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Parish Chairman’s Notes March 2024

Parish Chairman’s Notes March 2024

By the time you read this the consultation on the revisions to the Tunbridge Wells Local Plan will have closed. At the time of writing the parish council have agreed to finalise their representations at an extraordinary meeting on February 22nd. Our views will be informed by our consultants on highways and flooding issues, the costs for which will be shared with Save Capel.

At the council meeting on 29th January Fernham homes made a presentation to the Council on their proposal to develop 20-25 homes on the land at the end of Tolhurst Road. A range of questions were asked by members of the public present and by councillors relating to flooding, screening from existing properties, local needs affordable housing, size of the intended properties and access. At present the site is in the Green Belt. The developers are hoping to persuade the Public Inquiry Inspector to change its designation and anticipate bringing forward a planning application in the next few months

Following recent work on the toilets the council have further agreed to the replacement of the external public doors including new electric locks and for the refurbishment of the internal doors and privacy locks. This will cost just over £7 000. The Clerk is trying to obtain funding of up to £2,000, subject to qualification, from the KCC Member Grant Scheme to put towards this. The toilets are much used and this should ensure a modern facility for parishioners and visitors using the Recreation Ground for many years to come.

Capel Neighbourhood Plan: Cllr. Patterson prepared comments on the Examiner’s Clarification Note for councillors to discuss at the January meeting. These will be incorporated into the draft response prepared by our consultant which will be reviewed by the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party at a virtual meeting due to be held on February 14th . Our views will then go to the Examiner who we expect to publish a final version of the Plan in due course. A Parish Poll of all Capel residents would then take place, probably this summer. If agreed the Neighbourhood Plan would be an important document influencing planning decisions within the parish over the next two decades.

A number of residents are concerned about hedgehogs killed on roads throughout the parish. We are advised that warning signs can be placed, without the need for planning permission, on fences or planters belonging to the Parish Council or on a privately owned structures with the owner’s permission. The council agreed that the Clerk should advertise this information on social media and suggest that anyone interested in installing a warning sign makes contact clerk@capel-pc.org.uk

Why not become a parish councillor? Nominations open on March 11th – the process is very easy  you only need two other residents to sign your nomination papers.

Elections are due for the parish council in early May. Some existing members of CPC may wish to retire at the end of their term and the council could always do with fresh ideas and new blood. There are nine councillors altogether. Could you be one of them?

If you are interested, please contact Louise Goldsmith, Parish Manager and Clerk clerk@capel-pc.org.uk who can give you further information and supply you with nomination papers.