28 November 2016
Tonbridge and Malling Green Party has issued a comprehensive response to TMBC's local plan proposals.
As well as responding to each of the 15 specific consultation questions, we set out our vision for a greener approach to planning and our position on the major issues that must be addressed by the new Local Plan.
A plan with a timeframe of 15 years, for an area of more than 90 square miles and with a population of over 120,000, should set out a vision for the kind of place it could be. We believe the draft Local Plan lacks ambition for our borough.
The Local Plan development process should be an opportunity to involve the public in a real discussion about about the type of communities that people would like to live and work in; the competing pressures on land; creating opportunities to work closer to home; smart ways to produce and use energy or how to reduce our dependency on cars.
Tonbridge & Malling could be a place that people visit to see how planning can contribute to a better quality of life for everyone while protecting the natural environment.
Instead the draft Local Plan appears to be the result of a largely technical exercise, taking as its starting point deeply debateable housing targets and sites identified by landowners and developers. The flawed market-driven, not planning driven, "Call for Sites" process has created understandable anxiety in communities, with sites identified as “suitable” that should never have been brought forward, while more suitable sites remain invisible to the process.
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