Benenden Neighbourhood Plan

Benenden Neighbourhood Plan

Full details and information can be found at


To view Benenden's Made Neighbourhood Development Plan 2020-2038 click here


Referendum Result

The Benenden Neighbourhood Development Plan referendum votes were counted on the night of 3rd February : 

Turnout 56%

YES 80.5%

NO 19.5%

The average turnout in the UK for a Neighbourhood Plan referendum is 32%.  


Message from Nicola Thomas, Chair of the Parish Council :

I would like to say a huge thank you for all the support we have received for the referendum on our NDP. Very happy that the YES vote gained a majority with the official result standing at 665 YES votes against 161 NO votes.

As Parish Councillors, frustratingly, we were not allowed to campaign for the NDP, and it has been down to a wonderful group of residents who have had to campaign, explain and cajole our residents into voting for the plan.

Most importantly this is the best result possible for the parish. The Parish Council now has a mandate to move forward safely in the knowledge that the NDP gives us the control we need over any new development.  It will deliver the affordable housing required for, and requested by, our residents, while also welcoming new residents and families to help maintain our vibrant community. And at the same time the NDP will protect our green fields, precious views, wildlife and dark skies.

The NDP team and the Parish Council have always been baffled (and yes, frustrated) by the opposition to our plan, and this has been compounded by offers of discussion and engagement always refused by those opposing the plan. Change is often hard to accept, but now we will have the means to control this change, working in the best interests of the parish, with our policies to be adhered to at every stage of development – delivering cohesive, appropriate and attractive new housing.

Very special thanks must go to Paul Tolhurst and all the NDP volunteers, supporters and my fellow councillors, and also to Peter Davies, sadly no longer with us, who set our NDP in motion over four years ago – Peter, you can look down at your beloved Benenden and know that it is has all been worth it. Our parish, our plan, we got there in the end.


Information Statement

A referendum on the Benenden Neighbourhood Development Plan will be held on 3rd February 2022. This statement provides information on the referendum that is taking place, and the neighbourhood plan it relates to.


• If you need to register to vote the deadline is 18 January 2022. The deadline for new postal votes or to make change to existing postal votes is 5pm on 19 Jan. The first issue of postal votes will go out on 20 January 2022. You should apply to the Electoral Registration Officer at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (address via link 3 below).


• Poll cards are due to go out shortly; they should start arriving around 10 Jan.


• Polling stations will be Benenden Village Hall and Iden Green Pavilion. Those addresses located within Ashford (Biddenden Parish) will have their own polling station at Biddenden Clubhouse, Tenterden Road, Biddenden, TN27 8BB. Polling Stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.


More information about the referendum can be found at:




3. Notice of Referendum Benenden.pdf contains contact details for the Electoral Registration Officer, and all relevant dates and locations.


Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Cabinet met on 2nd December to discuss Benenden’s Neighbourhood Development Plan.  They concluded that, following an independent examination undertaken by written representations and a one-day hearing, the BNDP can proceed to a Neighbourhood Planning Referendum. 

For further information click here.

We expect the referendum to take place on 3rd February 2022. More details on voting procedures will be available in due course.

To view the final version of the plan click here.


The referendum edges closer. Following a positive Independent Examination, the changes required by the Examiner have been incorporated, and an updated draft Plan submitted to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.  As the Local Planning Authority they are responsible for taking the Plan through the relevant Committees for review and sign-off prior to the referendum.  

The draft Plan continues to require:

  • Protection for 11 Green Spaces - such as the Glebe Field in Benenden, Iden Green Recreation Ground, and the Cricket Pitch at East End;
  • Protection for 23 local Views - sitting on a ridgeline we have many lovely viewpoints;
  • Provision of sufficient affordable housing in line with identified local needs;
  • Making use of brownfield sites where possible, while protecting the AONB.  

You can see the latest draft of our Plan here : Final draft of Bendenden's Neighbourhood Development Plan


To see the documents for consideration and decision by the TWBC Committees click on the following links :