Chairman Cllr. Kim Fletcher introduces this special feature on the future development of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst.
CURRENTLY THERE ARE 2,700 homes in the parish and we are expected to have nearly 800 more within 10 years. Not since the 1950s/60s, when the Frythe and Wheatfield estates were built, has such a large change been planned for our community.
The parish council agreed to support a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) to come up with guidelines on how people felt new development could enhance our community for existing and new residents. Many people have been involved and a core group has gone beyond the call of duty to create our draft NDP document.
A consultation on this draft will run from mid October 2020 for eight weeks – an important opportunity to have your say in helping to shape the future of our community.
This is a chance to grasp the positives that development can bring – a revived High Street, reinforcement of Cranbrook as a centre for education, reviving small businesses, giving employment to local people.
There are constraints of which we are very aware: traffic volumes and pollution from the A229, the tendency of developers to build estates – not well-linked extensions to communities – and the damage to our views across this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). These are just some of the concerns.
There are plenty of existing planning policies that should protect against shoddy planning, but the NDP is our chance to enhance and protect our local community with specific policies.
The final NDP document has weight at planning once it has been adopted by vote by local people.
This is your opportunity to see the headlines and follow the full document online. We urge you to tell us your views and how you would like the parish to look in 10 years’ time.
Some of the comments are deliberately provocative to get you talking about the future of our wonderful corner of Kent.
What do you Think? Have Your Say!
Consultation on the neighbourhood development plan runs from mid-October for eight weeks.
All your comments will be taken into account and will help to inform the final version. Your voice matters and can make a difference!
• View and respond at www.cranbrookandsissinghurstndp.co.uk
• Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
• Or see hard copies and leave your comments at the Parish Office, The Old Fire Station, Stone Street, Cranbrook TN17 3HF.