TMBC Local Plan Set Back
The Tonbridge and Malling Local Plan was submitted for formal examination in January 2019, where it has now been assessed by two Examining Inspectors.
TMBC during the examination confirmed that if they delayed the progression of their Local Plan to accommodate some of the unmet need from Sevenoaks District Council, they would have had to essentially re-start the whole process, to plan for the increased housing need, based on the housing calculation method.
The Inspector however, in reviewing TMBCs Local Plan was in disagreement with this standpoint, as he considered that:
‘’The Council knew…it was highly unlikely that SDC would be able to meet its housing requirement in full. Despite this there is no evidence that the Council engaged in any meaningful discussions with SDC to consider how the strategic matter of unmet need could be resolved.
The Inspector went onto conclude that:
‘’Tonbridge and Malling were complicit…for having said no without any active, ongoing and constructive engagement. This is not indicative of an attempt by Tonbridge and Malling Council to engage constructively or actively to resolve this issue of unmet need.”
With the primary concerns relating to compliance, and in particular a failure to meet the Duty to Cooperate (DtC) test, it is anticipated that the proposal Local Plan will be withdrawn, in accordance with duties under Sections 20 (5) (c) and (7) of the Act.
The postponement in the provision of an up to date local plan is likely to result in opportunities for land owners and developers, for both speculative applications and future local plan promotion. If you have a site, building or land in TMBC, feel free to get in contact with our Planning Director Thijs Bax or a member of our team on 01580 230974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.