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 2016


The Planning Committee met early December in High Halden. This bulletin contains news relating to applications dealt with and decisions handed down since the last meeting in early October, as well as proposed future action on some current applications.

NB – Please see the end of this newsletter for details of WKPS public meeting on Wednesday October 26 2016 at 8.00 p.m in Goudhurst




16/506067/FULL Great Tong Farm, Great Tong, Headcorn TN27 9PP - Steel framed agricultural grain storage building. WKPS supported with impact mitigation.

16/01536/AS Oast at Church Farm, Church Hill, High Halden - Conversion of oasthouse to dwelling including link, flue and addition of windows/doors. WKPS supported previous application which was subsequently withdrawn by the applicant. Very little change in this revised application. Same supporting comments submitted 22/10.

16/01339/AS The Gatehouse, The Old Palace, Market Place, Charing - Roof replacement and rebuild of gable to create dwelling, reinstatement of mullioned windows. Insertion of front/rear dormers. WKPS fully supported.

16/01528/AS Four Acres. Charing Heath Road, Charing TN27 0AL - Erection of stable building WKPS objected.

16/01493/AS The Willows, Pluckley Road, Bethersden TN26 3ET - Variation of condition 2 on planning approval 04/00551/AS to allow the stationing of 5 caravans, of which up to 4 can be static caravan/mobile homes and for the storage of one touring caravan not for residential accommodation. WKPS objected.

16/01515/AS Land between Charter Hall and Weathercock, Pluckley Road, Smarden - Outline planning permission for 25 residential dwellings (including up to 35% affordable housing, etc.) WKPS supported.

16/01543/AS Yew Tree Park Homes, Maidstone Road, Charing - Change of use of ancillary leisure, amenity and parking area to enable siting of 15 residential homes. (SE) WKPS no objection in principle to expansion of the site but concerns re: sewerage, parking spaces per unit and access.

16/1604/AS Land SE of adjacent and rear of Drayson House, The Green, Woodchurch - Demolition of existing tennis court and disused pigsty/shed. Erection of new 3 bedroom detached dwelling with double garage and associated landscaping. WKPS offered cautious support as in conservation area.

16/01659/AS Sunny Mead Farm, Bethersden Road, Woodchurch TN26 3QW - Single storey extensions to north and south elevations, enlargement of existing former window to west elevation, adjustments to first floor fenestration to north election. Proposed porch to east elevation. WKPS objection.


16/01215/AS Kendal House, The Street, Shadoxhurst TN26 1LU – Prior approval for the change of use of ground floor from office (B1) to dwelling house (C3). WKPS supported. ABC PRIOR APPROVAL NOT REQUIRED.

16/01319/AS Herwish, Martens Lane, High Halden TN26 3JP – Erection of a detached 3 bedroom bungalow for an agricultural worker. WKPS submitted general comment re: viability study. WITHDRAWN BY APPLICANT.

16/00646/AS Cullens Farm Buildings, Maytham Road, Wittersham – Provision of 1 no tourist accommodation cottage including change of use of land and parking. WKPS objected. WITHDRAWN BY APPLICANT.

16/01232/AS Three Oak Drive, Nickley Wood Road, Shadoxhurst TN26 1LZ – Change of use of land for the stationing of two additional mobile homes for established gypsy site (retrospective). WKPS objected. ABC PERMITTED.

14/01000/AS Brockton Farm Paddock, Vicarage Lane, Charing – Change of use of the land for the stationing of 4 no. mobile homes for residential use by a gypsy family, the stationing of 2 no. touring caravans, two amenity blocks and one stable/amenity block (partly retrospective). WKPS objected. ABC PERMITTED TEMPORARY 3 years.

16/00458/AS Land rear of 25 The Street, Hothfield – Construction of a new single dwelling, garage and associated landscaping. WKPS supported. ABC PERMITTED.


15/00459/AS Land between Tyle House Farm and Mount Pleasant, Stocks Road, Wittersham – Outline planning application for 27 houses including 10 affordable, etc. ABC REFUSED. APPLICANT APPEALED. APPEAL DISMISSED.


Housing. Headcorn, Staplehurst and Lenham were represented ably. Lenham objected to the 400 houses in the setting of the North Downs. Headcorn considers that sewerage and drainage issues need addressing before any further development.

Staplehurst argued for combined workshops and residential accommodation as outlined in their neighbourhood plan.

Gypsies and Travellers. The unprecedented number of 187 pitches are to be provided between now and 2030. MBC has already granted 92 pitches. The only village representation at the hearing was Ulcombe who are concerned about 75% of children in Ulcombe's primary school being from the gypsy/traveller community. Surprisingly, the Inspector pointed out that there is a danger of facing accusations of racial discrimination if the level is questioned.

We will examine the decisions of the Inspector.


16/01660/AS Land adjoining The Beeches known as Trebyan, Blackwall Road, Wittersham – Clearance of three redundant outbuildings and the erection of a three bedroom dwelling and a detached garage. Redundant and derelict buildings, hardstanding, brownfield site but not a conversion, not isolated. Incidentally, fits with ABC Draft Local Plan Policy HOU5 – non–isolated residential development in the countryside can be permitted, although WKPS cannot yet cite this clause as it is part of a draft that has not yet been adopted. WKPS to support application.

16/07269/FULL/TW Woodstove Trading Company, The Forge, The Common, Sissinghurst TN17 2HT – Demolition of existing buildings and erection of two semidetached dwellings and one detached dwelling with garage. Previous application 15/509607/Full was withdrawn by the applicant. Parking layout impractical causing parking in the courtyard impeding turning space and will lead to disputes, car ports may end up being converted to living space, 3 storey, cramped design, site is too small for 3 dwellings, would affect neighbour to rear, no outdoor space, very urban design, loss of commercial site. WKPS to object.

16/07090/FULL/TW Land to west of Lorenden Park and The White House, Highgate Hill, Hawkhurst TN18 4LB – Variation of Condition 2 and submissions for conditions 3-14 and 16-19 of application 14/503346/FULL (WKPS objected) (TWBC refused, outline consent granted on appeal). Overall the variations are inappropriate, the larger homes are contrary to policy, no ground floor flats, no elderly provision, fencing instead of hedging, slope of land, requires rain porous surfacing. Concur with HPC's views. The proposal is at variance with the outline proposal which the Inspector supported and does not meet his requirements. WKPS to object.

16/504891/FULL/TW Land at Walkhurst Road, Benenden – Erection of 12 dwellings comprising 2 no. 1 bedroom apartments, 4 no. 2 bedroom dwellings, 4 no. 3 bedroom, 1 no. 4 bedroom and 1 no. 5 bedroom together with associated access, car parking/garaging, open space and surface water attenuation. REVISED DETAILS of minor nature involving an internal footpath & removal of 2 car parking spaces. We objected to original scheme in July 2016. Footpath is not necessary, our original objection still stands. WKPS to object again.

16/01706/AS Agricultural Barns, Britton Farm, Maidstone Road, Hothfield – Full application for the demolition of 2 disused agricultural barns and the erection of 3 detached dwellings, with associated private parking, landscaping and provision of new access onto Ram Lane. (RT) Very narrow single track lane, a group of 4 houses next to this proposal is in the early stage of construction. Applicant has already cleared the site. It would be an acceptable site if not for the lane. An alternative would be to reposition plot 2 to extend the access road to the three new houses. ABC Draft Local Plan Policy HOU5 applies as it is not an isolated site. WKPS to raise concerns about the lane.

16/01624/AS The Coach House Clinic, 155A High Street, Tenterden TN30 6JS – Erection of double sided non-illuminated sign. Previous application for an illuminated sign. This proposal is for the same sign without illumination but is 1.5m square and would be large and intrusive. In conservation area. WKPS to object.


16/00295/AS & 16/01058/AS (APPEAL NOTICE) Land north of 1 Westwell Court, Tenterden – Erection of garage block with 2 bed flat above. (BR) WKPS objected, ABC REFUSED. Applicant has APPEALED. Consider further comment. This proposal would despoil the original design of this development which allowed for open space within it, this space should remain. WKPS to comment on the appeal quoting Paragraph 14 of the NPPF – 'Permission to be granted unless any adverse impact would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits'.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This paragraph deals with actions planned rather than already taken. Readers are asked to note that the opinions and action points are those expressed by the planning committee as a whole. They are not always final decisions. Many items discussed at meetings require further research before we reach a final decision on action to be taken.


Smarden PC has written to ABC asking for an update on the Local Plan as it is being faced with at least another 4 applications on sites around the parish for 20 houses on each. The absence of a Local Plan is causing developer speculation. The PC has written to Damian Green about a blanket 50mph speed limit on all rural roads in the countryside.

It is likely that 16/01515/AS land adjacent to Charter Hall 25 houses will go to ABC planning committee in the New Year for consideration. The PC will not be objecting. The appeal on the same land for 50 houses has not yet been validated.


If you would like to particate in any of the discussions that WKPS are involved with, please click through to our Facebook page.

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