Policies relevant to density

Nowhere can we find any reference that the proposed density level of 140 per hectare for Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells, is desirable and worthy of promotion in historical town areas.

DETR - PPG3 58

Local planning authorities should therefore:

The interpretation of this specific paragraph by the residents is:
that greater intensity is 50 dwellings per hectare, which would interprete into 16 dwellings in the case in study. Concerning the third point one imagines that the authors of the Planning Policy Guidance meant by stating "seek greater intensity" that the higher level of the recommendation at 50 units per hectare net would be the absolute limit, but certainly not 140 per hectare net as proposed.

GOSE (Government Office for the South East) -
            RPG9 (Regional Planning Guidance for the South East)
Policy Q3

Policy Q3 adopts PPG3 58 fully but adds a subparagraph, confirming our previous interpretation. [Why would you add otherwise a subparagraph ?]

"b) Within London and many urban areas across ROSE, there are significant opportunities to provide high quality housing development in excess of 50 dwellings per hectare net. Local authorities should take a positive approach to developing proposals for these areas to assist in meeting housing need and improve the quality of the urban environment."

DETR - Housing in the South East:
            The Inter-relationship between Supply, Demand and Land Use Policy

- Housing supply

18. The largest single source of potential re-used urban sites is land which is in employment use (or zoned for that purpose) yet there is a strong reluctance on the part of many local authorities to release employment land for housing development. Furthermore, the local economic consequences of losing potential employment land to housing are little understood and need to be demonstrated.

- Housing demand

38. We found evidence from both local authorities and house builders that there is a market for an alternative product, built to higher density in urban areas. What is not clear is how big that market is, or whether it reflects consumer preference or consumer resources (i.e. whether the main constraint is affordability). What must be recognised, however, is the need to establish more clearly consumer preferences, the depth of demand, market viability and mechanisms for actually translating the potential into reality.

Urban White Paper

- Using space well

4.15 We also build at very low densities and, in the past, have squandered land. Recent housing development in England has been built at an average of 25 dwellings per hectare. That compares unfavourably with the 35-40 dwellings per hectare of many of our older suburbs made up of semi-detached and terraced houses with gardens and with current development densities in many other countries.

- The way forward

4.21 This does not mean cramming people closer and closer together. It means development at reasonable densities which protect open spaces and respect the need for privacy. We know from experience in this country and abroad that, with good design, it is possible to create places which fulfill all these ambitions and which people want to live in.

Kent Design

The density of a development should respect local character and respond to existing densities in different locations such as brownfield, greenfield, central, peripheral, town and village. This does not mean simply replicating surrounding layouts but drawing clues form these surroundings as to the range of new densities that may be appropriate. This range should be defined for each locality. An appropriate mixture of densities to increase legibility and create choices in an expanding housing market should be encouraged.
The UK Strategy for Sustainable Development comments on density as, a dynamic process, but the limits and thresholds must be understood . . .

Vision for Kent

"The Vision for Kent" foresees revitalised town centres in order to increase the housing and employment capacity of towns and not "town cramming"

(UWP 53) Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs

In seeking to undertake successful urban regeneration there must be recognition that the quality of the environment is an important component in the quality of life of existing and potential residents. There must not be a headlong rush into "town cramming" with high-density development, which does not respect the existing historic and environmental fabric of an area. Opportunities should be taken to improve the quality and extent of open space provision.

(UWP 78) Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs

The Government's concern to increase densities in urban areas may have the effect of making them less attractive to certain parts of the population. It was unfortunate that KPMG did not consult with mortgage lenders about the types of options that might stimulate, and more importantly, sustain property values in urban areas.

DENSITY - cramming ? lifestyle ?
The high density development of Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells

The 2nd Planning Application for the Telephone House Development, Tunbridge Wells

The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the controversial high density development on Telephone House site, Church Road / York Road, Tunbridge Wells.