Appeals by Liberty UK Ltd. relating to Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent (APP/H2265/W/19/3235165-7, 71)

14 Feb 2020

Planning and Environment

Section 78 conjoined appeals (inquiry) defending Tonbridge & Malling BC’s refusal of outline planning permission for up to 435 residential units at 5 sites around the Kings Hill Estate, a strategic mixed-use site. The 3-week inquiry heard evidence on landscape & visual and employment matters relating to employment allocation sites, and landscape & visual, ancient woodland, and highways matters in relation to a site adjoining Amber Lane.

Whilst the Inspector accepted much of the Council’s employment case (on strategic and actual need, and lack of marketing), the Council’s lack of 5yr HLS (2.3-2.5yrs) and lack of landscape & visual harm led to the grant of permission on the employment sites.

As for the Amber Lane site, the Inspector accepted the Council’s case, finding that ancient woodland would be lost, disengaging the tilted balance, and in any event identified landscape & visual harm, and highway safety concerns in dismissing that appeal.