Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is developing a Local Plan to determine the strategy and location for growth for the period up to 2036. The Borough has to deliver over 13,500 homes in this time frame. The need for housing in the borough reflects an acute local and nationwide requirement for new homes which can no longer be ignored.
There are challenges in finding suitable sites in a borough constrained by landscape factors: 70% is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, much is Ancient Woodland, the Green Belt extends over large areas, and there are few brownfield sites for redevelopment.
As a long-term landowner, the Hadlow Estate responded to Tunbridge Wells Call for Sites by putting forward land at Tudeley as a potential site for a new village community and a site between Tudeley and Tonbridge as a location for a new secondary school. Both have been allocated in the Draft Local Plan.*
The Estate has a long heritage and deep rooted connection to the area. We have contributed to the local economy for generations: providing housing and jobs, land for schools and hospitals, managing the landscape through farming and conservation, and contributing to local culture and heritage.
The Estate has been our family home for 170 years and we care about getting this right. We plan to be here for many years to come.
Our approach will be different to the usual volume housebuilder or developer. We have a connection to the area and a history of stewardship of the land and its buildings. We have a deep understanding of the local environment, manifest in our long-standing conservation initiatives across the Estate.
We are different because we believe in building a village community at Tudeley, one which includes workspaces, shops and community facilities, not just houses. We don’t plan a monoculture, soulless housing estate with nowhere to work, shop, relax, and learn and without connection to the wider landscape. As the landowner, we can be more generous with the allocation of green spaces for wildlife and for community facilities than developers who have to maximise land values and guarantee a return to shareholders.
Our inspiration is the ethos of The Prince’s Foundation’s approach to development; the walkable, beautiful, mixed use communities pioneered by the Duchy of Cornwall at Poundbury, Tregunnel Hill and Truro in Cornwall, and by landowners in Scotland at Tornagrain and Chapelton.
This approach requires a long-term commitment and involvement throughout the planning and building of the project. It is a commitment we are willing to make, as well as an undertaking to consult with local residents, our tenants, councillors, planners and others to shape the vision of this new village community at the masterplanning stage and beyond.
The Estate has provided housing and jobs for people in the area for many years. We plan to continue this provision of good quality, well-built homes and workplaces for the next generation of local residents. We believe it is possible to build the conservation areas of the future – a place people young and old will be proud to call their own.
We are committed to consultation with the local community to inform the masterplan. We are at the start of the process and will share details about how to take part with invitations to events over the coming months.
We appreciate that change is difficult and development is usually unwelcome. However the nationwide housing crisis requires responsible action and a different approach. We believe the Estate can play a role in addressing the need for good quality homes and workspaces in the area, with a long-term vision for a new village, built beautifully, to last.
If you would like to receive further information please register your details by filling in the form below and we will update you on our plans over the coming months.