Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is developing a Local Plan to determine the strategy and location for growth over the period up to 2036. The Borough has to deliver over 13,900 homes in this period, and the need for housing reflects the acute local and nationwide requirement for new homes which cannot be ignored.
There are challenges in finding suitable sites in a borough constrained by landscape factors: 69% is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, much is Ancient Woodland, the Green Belt extends over large areas, and there are few brownfield sites for redevelopment.
As a local landowner, the Hadlow Estate responded to Tunbridge Wells Call for Sites by putting forward land to the east of Tudeley as a potential site for a new village community and land adjacent to Tonbridge as a location for a new secondary school. Both have been allocated in the Draft Local Plan.
The Estate has a long heritage and deep rooted connection to the area, having contributed to the local economy for generations: providing housing and jobs, land for schools and hospitals, managing the landscape through farming and conservation, and contributing to local culture and heritage.
The Estate is our home and we care about getting this right.
In contrast to a volume housebuilder or developer, the Hadlow Estate has a long-standing, deep-rooted connection to the area; a history of stewardship of the land and buildings and an understanding of the local environment which can be seen in the many and varied estate-wide conservation initiatives.
Our aspiration is for a new community at Tudeley, not just houses. This will not be a housing estate of identikit houses without connection to the wider landscape. It will be a place to live, work, relax and learn within a community that can enjoy generous green spaces for wildlife and leisure.
Our inspiration is The Prince’s Foundation’s approach to development and the well-designed, beautiful, mixed use communities pioneered by the Duchy of Cornwall at Poundbury, Tregunnel Hill and Truro in Cornwall, and by landowners in Scotland at Tornagrain and Chapelton.
The Estate’s approach requires a long-term commitment and involvement throughout the project, from design to delivery, and we will be working closely with local residents, tenants, councillors, planners and others to shape the vision of this new village community at the masterplanning stage and beyond.
The aim is to continue providing good quality, well built homes and workplaces for the next generation of local residents – something the Estate has done for many years. We believe it is possible to build the conservation areas of the future – places that people, young and old, are proud to call home.
Consultation with residents, our tenants, councillors, planners and others to inform the emerging masterplan is at the heart of our approach.
We appreciate that change is difficult and development is not always welcome. However the nationwide housing crisis requires responsible action and we believe the Estate can play a role in addressing the need for good quality homes and workspaces in the area, with a long-term vision for a master-planned new village community, built beautifully, to last.