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Council asks Secretary of State to intervene in Local Plan

David Mairs
By David Mairs
22nd May 2021

Tonbridge and Malling’s draft Local Plan is struggling after inspectors suspended public examination due to concerns the borough council had failed in its ‘duty to co-operate’ with neighbouring Sevenoaks District Council.

In response, Tonbridge and Malling has written to the Secretary of State asking him to intervene and instruct the inspectors to continue their examination.

Its draft plan, which proposes at least new 6,834 homes until 2031, has fallen foul of planning inspectors who claim Tonbridge and Malling has failed to work sufficiently closely with Sevenoaks and consider whether it could have taken any of Sevenoaks’s ‘unmet’ housing demand.

The Planning Inspectorate told Tonbridge and Malling to withdraw its plan or it would recommend the government reject it. The council fears a reassessment could mean substantially higher housing targets.

The council asked the Planning Inspectorate to issue its final report on its examination of the plan before asking Robert Jenrick to intervene to review the inspectors’ decision.

Ethan Wilkinson / Unsplash