Chairman’s Letter November 2022


I am delighted to inform you that Anita Maxwell has been appointed as our new Parish Clerk. Anita has worked for HPC for several years, and I am hugely grateful that she took on the Acting Clerk role this summer. She has steered us through a very busy period, which has included major improvements to the Copt Hall and KGV pavilion. Both Anita and Ailsa have been working incredibly hard to ensure that everyone gets a warm welcome when they contact the Parish Council, so doubtless, you will join me in congratulating Anita on her well-deserved promotion.

Earlier this month, the Parish Council was honoured to participate in the Remembrance Day Parade. It was certainly an improvement on marshalling the road closures last year! Thank you so much to all the organisers and participants who ensured the parade was such a great success.

In last month’s newsletter, I mentioned that HPC would decide on the next steps for the proposed Community Centre project at our November meeting. We are all too aware that a project of this size will have significant cost implications for residents. Therefore, we will undertake a detailed consultation, ensuring that residents have a full understanding of the project costs, so that we can determine whether or not Hawkhurst residents want the Parish Council to proceed with the project.

This month, the Planning Inspector published his initial findings on TWBC’s Local Plan. As far as

Hawkhurst is concerned, the most significant item is that the Inspector has said that the Medical

Centre site behind Birchfield Grove needs to be deleted from the plan. The Inspector recognises that there is a need for new medical facilities in Hawkhurst and has advised TWBC that they will need to identify an alternative location.

The Inspector also expressed concerns over the proposal to create a new garden village at Tudeley. Whilst he has not told TWBC that they need to delete this allocation, it is an option he has suggested that TWBC consider. If TWBC does opt to remove this allocation, this would leave a shortfall of over 2000 in the housing numbers for the Borough.

The uncertainty around the Local Plan makes Hawkhurst’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) all the more important. As you may know, we are currently reviewing this, and we have a Visioning Day planned for Saturday 14th January at Hawkhurst Primary School. We will use the information from this event to help us identify the key themes for the updated NDP. Please do pop in and share your views any time between 10:00am and 2:30pm.

All the best,
Clare Escombe
Chairman, Hawkhurst Parish Council