Planning is Everything
Stage 1: Getting established
Stage 2: Preparing the plan
Stage 3: Bringing the plan into force
A request was submitted by Capel Parish Council (CPC) to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) in August 2019 to produce a Neighbourhood Plan. A formal application was then submitted by CPC in October 2019. TWBC approved the application in February 2020.
The documents relating to this process can be viewed at https://www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/planning/planning-policy/neighbourhood-plans/capel.
The first Covid lockdown began in March 2020 and the Capel Neighbourhood Plan Working Party was formed in June 2020. The Working party created the initial questionnaire, distributed it, analysed the results and drafted the preparatory document for the Vision for Capel.
The publication of the Vision for Capel preparatory document in November 2020 marked the end of Stage 1.
Following the initial phase of community engagement, a full Neighbourhood Plan needs to be drafted. We appointed Jim Boot and Alison Eardley both Community Planners in 2021 who have been assisting us through the various stages and consultation ensure that Capel’s plan will be fit for purpose and ready for pre-submission consultation (Regulation 14). To date their fees have been fully funded by grants. In addition we appointed AECOM to assist us with preparing Design Codes which will provide templates for how we would like any development, small or large, to look in Capel.
We have now held three public workshops to obtain ideas and feedback from residents. In the workshops we have developed a draft vision statement which can be found in the presentation documents below. We used maps to identify the settlements within Capel and to identify the features that make each one so distinctive in terms of design, landscaping, open spaces, build form and sustainability. We have conducted ‘walkabouts’ around the whole area with the consultants to reinforce our understanding.
Click here to see a copy of the report and information from the first Vision and Design Workshop Capel Neighbourhood Plan Visioning and Design Workshop 13 April 2022 Report
Click here to see a copy of the slides and information from the Vision and Design Workshop held on the 30 May 2022 workshop 2 vision and design presentation copy
We hope to share the draft Design Codes and Neighbourhood Plan in the next couple of weeks and would welcome any comments. The Neighbourhood Plan document then has to be inspected (to see if it meets Basic Conditions) and is ready to be put to a referendum.
When the Local Plan has been finalised, the Neighbourhood Plan will have to work alongside it. The Capel Neighbourhood Plan can’t change what is in the Local Plan but it can define how developments in Capel that are described in the Local Plan should be implemented, especially with regard to Design Codes (the way buildings, roads and landscaping look and feel) and infrastructure. When the Capel Neighbourhood Plan is complete it will be put to a Referendum. The question that will be asked to all Capel residents will be very simple:
Do you want Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Capel to help it decide
planning applications in Capel?
If there is a majority Yes vote the Neighbourhood Plan for Capel becomes part of the statutory development plan for the Borough of Tunbridge Wells.
Click here to see a copy of the timeline to see what has been achieved and what the next steps are Capel Neighbourhood Plan – Project Plan 061221