature tree and hedgerow boundary, including a prominent Oak on the road frontage. There are views to the open countryside on the opposing side of the road and the housing directly to the south comprises of detached dwellings in large curtilages, creating a rural setting…
The site was submitted for low density ‘high quality’ detached dwellings and is considered suitable for this ‘exclusive’ home purpose, for up to 3 dwellings only. This amount of development enables the retention of the mature trees and hedges, in particular the large Oak and enhancement of the pond that lies beneath it.
The design of the properties here must be sensitive to characteristics of the local area and design proposals must indicate how the immediate setting will be enhanced. The buildings must be of innovative and high quality design and must not harm the immediate or wider setting…”
It is proposed in the Plan that 7 additional pitches would be provided in the Borough by 2030 for the gypsy and traveller community, recognising that other sites would come forward through windfalls. The proposed sites close to Tenterden comprise two additional pitches at Priory Wood at Biddenden. The draft local Plan states:
“4.405 This existing gypsy and traveller site is located in the parish of Biddenden on the main Tenterden Road and within the Clapper Hill wooded farmlands landscape character area. It is located within a row of linear, low density development with a single access point provided between an extensive hedgerow, it is not visible from the road. The site currently has permission for one pitch which was granted in 2005. It is proposed that the area outlined above, which is only a small area of the overall site, has the capacity to provide for two additional pitches.”
The plan sets out policies for development of windfall sites including infilling. Of interest is the comment:
“However, it should be noted that there are opportunities for all communities through the Neighbourhood Plan process, to formally define the built confines of their settlements. Alternatively, mapping a settlement’s confines can also be achieved informally by Parish Councils through undertaking a ‘village envelope’ exercise working with the local community. On satisfactory completion of this exercise, the Borough Council will informally endorse the defined village envelope and will treat this as a material planning consideration for the purposes of determining relevant planning applications.”
The present policy restricting Non-A1 class usage of premises in the Primary Shopping Frontage of the High St to 35% of the frontage is to be discontinued. In future it is proposed that there will be no restrictions on usage of the premises in the High St according to usage class (A1, A2, B etc). It is proposed that conversion of upper floors of commercial premises to residential use will be acceptable. No change of use to residential use of the ground floors of commercial premises in the High St will be permitted.
The Plan proposes expansion of the Pickhill Business Centre to provide additional opportunities for commercial and business development in the Town.