Development of the Neighbourhood Plan – Regulation 16 Consultation

Development of the Neighbourhood Plan – Regulation 16 Consultation

Planning is Everything

Stage 1: Getting established
Stage 2: Preparing the plan
Stage 3: Bringing the plan into force

Stage 1: Getting Established

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

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.

Stage 2: Development of Design Codes and the Neighbourhood Plan

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

A Housing Needs Survey was carried out by AECOM in 2021.  Please use the link below to see a copy of the report and recommendations.

Capel Housing Needs Assessment_Final Report

The Neighbourhood Plan Working Party have spent several months developing Design Codes in conjunction with AECOM.

We are now delighted to share this report with you

221027_Capel_Final Report_LR

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (paragraph 126) notes, ‘good design is a key aspect of sustainable development, creates better places in which to live and work and helps make development acceptable to communities’.
Research, such as for the Government’s Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has shown that good design of buildings and places can improve health and well-being,
increase civic pride and cultural activity, reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and reduce pollution.
This document seeks to harness an understanding of how good design can make future development as endearingly popular as the best of what has been done before.

Through the Department for Levelling Up, Housingand Communities (DLUHC) Programme led by Locality, AECOM was commissioned to provide design support to Capel Parish Council.
Following the analysis of the parish, a set of architectural and design qualities have been created. This set of qualities combined with good design practice have shaped the design principles that any development within Capel parish should follow in order to comply with this Design Guidelines and Codes document.


Stage 3: Bringing the Plan into Force


Capel Parish Council submitted the Capel Neighbourhood Development Plan to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council on 8 August 2023 in accordance with Regulation 15 of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended).

In accordance with Regulation 16 the Borough Council is inviting representations on the Capel Neighbourhood Development Plan for a six-week period from 9am on 5 September to 5pm on 17 October 2023.

The submitted Plan and supporting documents can be viewed on the Borough Council’s website at or on the Capel Consultation Page.

A paper copy of the Plan and supporting documents will be available for viewing by appointment at the Capel Parish Council offices at Capel Village Hall off Falmouth Place, Five Oak Green, TN12 6RD. Please email the Clerk at to arrange an appointment.

Hard copies will also be on deposit at the Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RS. Please email to arrange an appointment.

The easiest way to submit comments on the Capel Neighbourhood Development Plan is online via the Consultation Portal.  You can also submit your comments in the following ways:

  • by email to:
  • by post to: Capel Neighbourhood Plan, Planning Policy, Planning Services, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RS

You can submit as many separate comments on the Plan as you wish, and you can also provide supporting documents to your response.

Further information and background documents on the Capel Neighbourhood Plan are available to view on the Parish Council’s website.

If you require further information on the Capel Neighbourhood Plan consultation process, please contact the Planning Policy Team on 01892 554056 or email

Yours sincerely,



Planning Policy Team

Planning Services


T: 01892 554056


Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1RS