Planning & Preservation Minutes 15th February 2022


Declaration of Interests, Dispensations and Predetermination:

Members are required to declare any interests, dispensations or predetermination on items on this agenda. Members are reminded that changes to the Register of Interests should be notified to the Clerk.

Present:  Cllrs. Bunyan (Chairman) and Cllrs. Fermor, Hatcher, Kings and Gilbert


Cllr. Bunyan proposed Cllr. Hatcher as Vice Chairman, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.



5 Hartley Court Gardens Cranbrook Kent TN17 3QY

Demolition of existing extensions connecting to garage and the construction of replacement extensions. 

The Parish Council recommended APPROVAL proposed by Cllr Hatcher, seconded by

Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.


Former Dulwich Preparatory School Course Horn Lane Cranbrook Kent TN17 3NP

Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of replacement two storey detached dwelling with detached single garage. (Revised details to permission 19/02136/FULL).

The Parish Council recommended REFUSAL for the following reason:

  • The Parish Council do not want the existing property demolished and there is no reason that conversion is not an option.

Proposed by Cllr. Bunyan, seconded by Cllr. Hatcher and agreed  


Rydal House Friezley Lane Cranbrook Kent TN17 2LL

Single storey front extension to porch and two storey rear extension to provide Dining room and two Bedrooms above. Removal of Dormer in loft to accommodate extension. 

The Parish Council recommended APPROVAL proposed by Cllr. Gilbert, seconded by

Cllr. Fermor and agreed.


Old Station Yard Hawkhurst Road Cranbrook Kent, TN17 2SR

Erection of commercial building with capacity for three small units and one large unit.

The Parish Council recommended APPROVAL subject to conditions limiting the opening times/ noise levels.  Proposed by Cllr. Kings, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.


Sissinghurst Castle Biddenden Road Sissinghurst Cranbrook Kent TN17 2AB 

Repairs to collapsed ceiling in the Vita writing room, Sissinghurst Tower.

The Parish Council recommended APPROVAL subject to the views of the Conservation Officer. Proposed by Cllr. Kings, seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed. 


Santolina The Common Sissinghurst Cranbrook TN17 2AD

Removal of existing gates and replacement with new gates and posts.  

The Parish Council recommended APPROVAL proposed by Cllr. Fermor, seconded by

Cllr. Hatcher and agreed.



Dulwich Preparatory School Course Horn Lane Cranbrook TN17 3NP

Erection of a pair of semi-detached houses and one detached house. Revised siting and design for Plots 6, 7 & 8. Revised parking and garaging arrangements. Incorporation of additional land in the garden areas of Plots 6, 7 & 8 (revisions to planning permission 19/02136/FULL)  

The Committee noted the above appeal.


21/03914/FULL – Fernham Homes Application

Cllr. Bunyan read out correspondence sent to Fernham Homes following a recent meeting with them to discuss their recent planning application.  A response had been received to the points raised which had been fully discussed by the Committee. Some of the concerns raised have been dealt with but there a few which still have not been addressed.  It was agreed to forward the correspondence to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Planning Department so that they are fully aware of discussions taking place which are attached to these minutes.  The Parish Council were very happy to engage further with Fernham Homes as necessary. 

Correspondence to Fernham Homes and responses received in red:

Thank you for meeting with Kim (Parish Chairman) and me (Cllr. Bunyan) on Friday to go through your planning application and the Parish Council Planning Committee’s recommendation.

I have detailed below our understanding of your comments on the details of our objections.

  1. Provision of rear access to 1-4 Oliver Cottages.  This is already being discussed with the residents and you are happy to provide access.  The two Visitor parking spaces would need to be moved a little to the east.  COULD BE DEALT WITH BY CONDITION. At our meeting we noted that we had been in discussions with 4 and 3 Olivers Cottages.  Discussions are ongoing in respect of this matter directly with property owners but it is not a consideration for this planning application nor is it a policy requirement.  Any mutual agreement to do so would only be in the eventuality that the double yellow lines were extended beyond the current proposals at the site entrance.
  2. Housing Mix.  Home working space is being provided as required by potential purchasers.  
  3. Appearance/materials.  The D&A shows details and photos of proposed materials.  THIS CAN BE DEALT WITH BY CONDITION. Agreed. 
  4. Car Parking is too dominant.  KCC prefer side by side parking which inevitably makes cars more visible.  
  5. Over development of site.  Fernham Homes have started at the bottom line and designed homes that would enable them to minimise the loss they envisage making on the development.  The

viability study will be forward to us – it is not confidential.  RECEIVED THANK YOU.  You stated that it would be unviable to reduce the numbers. Confirmed.

  • Units 18 and 19.  You agreed that the rear roof gable ends would be changed to hips to reduce the bulk appearance of the building.  CAN BE DEALTH WITH BY CONDITION. Agreed, we will discuss this at the post submission meeting with TWBC, the changes will not be dealt with by way of condition but could be dealt with by amending the planning submission pack if TWBC are in agreement with the change.    A FURTHER SUGGESTION:  to reduce the bulk of the houses on the eastern side of the development – would it not be possible to a) reduce the pitch of the roof to say 30-35degrees and/or b) lower the eaves by say 700mm and have a small part of the slope of the roof within the first floor rooms?  The other houses are not so imposing on existing dwellings as they are further away from them, reducing the pitches as suggested would also be going against guidance set out on page 33 of the HWAONB Design Guide. For this reason we propose to leave as shown.
  • Cycle and bin storage.  Cycle storage will be policy compliant and sheds have been costed for in the Viability document.  All properties will be able to store bins in the gardens.  ALL TO BE DEALT WITH BY CONDITION. Agreed.
  • Energy Efficiency.   You are already more energy efficient than is required by Building Regulations and will be providing each property with an EV charging point, air tightness of 4 air changes per hour (Bld Regs currently 10).  It is however possible to considerably improve on the U values of the walls, floors and roofs.  The Village Hall will have PV installed on south facing roof slopes.   I HOPE YOU HAVE ALREADY SEEN THE PARISH COUNCIL’S ECO DESIGN GUIDE. Agreed. 
  • The Spine road should be adopted.  This has not been decided but the road will be built to the adoptable standard.   TO BE DEALT WITH BY CONDITION. The road will be built to an adoptable standard but we are not committing to it being adopted at this stage, we will consider this as part of the detailed design.
  • Street Lighting.  You confirmed that the Village is a dark skies village and that the only lighting that will be installed will be bollard lighting around the Village Hall. Confirmed.
  •  Public footpath flooding/ponding.  You stated that the soakaways proposed will go down by up to 8m to ensure that surface water can drain away through the gravelly seam well below the upper level of clay which retains water causing the flooding on the footpath. Correct but please note the surface water drainage strategy for the scheme will only deal with on-site drainage surface water, it will not alleviate or reduce any existing flooding/ponding issues in areas outside of the site boundary. 
  • St George’s history panel.  As already agreed with the St. George’s Committee, you would provide a framed panel of the green corrugated iron, etc to be placed in the Lobby of the new Village Hall. Agreed.
  • New Village Hall.  Acknowledge that some minor alterations will be needed in consultation with the Village Hall Committee. Alterations would be limited to internal only and not affect the external appearance/elevations of the proposal. 
  • Disabled/Drop off area.  You suggested that the disabled parking space could be moved to the space nearest to the entrance of the Hall – for disabled and also to allow deliveries to be made to the Hall.  CAN BE DEALT WITH BY CONDITION. Agreed.

This letter will be forward to the Planning Committee for further discussion at our next meeting on Tuesday 15th February.

Thank you for leaving some of the planning documents with us.  This has allowed me to study the site to a greater depth and revealed some extra concerns that I have (just me, I have not discussed these with the Planning Committee as yet.)  

  1. Parking.  The spaces appear to be rather narrow and some may not be usable. Parking sizing is compliant with the latest standards and consistent with other sites.
  2. Parking for house 13.  If a little extra garden was used, then neither parking space would be in front of house 8.  This would make the garden of plot 13 smaller and we would be resistant to reducing the garden further as we do not think it would provide an appropriate level of amenity. We had

previously proposed tandem parking to allow for greater spacing out of parking spaces in this area but TWBC and KCC Highways were opposed to this proposal. 

  • This would enable the parking spaces for 6-8 to be spaced out and for vegetation to be introduced between each property’s parking spaces. As above.
  • Houses 6-8.  We understood the reasoning behind making these houses face the Village Hall car park but feel that moving them to face into the development with gardens at the back (Village Hall end) would be better for those living there. This is a challenge as KCC, TWBC and Kent Police were in favour of the proposed orientation for these units (facing onto the path). It is considered that the current arrangement provides active frontages so that the footpath is overlooked to ensure safety for all. Any amendments would need to be considered in dialogue with all consultees and TWBC.
  • This would mean high fences/walls at the ends of the garden, so extra lighting for the footpath would be needed for security. As above. 
  • Parking for house 12 is currently and completely in front of house 11.  I would suggest moving house 12 further into its garden and placing both parking spaces in front of house 12.  This would result in the reduction of plot 12’s garden and create a poor composition for plots 11 and 12 as they would no longer read as a semi-detached arrangement. We therefore propose to leave these as shown (subject to any further comment from TWBC).  
  • This would then enable the parking spaces for houses 9-11 to be spaced out and for vegetation to be introduced and also provide a Visitor’s parking space at the far end. As above.
  • I am also concerned about the lack of space in front of the front doors of houses 13-19 from a safety point of view.  Could they be provided with a fence (low picket fence, perhaps) across their frontages with access from the driveway? This could be done but would lead to the loss of the soft landscaping frontage in front of each of the units in question as there would then need to be a path running behind the suggested fence which would be hard up against the house frontage, in place of what is currently proposed to be soft landscaping.
  • Could the parking for house 19 be moved to the other side of the property?  This would reduce the bulk.  It would also reduce the first floor accommodation, making it a true 2 bed house.  There is not enough space to do this as the parking is deeper than the unit itself so to hand the unit would require pulling units 14-18 further south which would lead to increased removal of the southern boundary tree and planting buffer which would cause harm in respect of the landscape visual impact of the site.

I would be grateful, if you would go through the above and let me have your comments before Tuesday – we meet first thing in the morning.  As you are aware, the Parish Council is supportive of the development in principle, but this is a very sensitive site.  It must be right.  Sissinghurst has already taken a lot of new homes in the last few years and I can understand the feelings of those living within the village.

Further comments to TWBC.  

S106 monies should be ring fenced for Sissinghurst – particularly that for primary education.  We agree to this position.

Sissinghurst has resisted road markings and would be particularly unhappy if double yellow lines were proposed!  The double yellow lines are proposed at the entrance junction as these have been specifically requested by KCC Highways and therefore we must provide these to comply with their safety request.  May we suggest you include this in your follow up comments for consideration by the Case Office.

Should TWBC approve the application we would hope to see included the many conditions suggested by the statutory consultees.


The Clerk read out the decisions received from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.


Cllr. Hatcher informed the meeting that there were new documents regarding the Brick Kiln Farm site on the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Planning Portal.

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