Goudhurst Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan


Local residents and interested parties have begun work on the formulation of a Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan.
There is now a website with details of its progress: http://ndp.goudhurst.co.uk
An application to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to have the parish designated as a Neighbourhood Area was approved by TWBC on 7th November.

Once a plan is adopted, it will mean that planning decisions for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green will have to be made in accordance with the neighbourhood plan (and other parts of the development plan) unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Goudhurst Church

Goudhurst from Smugley Farm © Michael Bennett

There is pressure both from central and local government for an increased number of homes to be built in all parts of the country, even those which have permitted little development in the past.
Formulating a plan will create a framework for future development that meets the wishes of parishioners.
[email protected]



Designed for retired or semi-retired people who wish to make new friends, have fun and learn something new.  There are monthly talks, outings and interest groups which meet in small numbers at regular intervals.

Tue Dec 20th Candlelit Christmas Concert.
Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells

Wed Dec 21st “English Festive Bubbles”
Victoria Aldwinckle

To join, for booking forms and further information: e-mail Goudhurst U3A
Phone: 01580 212457

U3A Goudhurst Website

Goudhurst PondGoudhurst Pond, The Plain, Goudhurst, 50 years ago
The Parish Council has plans in place to de-silt the pond at The Plain in Goudhurst for the first time in over 50 years. Silt accumulation, duck and fish waste have decreased the depth of the water to a critical level, as well as reducing water quality. After receiving professional advice, the Parish Council has decided that silt removal is the best option. There will be some disruption around the pond area from diggers and trucks. Fish will be temporarily removed, to be returned at a later date.
Cllr Stephen Wickham says: “Our apologies for any inconvenience but our view is it is a job that must be done as part of the prudent maintenance of our conservation area.”

A new and improved patient transport service from G4S was launched across Kent and Medway on 1 July 2016.
From 1 July, the bookings line number changed to 0800 096 0211. (Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week)
The patient transport service provides free transport for people whose medical condition means they cannot get to or from their place of care (a hospital, hospice or clinic) in any other way. Eligible patients can book transport to get them to and from outpatient and inpatient appointments. The criteria for eligibility for patient transport services has not changed.
For further information about the patient transport service in Kent and Medway, including a leaflet, poster and feedback form, visit www.km-pts.co.uk

Police at scene of the killing in Smiths Lane
Police at the scene of the killing in Smiths Lane


A 36-year old man was shot by police on land in Smiths Lane, Goudhurst at 8.30pm on Sunday 1st. May.
A police statement said the operation had been “pre-planned” and was in relation to the recent suspected murder of Roy Blackman in Biddenden, Kent. The man was named locally as William “Billy” Smith from Golford, near Sissinghurst, Kent.
Three days previously, Kent police said in a statement they were trying to trace William Smith and warned the public not to approach him.
Billy Smith had worked as a building labourer and digger driver, was married and had children.
Neighbours reported hearing two bursts of shots just after 8pm on Sunday evening. The first consisted of three shots, followed after a 20-second interval by a burst of automatic fire of 7-8 shots. The police statement added that a “non-police” weapon had been recovered from the scene. Forensic offers in white protective clothing could be seen examining the area.
A police helicopter had been in the area earlier before the shooting.
The incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

The shack where the man was killed, police close off Smiths Lane
One of the shacks where the man was killed, police close off Smiths Lane (right) Photos: Michael Bennett

An unusually large number of residents packed into Goudhurst’s Annual Parish Meeting. One reason for the high turnout (more than 80 were present) was widespread concern surrounding the submission of agricultural land to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for possible inclusion in the next development plan. Known as Vine Fields and Pinehurst Fields, the land is in a very prominent position on the western approach to the village. Currently farmed by tenants, it is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. (AONB)
The owner, who does not live locally, has let it be known that she wishes to sell the land. The idea of building on the area, currently outside the village envelope, was firmly opposed in a show of hands.
No formal application to build yet has been made. Concerns were voiced that similar proposals in Sissinghurst and Hawkhurst were allowed on appeal, citing the Government’s wishes that more land be freed up for development.


The fields bordered by Lidwells Lane, Smiths Lane and a short distance from Blind Lane, known as Vine Fields and Pinehurst Fields, have been submitted to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council by a Planning Consultant as an “Opportunity Site” for inclusion in the next Local Plan suggesting some limited housing and/or community-friendly development.

Any queries to Barbara Stafford 01580 212467.


If you would like to raise any policing issues, or want to find out more about crime prevention, come along and meet a local Police Community Support Officer at Goudhurst Parish Hall between Noon and 1.00 pm on:

May 20
June 03

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for local groups, clubs, societies and other organisations to book a talk about the life-saving work of the charity as it takes delivery of a new helicopter.
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air AmbulanceThe air ambulance has launched a new presentation including information about how the helicopters are tasked, the aircraft, types of missions, the crew, blood transfusions and night flying.
If you would like to book a talk, please call Fundraising Support Assistant Lucy Waterson on 01622 833 833.


The world-renowned musical museum and concert venue just outside Goudhurst closed at the end of 2015. Part of the large collection of historic pianos and keyboard instruments is to be auctioned for charity, with the remainder being kept to form the basis of a new collection by the current owners Richard and Katrina Burnett.
The Grade One listed Georgian manor house, set in extensive grounds, will be sold.

Village Green Application for the Glebe Field

Village Green Application for the Glebe Field


A unanimous decision by Kent County Council on 19th May 2015 confirmed the registration of the Glebe Field in Goudhurst as a Village Green and has concluded four years’ work by a committee of villagers who claimed that the field had been used “as of right” by residents for more than twenty years. After a Public Inquiry in June 2014 when many villagers gave witness to their use of the field, the adjudicating Inspector, Barrister Annabel Graham Paul, agreed with Goudhurst but the Diocese of Canterbury, which owns the field, requested a delay to hear a Supreme Court decision on an appeal of a village green application in Newhaven. The Inspector found that that decision did not affect the legality of Goudhurst’s claims and recommended to KCC that the field be granted Village Green status. It took the KCC Committee of Regulatory Services just a few minutes to accept her recommendation with no reservations.

A dozen village residents were at the Hearing in Maidstone to support members of the Goudhurst “Save the Glebe Field!” committee. Ed Bates, who chaired the committee, said after the decision: “We are all very pleased that Village Green status of the Glebe Field has been registered, confirming the right of residents of Goudhurst parish to use and enjoy access without hindrance in perpetuity.”

Ed Bates, Pamela Boniface, Richard Bushrod, David Edwards, Lynette Edwards, Shiona Gardiner, Richard Hillier, Donald Sargeant, Barbara Stafford.

Do you love to be outdoors and want to help your community?

Do you love to be outdoors and want to help your community?

Kent County Council Logo

If your answer is “yes”, then volunteering as a Countryside Access Warden may be ideal for you. Wardens carry out simple tasks on Public Rights of Way such as clearing overgrown vegetation and improving waymarking so people can use footpaths, bridleways and byways easily.

Kent County Council are looking for volunteers to become Countryside Access Wardens in Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green. You need to be over 18, fit enough to carry out light physical duties and able to spare at least a couple of hours every month at times convenient to you.

Knowledge of Public Rights of Way is not necessary as free training and equipment will be provided, a basic knowledge of map reading and regular access to a computer would be useful.

For more information and to apply to become a Countryside Access Warden for your local area please contact Anthony Farnfield, Clerk to Goudhurst Parish Council. 01580 212552 or email the Parish Clerk

Goudhurst Parish Council Precept for 2015-2016

Goudhurst Parish Council Precept for 2015-2016

Goudhurst Parish Council has announced an increase in their Council Tax precept for 2015-2016.
The Parish element of the Council Tax bills for a Band D property in the Parish will rise from £40.70 to £63.63, an increase of 56% (£0.44p per week).

The Chairman of Goudhurst Parish Council Cllr Antony Harris said

“As a result of changes coming from central government, a number of services previously financed through Tunbridge Wells Borough Council will be withdrawn, unless locally funded by parishes. On this basis TWBC had decided to dispose of what it calls ‘non-performing assets’ and to put them up for public auction, unless Parish Councils were willing to take them on.”
“Following a discussion with local residents at the open meeting held in Goudhurst Parish Hall on 10th November, the Parish Council voted on 8th December to take ownership of the Balcombes Hill Car Park and Public Toilets from 1st April 2015.”

“To lose the car park would create even more congestion than there is at present in the Village.” “Nor do we want to lose the public toilets since the Goudhurst conservation area is a popular tourist destination with visiting coaches and groups of walkers.”

“We will take over the car park in a very poor state of repair and the Council believes this must be put right as soon as practicable.”

“The Parish Council had plans to renovate the picturesque pond in Goudhurst in the coming year as it has become very silted up, but this project is now postponed until 2017 at the earliest.”

For any further information, please contact:

Anthony Farnfield

Clerk to Goudhurst Parish Council

01580 212552

Goudhurst at the BBC

Goudhurst at the BBC

Sir Roy Strong, historian and former Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A, accompanied BBC Radio Four’s Justin Webb to record a radio interview in Goudhurst. Sir Roy chose Goudhurst to represent the heart of the English countryside in his book published on national identity, titled Visions Of England. The BBC produced an audio slideshow of the interview, which can be found at:


Parish Footpaths

Parish Footpaths

There are over 40 miles of public rights of way in Goudhurst parish, but the local footpaths need to be kept clear of overgrown hedges and brambles, and wobbly stiles and marker posts need to be repaired.

Roger Coles has, for many years, organised volunteers to walk the paths to report on their condition so that the Parish Council can arrange the necessary maintenance work, sometimes in conjunction with Kent County Council. The volunteers are known as Hon Footpaths Officers and they have made an large contribution to raising and maintaining the standards of the local paths. However, some of the volunteers have now retired and replacements are needed. If you would like to become involved, even on a very occasional basis, please contact Cllr David Boniface on 01580 211430 or the Clerk to the Parish Council, Anthony Farnfield 01580 212552 or Email the clerk

Kent Police

Kent PoliceKent Police logo

“Police and Community Together” (PACT)

POLICE COMMUNITY SUPPORT OFFICER: PCSO Dave Jenkins: mobile 07969 584279. Dial 101 for non-emergencies. Send an email to Dave Jenkins

For all non-urgent incidents or enquiries, call 101
If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, call 999
If you are deaf or speech impaired, text ‘Police’ and your message to 60066
For news, advice or details of your neighbourhood officer, visit www.kent.police.uk

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH CO-ORDINATOR Peter Rolington 01580 212920 Send an email

Handy Van

Handy Van Service

The Help the Aged HandyVan service is a unique home security service, where trained HandyVan fitters visit your home and install equipment such as door chains and viewers, window locks and smoke detectors.
A fleet of 35 HandyVans are based around Britain and deliver a free service to those who meet the following criteria:
1. Applicants must be over 60 years of age.
2. Applicants do not pay income tax (excluding tax on personal pensions).
3. Applicant’s disposable savings/assets do not exceed £16,000 (Not including the value of their home).
Everyone is vulnerable to burglary, and the HandyVan service enables people to feel safer in their homes. Prevention is always the key to a safe, secure home and HandyVan fitters will work to help you ensure that your home is free from the risk of burglary.
If you would benefit from the HandyVan service, or you know someone who would, then please call the team on 01255 473 999 or Email

Follow Parish Council activities in detail and check progress of planning applications.
Parish Council news page


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