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Planning is Everything

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

Stage 1:

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.

Stage 2:

After the initial phase of community engagement, a full Neighbourhood Plan needs to be drafted. This will involve the appointment of a consultant, who will ensure that Capel’s plan will be fit for purpose and ready for pre-submission consultation (Regulation 14).

The government can provide funding for the consultant via a grant. We are applying for £10,000 and will have to spend this before the end of the financial year (31st March 2021).

Some examples of consultants’ work in neighbouring parishes can be viewed at:

Paddock Wood Neighbourhood Plan

Brenchley and Matfield Neighbourhood Plan

Goudhurst Neighbourhood Plan

The video in the Brenchley site is worth a watch!

At the end of this stage, we should have a Neighbourhood Plan document that has been inspected (to see if it meets Basic Conditions) and is ready to be put to a referendum.

Stage 3:

While our Neighbourhood Plan is being developed, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council will be preparing their Local Plan. The Local Plan is about all of the Borough. Our Neighbourhood Plan is just about Capel.

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. Drafts of the Capel Neighbourhood Plan will be shared with the Borough Council regularly in the hope that the Local Plan team will see how the community in Capel would like their Parish to evolve. We hope that the results of Neighbourhood Planning community engagement will also help to feed in to the Regulation 19 consultation process (March 2021) before the Local Plan is completed (July 2021) and adopted (December 2021). The Borough Council, The Parish Council and the Planning Inspectorate are all funded by the public, from the taxes we pay as residents and businesses.

When the Local Plan has been adopted, the Capel Neighbourhood Plan will be completed and 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.


A timeline of tasks can be viewed here.

If you don't build your own dream, someone else with hire you ro build theirs