Your Chance to Have Your Say
TMBC has changed the consultation process for the first stage (Regulation 18) of the Local Plan, from the way they conducted the previous consultation. A ‘Call for Sites’ has resulted in a large number of sites put forward by owners, especially around Wrotham and there is a database online. No attempt has been made to select preferred ones, unlike 2018. We can still comment on sites but TMBC has not, apart from some basic facts. Instead their preferred sites, controversial or otherwise, will be published at stage two (Regulation 19), scheduled for August 2023. This has been skillfully managed to be some months after the Borough Elections in May 2023.
The positive aspect is that the public are being asked to comment on fundamental questions about how decisions are to be made around site selection. It remains to be seen how much this influences the evolving Local Plan.For example we are asked to give views on where development should be prioritised with five options including “Beyond the Green Belt boundary”, which is the perfect NIMBY answer for Wrotham. Personally I am in favour of each community having some development but in proportion to the size of the settlement. We are all aware of young families who struggle to find affordable housing.
I attach a document that helps with answering both parts of the current consultation either online or by email. There are instructions on how to access the site database and comment on individual sites and another guide on how to navigate the 50 questions on ‘Strategic Matters’ meaning, in part, what criteria should guide the Plan, in site selection. I have included my personal views in blue text; which may or may not coincide with yours.
Cllr Pete Gillin
Chairman of Planning Committee