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World-renowned architect to support community masterplanning workshops in Kent

Pioneering architect and town planner Andrés Duany has been appointed by the Hadlow Estate to lead a series of innovative design workshops for a new community in Kent.

Mr Duany is internationally renowned for understanding and planning successful communities using the inclusive “charrette” process. This is an interactive series of workshops and design sessions which draw together the community, council representatives and other stakeholders to develop a vision for how a proposed new village in Tudeley might look.

Land to the east of Tudeley, between Tonbridge and Paddock Wood, is owned and managed by the Hadlow Estate and has been identified in the draft Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Local Plan as a potential site for a new village of up to 2,800 homes over a 30-year period, alongside public open space, employment and other facilities. Tunbridge Wells BC needs to deliver almost 14,000 new homes by 2036.

Harry Teacher of the Hadlow Estate said: “Our family has long-standing links with the area and we intend to be here for many years to come. We want to work with local people to design a community which we are all proud to call home and which will make a positive social, environmental and economic contribution to the area.

“We have appointed Andrés Duany who is renowned for designing sustainable, walkable and beautiful mixed-use communities that respect and enhance the landscape. Andrés is responsible for many award-winning schemes around the world. I’ve visited a number of these communities and they are outstanding examples of what can be achieved when people share their ideas, knowledge and needs.

“In this way, we hope that if change does come to Tudeley, it can be sensitively designed and delivered. It is an opportunity for everyone to be involved in this discussion at an early stage.

“We do not want to create a “monoculture” housing estate lacking facilities and a sense of community. We support the principle of creating new sustainable communities with their own infrastructure, rather than over-extending existing towns and villages. We have been inspired by the approach to development of The Prince’s Foundation, which supports the delivery of great place-making and high-quality homes for all budgets.”

The week-long charrette will start on Saturday, 14th March, with a presentation of the masterplan proposals on Saturday, 21st March. There will be a series of discussions and workshops across a broad range of issues including highways and transport, heritage, landscape, open space, education and health.

The charrette will be taking place at the One Warwick Park Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, and at the town’s Spa Hotel. A dedicated project website with dates and details of how people can take part can be found here.

Harry added: “We understand that not everyone may support the principle of a new community at Tudeley and, ultimately, that’s for the local authority and the Local Plan process to determine. The charrette is addressing one question only: If change does come to Tudeley, how can it be sensitively designed and delivered?  This is an opportunity for everyone to be involved in the discussions at an early stage. Participation at the charrette is not about the overall principle.”

Andrés Duany is a co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism, and co-wrote a number of books on modern urban planning, including Garden Cities: Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism, which was published by The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment. He has worked on projects across the world using the innovative charrette process, which involves a high level of community consultation, from which a masterplan emerges.

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