Residents in the areas of Benenden and Goudhurst have agreed Neighbourhood Plans which will give their communities power to shape development and growth in their local areas.

Separate referendums took place on Thursday 3 February 2022 which resulted in clear majorities in favour of the Neighbourhood Plans.

A Neighbourhood Plan is created by the local community and it helps to guide development in the locality. Once a Neighbourhood Plan is in place it becomes part of a suite of plans used by the Borough Council to determine planning applications.

The parish councils prepared their Neighbourhood Plans with the assistance of professional planning advisors and with help and input from across their parish communities. Throughout the process they were supported by members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s Planning team who provided training, feedback and assistance, as well as advice on how the Neighbourhood Plan would work with the borough’s existing and emerging Local Plan.

Both Neighbourhood Plans were then examined by independent examiners before the referendums took place.

In Benenden turnout for the referendum was 56.3% and 665 votes out of 827 were in favour of the proposed Neighbourhood Plan.

In Goudhurst turnout for the referendum was 25.1% and 525 votes out of 570 were in favour of the proposed Neighbourhood Plan.

The Benenden Neighbourhood Plan and the Goudhurst Neighbourhood Plan will now be presented to the next Full Council meeting on 23 February 2022 to be formally adopted.