Sustainability Analysis

Any proposals put forward in the plan need to demonstrate that they are sustainable – they  meet the needs of our community and broader local and national objectives. To do this we measure all proposals in the Neighbourhood Plan against a benchmark to understand if the contribution to the community is positive or negative. The tool we use to measure any plan proposal is known as a Sustainability Scoping Document.

Our Sustainability Analysis Scoping document looks at the Parish from three perspectives:

  • Economic: The Economic theme looks at business and economic development in the Parish and how the Neighbourhood Plan can support economic growth and jobs. Here, the topics of business growth, education, employment, services and facilities, travel and traffic are seen as key issues.
  • Social: The impact of change on our Parish, for example on our services or residents, are described under the Social theme. Our focus is very much on local needs and issues.  topics such as  deprivation, education, equality, health, housing and transport are considered in the plan.
  • Environmental: We live in a very special part of the country and our Parish has a number of unique features, habitats, and environments that need to be protected and enhanced. In our environment, the topics of air quality, biodiversity, climate change, energy, heritage, land use, landscape, resources, waste and water are our key issues.

The Sustainability Objectives for Goudhurst are detailed below.

  • High-level objectives are larified with a series of measures which reflect the identified sustainability issues in our Parish.
  • These measures are  to be used as series of questions by anyone reviewing Neighbourhood Plan proposals. A scoring mechanism determines whether any proposal is sustainabile.
Topic High Level Objective Measures/guide questions – Does the Neighbourhood Plan…?
1. Air Reduce air pollution
  • Reduce reliance on fossil fuels for heating
  • Reduce road congestion and resulting negative impacts on air quality
  • Promote the use of sustainable modes of transport, including walking, cycling and public transport
2. Biodiversity Protect and enhance biodiversity and the natural environment
  • Identify protect and enhance sites of biodiversity value across the Parish and improve their integrity.
  • Improve condition of SSSIs
  • Create and protect wildlife corridors
  • Maintain and/or enhance areas identified or managed for nature conservation and seek to extend such areas.
  • Increase or restore local parish habitats such as hedgerows, streams and arable field margins.
  • Minimise pollution of all kinds
3. Business Growth and employment Encourage business growth and local employment
  • Improve accessibility to businesses in the centre of Goudhurst Village.
  • Support the growth of tourism in the Parish
  • Strengthen the local economy by promoting the development of local businesses that are appropriate in scale to the rural context of the Parish.
  • Prevent, where appropriate, the loss of economic floor space to housing.
  • Facilitate the creation of local employment opportunities.
  • Support the provision of a community business hub offering networking and other facilities for home workers and small businesses.
  • Enhance viability of the local economy by encouraging diverse employment opportunities.
4. Climate Change & Energy Reduce carbon footprint and adapt to predicted changes
  • Reduce carbon and energy usage


5. Deprivation Reduce poverty
  • Reduce rates of fuel poverty
6. Education Improve educational attainment and enhance the skills base
  • Meet demand for primary school places – with priority to Goudhurst and Kilndown Primary School for parish residents
  • Secure fair access to secondary education for parish residents
  • Support the development of the skills needed for everyone to remain in work.
7. Equality Increase social mobility and inclusion
  • Improve/support integration with the community
  • Improve inclusion/awareness of groups and societies in the Parish
8. Health & Wellbeing Improve health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities
  • Meet demand for elderly care services
  • Improve opportunities for physical activity
  • Promote design of buildings and spaces to reduce crime and the fear of crime
  • Improve accessibility for everyone to health, education, recreation, cultural and community facilities and services.
9. Heritage Preserve and enhance historical and cultural heritage assets
  • Conserve and enhance features and buildings of historical and/or cultural importance.
  • Protect and enhance areas and sites of archaeological, historical and/or cultural importance.
  • Recognise the role of heritage assets in the local tourism economy.
  • Preserve the unique character of the hilltop settlements
  • Preserve medieval field patterns, routeways and farmsteads considered some of the best in Northern Europe
10. Housing Provide sufficient housing to meet identified needs
  • Meet identified needs for affordable housing – with priority to those with a parish connection
  • Meet demand for 1, 2 and 3 bed market housing to suit expanding families and older households downsizing
  • Meet the need for good design
  • Facilitate self-build
  • Integrate new development with the design and setting of the existing village.
  • Require sustainable building practices that conserve energy, water resources and materials, maximise the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources, ensuring the design and location of new development is resilient to the effects of climate change
11. Land use Protect soils, and reuse previously developed land and buildings
  • Protect the AONB
  • Develop on previously developed sites in preference to greenfield land
12. Landscape Protect and enhance landscape and townscape
  • Preserve the ridgetop settlement profile(s) of Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green
  • Preserve the historic field patterns, routeways and historic farmsteads which characterize our Parish
  • Improve access to footpaths and bridleways
  • Encourage the creation of new footpaths
  • Protect and enhance Ancient Woodland
  • Maintain dark skies policies
13. Noise Reduce noise pollution
  • Consider the effect of noise pollution
14. Resources Reduce the impact of resource consumption
  • Prevent unsustainable demolition and rebuild projects
  • Improve use of responsibly sourced materials and low environmental impact materials e.g. traditional weatherboarding
15. Services & Facilities Improve access to and range of services and facilities
  • Support superfast broadband connectivity beyond the centre of Goudhurst.
  • Improve mobile phone coverage
  • Create/improve services for the elderly
  • Create/improve services for the young
16. Traffic Reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety
  • Reduce the volume of traffic through the Parish
  • Reduce the volume of heavy goods vehicles
  • Improve pedestrian and cyclist safety
  • Reduce the impact of traffic on heritage assets
17. Travel Improve travel choice and reduce the need to travel by private vehicle
  • Reduce dependence on private cars
  • Improve access to train stations
  • Improve bus services
  • Support car sharing initiatives
  • Improve opportunities for active travel including cycling and walking
18. Waste Reduce waste generation and disposal
  • Re-use or recover through recycling, composting or energy recovery
  • Enhance existing recycling facilities
  • Reduce construction waste
19. Water Manage flood risk and conserve, protect and enhance water resources
  • Address the problem of low pressure in the mains water supply in areas of the Parish.
  • Manage existing flood risk areas and ensure that the risk of flooding is not exacerbated by new development.
  • Require the use of water harvesting and recycling systems, particularly in new developments.
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