Our Second Year

We are entering our second year of activity in developing our Neighbourhood Plan.

Over the past twelve months, we have established the foundations for our plan gathering  evidence and building a picture of life in our community. The questionnaire sought opinions from all residents and our working groups have looked at the parish from an number of different perspectives.

Over the coming months we will be available at the Meet the Village event on the 17th March in Goudhurst Parish Hall.  The results of the Photo competition will be announced on the 10th April in St Mary’s Churchwith an exhibition of entries which will be open until May.  We are also planning an ‘all residents’ event in May to present our progress, to outline the contents of the Goudhurst Neighbourhood Plan and to discuss the activities for the remainder of the year.

Our plan will be supported by three detailed documents:

  • The first is an Sustainability Analysis Scoping document which reviews our evidence, national and regional goals to create a series of Sustainability Objectives. Any and all proposals will be tested against these objectives to ensure they provide a positive contribution to our community. More details around  our Sustainability Analysis Scoping.
  • A Landscape Character Assessment is underway which paints a picture of our parish describing the assets we have in our community (heritage, green spaces, community), our views and setting, the geology under our feet and how we use and manage our land. This is a key document in measuring and understanding any proposed change in the Parish.
  • Design Guidelines. We had hoped to use the High Weald AONB design guidelines but these have not yet been completed. Although we will likely adopt these in the future  in the interim we will produce a set of guidelines for Goudhurst to set design boundaries for future development. High Weald have produced guidelines on colour pallete and signage and we will adopt these guidelines in to our plan.

So what does our plan consist of?

Our plan will have three main areas of definition:

  • Policies – what will and will not be supported in future development in the Parish. We are writing these at the moment. See our page – developing policies for our Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Development boundaries – The Limits-to-Built-Development (LBD) and conservation areas provide boundaries to development. New sites have been submitted to the TWBC call for sites and these are under review by TWBC and by the NDP team. We have developed Goudhurst criteria to assess each site and suitable  sites may be included in our plan.
  • Parish projects – not all of our objectives can be delivered by policies and here we will need to structure and mobilise teams to bring  focus to the initiatives which, in conjunction with our policies will deliver Goudhurst’s Neighbourhood Plan.

A draft copy of our plan will be distributed to all homes in the Parish in May/June and a series of consultation and feedback sessions will take place around the Parish.


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