Chairman’s Letter April 2023

Clare Escombe


Our Coronation working group has worked wonders in pulling together a weekend of free events to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III. Information is available on the HPC website and also on the Coronation Celebrations in Hawkhurst Facebook page. Thank you so much to Lisa Ridley, Jeremy Cross and Simon Paish for their hard work in organising this.

As you may be aware, Dandara have applied for a variation to their

planning application for 71 houses off Highgate Hill. They want to delay the provision of a pedestrian crossing on the Rye Road near All Saints Road. Hawkhurst Parish Council strongly opposes this proposal and is determined to do everything in its power to persuade Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to refuse this delay.

The village needs this crossing. There have been several accidents involving pedestrians here, some of which have been incredibly serious. HPC has tried to get a crossing in this location for years; we even had support from Tesco in terms of a grant. However, KCC advised that we were unable to have a zebra crossing. Therefore, despite our opposition to the Dandara development, we were relieved that at least the village would benefit from this crossing and the promised works to address the congestion at the Hawkhurst crossroads.

When the Inspector granted permission for this development, he made it clear that the provision of the crossing on the Rye Road was an essential part of the plan. His decision letter states that the crossing is required before work commences on site to make the development acceptable in planning terms and that Dandara confirmed in writing that they accepted the timing of these conditions!

We are also extremely concerned that in the current application, Dandara have incorrectly stated that the improvement works to the crossroads are required prior to the occupation of the 51st dwelling. This is not the case. The Inspector said that the mitigation scheme had to be provided before any dwellings are occupied.

We feel, as I know many residents do, that it is essential that these delays should not be permitted. I urge you to register your opposition to this application (23/00854/FULL) with TWBC.

On a more positive note, I am pleased to let you know that the Annual Parish Assembly will be on Tuesday 30th May. This will be held at Hawkhurst C of E Primary School at 7:30pm.

All the best,

Clare Escombe
Chairman, Hawkhurst Parish Council