Referendum for the Pembury Neighbourhood Plan

Poster header for referendum

Following on from the successful examination of the Plan, the Neighbourhood Plan will be going to local referendum on Thursday 14 September 2023.  This is a fantastic achievement by all those who have volunteered their time to work on the Neighbourhood Plan and to those residents who have taken the time to input into the process.

Every resident on the electoral roll within the parish (the neighbourhood area) is entitled to vote in the referendum.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan for Pembury?

The future of Pembury; conserving its historic assets; safeguarding its High Weald landscape setting and important green spaces; and maintaining the identity of the village while at the same time supporting the ongoing viability and vitality of the village, has been at the heart of the work which has been carried out.

The Parish Council decided that to meet the concerns of local residents it would use the provisions of the Localism Act 2011 which gave local communities more control over the ways in which neighbourhoods developed. Therefore, in February 2020 it agreed that a Neighbourhood Development Plan be prepared and set up a Neighbourhood Development Plan Working Group.

From this a Steering Committee and four Working Groups were set up, the latter to look at different aspects of the plan: heritage and housing; environment and open spaces; transport and movement; community facilities, employment and the local economy. Although some Councillors have been involved, much of the work has been carried out by local residents who have freely given of their time to produce the plan you are about to read. It is has been a very demanding task and I would like to record my thanks to all of them for the terrific work they have done.

Though most of the work has been carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic we have consulted with residents whenever we can, carrying out surveys and workshops both online and face to face. At the “Picnic on the Green” event in September 2021, for example, we took the opportunity of engaging residents with our most recent survey. I am grateful to all those of you who throughout the process have engaged with us and provided us with vital answers and information.

The Pre-Submission draft Plan was consulted on formally during June and July 2022. All comments received were carefully considered and the Plan amended as necessary. The Submission version Plan was subject to a further round of consultation led by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Following this, the Plan was independently examined and, subject to some minor modifications, was found to meet the Basic Conditions. This final Pembury Neighbourhood Plan will now proceed to a local referendum. A simple majority of residents who vote will lead to the plan being “made”.

This means that it will become part of the Development Plan for the Borough and that the policies which it contains will be used to determine planning applications and land use in the Parish for the future.

Cllr. Nigel Stratton

The Chair of the Pembury Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

Frequently asked questions

Summary of the plan

For more details please check out the Neighbourhood plan page.