The Role of the Parish Council

Brenchley and Matfield Parish Council has a planning committee which comprises of three Councillors. They examine all planning applications within the Parish which have been submitted to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (TWBC) and make their recommendations to the Council. Although the Parish Council has no power to approve or refuse an application, its comments are noted by TWBC, along with any from the public, and taken into account when the final decision is made. If you disagree with a refusal you have the right to appeal.

The Parish Council reviews planning applications twice a month as and when received. If you have an application pending, you are welcome to check with the Clerk to find out when it is likely to be considered and also welcome to attend the meeting.

Planning Guidance

If you are considering a new build, addition or alteration to an existing building, conservatory, garage, garden house or any other type of structure, you are recommended in the first instance to consult TWBC Planning Services whose staff will be pleased to guide you through the planning application procedures. Some work may fall within the category of “permitted development” and you may not need permission. If it is necessary to obtain planning permission, it will be in your own interest to prepare your plans so that they contain as much detail and information as possible, particularly if you are preparing the plans yourself. If you are not experienced and your project is complex, then the services of a professional expert can be well worth the expense.

If you would like to view planning applications online, visit the Tunbridge Wells Public Access for Planning Pages.

Geographical Constraints on Development

Most of Brenchley and Matfield Parish falls within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Within this area there are significant constraints on new building projects. The northern boundary of the AONB runs north of Coppers Lane in Matfield and along Crook Road in Brenchley. A boundary map can be viewed here.

The villages of Brenchley and Matfield also contain conservation areas, areas designated for recreation and open space and an outer limit beyond which new development will not normally be allowed (‘limits to built development’). These stem from and were approved in the Tunbridge Wells Local Plan and constrain building in and around the villages. However, these constraints may change in the Borough’s New Local Plan which is being developed.

A map showing these areas in Brenchley can be viewed here.
A map showing these areas in Matfield can be viewed here.
A legend, explaining the varied shadings and boundary lines, can be viewed here.

A map showing the boundary of Brenchley and Matfield Parish (outlined in red) can be viewed here.

For more detailed information on planning matters, please visit the Tunbridge Wells website pages on Planning Policy.

Planning Comments Précis for Jan-Dec 2021 (Excel document)