Kent

Ex-Hawkhurst villagers resent town status

Residents whose village was reclassified as a town have begun a campaign to regain its former status.

People in Hawkhurst fear the changes under planning law makes the former village an easy target for developers.

Under the changes, the old centre known as The Moor retains its village status but the other half known as Highgate has been classified as a town.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said it was important to classify areas to inform its planning strategy.

The local authority said the proposal was first put forward in 2006 and adopted in its core strategy in June.

Mike Appleby, who sits on the parish council, said Hawkhurst, with a population of about 4,000 people, should regain its village status.

He said: "I think if you are going to split a settlement in two, it should be highlighted and not just slipped into a document so that people miss it."

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