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Land at Finches Farm, Five Oak Green

Planning Background

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council submitted its Local Plan for examination in October 2021.  The submitted Local Plan does not propose the allocation of any sites in Five Oak Green for residential development.  However, it did propose a new Garden Village of approximately 2,800 homes on Green Belt land a short distance to the west at Tudeley, within Capel Parish.

In November 2022, the Inspector tasked with examining the Local Plan wrote to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council with his initial findings.  In his letter, the Inspector, Mr Birkinshaw, explicitly stated that ‘exceptional circumstances have not been demonstrated to justify removing the [Tudeley Village] site from the Green Belt’, and went on to suggest that the Borough Council had three options:

  • To provide additional information to justify the Tudeley Village allocation
  • To modify the Local Plan by making significant changes to the Tudeley Village allocation
  • To delete the Tudeley Village allocation from the Local Plan

The Inspector made clear that, in his view, the deletion of the Tudeley Village allocation was the most beneficial option of the three.  In addition, the Inspector highlighted that there were also other issues with the Local Plan, which would require a significant amount of work for the Council to resolve.

In late 2023, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council confirmed that it intends to remove the Tudeley Village allocation from the Local Plan is not justified.  With the Tudeley Village allocation now unlikely to proceed, it is likely that there will be pressure on villages in the borough such as Five Oak Green to accept new, more modest in scale housing development to contribute towards meeting the borough’s housing needs.

In this context, Rydon Homes is proposing to submit a planning application for 140 homes on the land at Finches Farm.  Though the site is Green Belt and is not currently proposed for allocation by the Borough Council, we nonetheless feel that very special circumstances exist to justify development in this location, and these include:

  • New homes, including affordable housing
  • Additional facilities for Capel Primary School, including a car park for staff and land for pupil exercise and recreation
  • Flood alleviation measures, benefiting existing properties in Five Oak Green
  • Measures to improve pedestrian safety and reduce vehicle speeds along Five Oak Green Road, including a safe, dedicated off-road walking and cycling route between the school and the village, kerb build-outs and the relocation of the existing bus stops
  • Biodiversity Net Gain in excess of that required to simply mitigate the development of the site


Contact Us

If you have any queries, please contact Adam Robinson of SP Broadway on
07711 262 925 or at adam@spbroadway.com