Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Planning and Transportation Advisory Board - Tuesday, 29th September, 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: online via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Democratic Services  Email:

Link: View Meeting

No. Item

PE 20/17

Declarations of interest pdf icon PDF 3 KB


There were no declarations of interest made in accordance with the Code of Conduct.

Matters for Recommendation to the Cabinet

PE 20/18

Planning for the Future and Other Planning Reforms pdf icon PDF 244 KB

The report summarises the Government’s current proposals for reforming the planning system and seeks approval for the draft responses, as annexed to the report, in order that the Council’s views on the ‘Changes to the Current Planning System’ and the ‘Planning for the Future’ consultations may be submitted by the respective deadlines of 1st and 29th October, 2020.

Additional documents:


The report of the Director of Planning, Housing and Environmental Health summarised the Government’s current proposals for reforming the planning system.


In addition, the Borough Council’s proposed responses to the Governments consultations ‘Changes to the Current Planning System (set out in  Annex 1) and ‘Planning for the Future’ (set out in Annex 2) were presented for consideration.  The deadline for submission was 1 and 29 October respectively.


Careful consideration was given to the proposed changes to the current planning system (set out in paragraph 1.2 of the report). Members expressed significant concern about the revision to the standard methodology for assessing housing need and the potential requirement for Tonbridge and Malling to generate 1,440 units annually.  It was noted that if this figure was confirmed as the new housing need allocation for the Borough it represented a doubling of the figure currently in the submitted Local Plan.


A number of other concerns were also raised including the fragility of the current infrastructure network to support any increase in local development; whether the proposed increased housing figures could realistically be delivered; the loss of decision making by residents and elected members; the lack of affordable housing for local people, particularly first time buyers, and the lack of suitable mix of accommodation types and the proposals around ‘permission in principle.


It was also commented that the performance of the Borough Council in delivering new houses was well above average nationally and disappointment was expressed that Tonbridge and Malling appeared to have been penalised for performing so well in the past.


However, Members recognised the importance of retaining employment land in the Borough and providing suitable accommodation for all.


A technical response on the issues raised was provided by the Director of Planning, Housing and Environment Health, the Head of Planning Policy and the Development Control Manager.


Careful consideration was then given to the Planning for the Future White Paper and Members expressed significant concern regarding affordability in the South East; the proposal to identify land types and how conflicts regarding growth areas, renewal areas and protected areas would be resolved and the missed opportunities regarding climate change and providing accommodation for older persons.


With regard to establishing a standard method for housing requirements (Proposal 4) it was suggested that the response to question 8(a) be revised to include ‘no’ or ‘not’ sure’.  This was noted by the Head of Planning Policy who would consider the response further before final submission.


The Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure reminded Members that there would be further discussion on the Planning White Paper at Cabinet on 14 October and encouraged all to submit comments in advance of this meeting. 


A technical response on the issues raised was provided by the Head of Planning Policy and the Development Control Manager. The Director of Planning, Housing and Environmental Health also offered to detail the points and concerns raised that could not be included in the Borough Councils consultation response in a covering letter to Government.


Finally,  ...  view the full minutes text for item PE 20/18

Matters for consideration in Private

PE 20/19

Exclusion of Press and Public pdf icon PDF 4 KB

The Chairman to move that the press and public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting during consideration of any items the publication of which would disclose exempt information.


There were no matters considered in private.