Daffodils by the gateLamb with room to run.Headcorn High streetHyacinths at back doorKentish farm house in winter



WKPS is a non-political environmental pressure group, registered charity 261992.   We have three main aims:

  • To protect and enhance the character and environment of the Wealden towns, villages and countryside
  • To safeguard the amenities of the Weald of Kent
  • To cultivate a wider interest in and care for the beauty, history and character of the Weald of Kent
Please Click this link to download the
Annual Report & Accounts 2014


The Planning Committee met in early April, the first meeting since early February.   This bulletin therefore contains news relating to applications dealt with and decisions handed down over late February and March as well as items up for review at the April meeting.
15/00113/AS – Land known as Oakleigh Field west of Oakleigh Farm, High Halden – Proposed Farrier’s Forge with new vehicular access.  WKPS supported the proposal as did CPRE. ABC REFUSED (again).
15/00094/AS – Posser Farm, Pluckley Road, Smarden – Prior approval of proposed change of use of 2 agricultural buildings to 3 dwelling houses, etc.  WKPS objection on grounds of opensided barn requiring reconstruction rather than conversion and inappropriate cladding materials next to listed buildings. ABC REFUSED.
14/01573/AS – Brook Meadow, Wissenden Lane, Bethersden TN26 3AJ – Change of use of land for horses, operation of equine therapy business, stationing of 1 no. caravan, erection of hay barn, etc.   WKPS suggested office provision by way of extension to stable or barn for daytime use only. ABC PERMITTED but restricted use of caravan for daytime only.
15/00231/AS – Saxon House, 34 The Street, Appledore TN26 2BX – Conversion and extension of a coach house to a holiday let and ancillary annexe.  WKPS supported with comment on sufficient parking provision. ABC APPROVED.
15/00190/AS – Caravan at Holly Bush Farm, Warehorne Lane, Kenardington TN26 2LX – Change of use of land for stationing of 2 static caravans, 1 day room, 1 touring caravan and associated hard standing for 1 gypsy family.  WKPS suggested that if granted the permission be limited to applicant’s use only with no further development to take place. ABC APPROVED.
15/00248/AS – Island Cottage, The Street, Stone, Tenterden TN30 7JL – Lawful Development Certificate – use of existing workshop for the repair and servicing of motor vehicles. The stationing of a cabin for residential purposes and associated domestic extension, detached annexe and decking.  WKPS supported the legitimising of the business but queried the residential proposal.
14/01420/AS – Land south and east of Tilden Gill Road, Tenterden – Outline application for up to 100 dwellings, etc.   WKPS objected. ABC REFUSED.

14/00759/AS – Planesfield, High Halden – Change of use of land to use for stationing of 1 no.mobile home and touring caravan for residential use by a gypsy family, hard standing, etc.  WKPS objected. ABC GRANTED temporary permission for 3 years from 26/2/2015.
15/00070/AS – Tenterden Vineyard, Smallhythe Road, Tenterden – Signage of Chapel Down name, etc.  WKPS strongly objected to its size.  ABC PERMITTED.
14/503960/OUT (MBC) Land east of Thatch Barn Road and south of Lenham Road, Headcorn – Outline application for 13 dwellings with associated amenity space, etc. WKPS supported. MBC PERMITTED.
Enforcement  - Notices Served/Action Requested
14/00280/AS – Land adj. Jesmund House, Charing Heath Road, Charing – Static mobile home moved onto the site. ABC served enforcement notice, Enforcement appeal lodged by applicant.
10/00873/AS – Field west of Old Place Cottage known as Oaktree Field, Woodchurch Road, High Halden – Permission for stable block and access off Woodchurch Road.  Submission to enforcement officer notifying that the access route is not being constructed in the permitted location.
Bletchenden Manor Farm, Headcorn TN27 9JB – report received from WKPS member. Cowshed demolished – new build footings much larger that the cowshed footprint. No consent. WKPS comment sent to enforcement officer.
15/00218/AS – Woodside Spa, Corina, Hornash Lane, Shadoxhurst TN26 1HU – Extension for use as part farm office and part spa facility (Retro) WKPS queried whether the pool also requires a planning application.
15/500318/FULL (TWBC) Wilkes Field, Cranbrook – Proposed erection of a community centre and 12 no. residential units, access, parking, landscaping, etc.  WKPS supported the community centre element and expressed general concern over the loss of Cranbrook’s ‘green lung’ and the build quality of the houses.
15/00185/AS – Little Orchards, Ashford Road, St Michaels, Tenterden TN30 6SP – Outline application for erection of 1 building containing 8 retirement flats and conversion of Little Orchards to 1 warden’s flat and 2 retirement flats with, access, appearance, layout and scale to be considered at this stage.  WKPS supported the proposal.
15/00223/AS – Venruth, Redbrook Street, Woodchurch TN26 3QU – Reinstate use of a building as a dwelling house and associated works.  WKPS supported with proviso that only 1 caravan should be permitted on site at any time for ancillary use only (in accordance with current legislation).
TWBC Site Allocations DPD – WKPS response submitted.

15/501342/OUT (MBC) – Land north of Grigg Lane, Headcorn TN27 9TD – Outline application for of 28 dwellings including amenity space and nature conservation mitigation corridors (access, appearance, layout and scale being sought).  WKPS objected on grounds of: drainage and sewerage problems, unsustainable package treatment plant, unsatisfactory infrastructure, overcrowded site, inadequate parking.
15/501216/OUT (TWBC) – Land off Chequers Road, Goudhurst – Outline application for a residential development for older residents with all matters reserved for future consideration.
WKPS objected on grounds of: not satisfied that the conditions for local needs housing has been met, queried whether a survey has determined that housing of this type is required, lack of housing association back up.
15/00285/FULL/AS & 15/00286 (LBC) – Belgar, Appledore Road, Tenterden TN30 7DB – Proposed single storey extension and two-and-a-half storey rear extension, 8 no. conservation style roof lights and raised terrace/decking area.  WKPS objection on the grounds of: poor design and unsuitable for this listed building, the modern design to the west elevation will involve damaging the historic main wall of the house, and concern about some of the internal structural changes.
14/01486/AS - Land between Arthur Baker Playing Field and Ashford Road, Charing - Extra Care home of 66 units and ancillary amenities, and outline of market housing.   WKPS supports the concept of assisted living accommodation for elderly residents in Charing and neighbouring parishes. The Extra Care formula has been effective elsewhere;  WKPS advocates the inclusion of in-house nursing care.
We note that the plans show a reduced height for the main building and an increased number of parking spaces.    However, WKPS objects to the application on the following grounds:
1. In bulk and scale the extra care home as planned would still be overbearing, particularly in relation to neighbouring dwellings and would be intrusive in the local village setting. It does not comply with TRS5 d) in so far as it would result in a significant adverse impact on the character of the area and the surrounding landscape.
2. The design lacks integrity, particularly the varying roof lines. The reduced roof height does not remedy this defect.
3. Serious consideration needs to be given to the number of parking spaces available on site: the revised plans offer too few relative to the number of residents, staff and visitors.
4. WKPS trusts that the market housing will reflect the stated need for start-up housing for younger members of the community.
WKPS recommends a revised plan for the care home.  
14/506621/FULL - Land adjacent to the Old Parsonage, Balcombes Lane, Goudhurst - Large development of C2 housing with care for the elderly, 2 and 3 storey flats (12 no. flats), 5 no. 2 bed bungalows, 4 no. 2 bed houses.

WKPS accepts that there is a growing need for assisted care homes for the elderly. We note that the current proposal is for a reduced number of units (from 30 to 20) and substantial landscaping is included, appropriate for this former garden.
However, WKPS objects to the application on the following grounds:
1. The design of the main structure is incompatible with the historic centre of the village, a Conservation Area.
2. The site is outside the LBD and in an AONB. We understand that it would only qualify for development if local needs/affordable units were included, yet the indications are that only market housing is proposed.
3. Parking provision on site is not sufficient with only 25 spaces for 21 residences, which could put pressure on the nearby local car park.
4. Traffic access and egress could be difficult at busy times of the day, and the internal roads do not appear to offer sufficient turning space for larger vehicles.
5. The pedestrian access to the village would be neither safe nor easy for the elderly.
6. The case for dealing with increased rainwater run-off from the site needs to be proven.
7. There appears to be no on-site warden or care provision, which will put pressure on existing community services.
8. The two-storey units on the site would be unsuitable for elderly residents.
9. The communal facility within the main building is minimal.
Prior Approvals for Barn conversions:
Prior approval for barn conversions: many applications are submitted and many of theseare turned down by the LPA on the grounds of: curtilage issue i.e. the curtilage is too large(outside space must not be larger than the original buildings – where this occurs a fullapplication will be necessary), substantial reconstruction rather than conversion,agricultural activity is too close to the occupants of the conversion, the floor space is too large (greater than 450 sq.m).
WKPS made a comment on the proposed metallic cladding in copper colour next to a listed building being inappropriate, but, rather to WKPS’ surprise, ABC response was that this is not relevant
A spoiled view is not relevant in general terms, but solar arrays or wind turbines where these are visually oppressive and overbearing making for an unattractive place to live, is relevant. In most cases of Prior Approval comments are not required by the LPA.


15/00335/AS and 336 – The Old Brewhouse, Appledore Road, Tenterden TN30 7DD – Erection of a 2 storey extension to the northern elevation, creation of a basement and detached double garage.  The extension does not directly affect the listed building and is an extension to an existing 1990s extension with similar materials. No comment to be made.
15/00081/AS – Melrose Cottage, Ashford Road, Bethersden TN26 3LF – Demolition of existing dwelling and outbuildings and erection of a replacement dwelling with 2 garages. This is a new application for a single house (previous was for 3 houses on the plot – WKPS objected as overcrowded – ABC refused). New application is ambiguous regarding the garages; unclear whether for 2 or a double garage. No comment to be made for now; monitoring situation.
14/01463/AS – Longberry Farm, Etchden Road, Bethersden TN26 3DS – Change of use of land from agricultural use to use as a campsite for tents, erection of utility block and reception log cabin.    This is a well thought out proposal. 6 permanent tents, parking; a holiday campsite. There are no immediate neighbours and the site is well screened. Will provide rural employment. The land is not used for agriculture but appears to be of good quality. Support proposal but for holiday use only.
15/00381/AS – Land between Long Meadows and Little Farm, Smarden Road, Pluckley – Erection of 2 no. detached dwellings with detached garages and associated access. (LB) Agricultural land of low quality, between 2 buildings (infill site), access is ok, parking is adequate. Large 4 bed houses and it was considered that the site would be cramped. Clarification of positioning of the houses within the site is required.
15/00403/AS – Westover Farm, Smarden Bell Road, Smarden TN27 8NT – Prior approval of proposed change of use of agricultural building to a single dwelling house. (LB) This is a substantial rebuild as the building is an open-sided shed. Objection to be submitted.
15/00206/AS – Charing Quarry and land at Burleigh Farm, Hook Lane, Charing – Extraction of sand from Burleigh Farm with conveyor to a plant site in Charing Quarry and a haul road via the existing weigh bridge to the existing access at Hook Lane together with restoration to nature conservation at the lower vertical level with further public access. 5 or 6 years’ extraction period, restoration after extraction. Note that this is soft sand rather than hard sand or gravel.  There is currently 9 years of soft sand available but a shortage of sharp sand. The NPPF specifies that there must be a NEED for extraction. KCC is drafting a mineral plan which will identify site allocations. Local people want to wait for the mineral plan before further permissions are granted.   Agreed to raise questions on need and the mineral plan.
15/00265/AS – Squirrels Oak, Tenterden Road, Biddenden TN27 8BL – Proposed development of 5 dwellings and associated vehicular access. Objection to be made on all grounds.


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