SDC reveals sites put forward by landowners for development

Posted on Jun 22, 2016

Following a meeting of their Planning and Advisory Committee on 21 June, SDC have issued the following Press Release:

Landowners put sites forward for development

Sevenoaks District Council has vowed to continue to protect the Green Belt as is considers more than 250 sites put forward by landowners for new housing, employment and community facilities.

Sevenoaks District Council, along with every other council in the country, is required by the Government to identify land for new development as it updates its local plan – a series of key planning policies that will be used to decide planning applications – and to identify a new local housing target up to 2035.

Last year the Council asked local landowners to volunteer land and a total of 252 sites were put forward. The majority of these sites are in the Green Belt as most of the 7% of the District not in the Green Belt has already been built on.

In the coming months the Council’s planners will carry out a detailed investigation of each site and will recommend a shorter list of sites that have the potential to be developed. The sites will be considered by Councillors and local people will be asked for their views next year.

Cllr Robert Piper, the Council’s Cabinet member for Planning says: “The Government has told us we have a duty to identify land for new homes as well as land for employment and local facilities.

“The truth is we have exhausted nearly every site in the built up areas so it is inevitable that, in the coming years, there will be some new development in the Green Belt. But we are committed to ensure only the most suitable and sustainable sites are developed, for example previously built on land, sites that are concreted over, poor quality land or Green Belt land that no longer serves its original purpose.

“We know this work will concern some communities, but we are talking about a fraction of one per cent of the Green Belt being developed and this will not be prime land.

“I want to assure our residents that we will do this job thoroughly and transparently and in full consultation with them and we will continue to do our best to minimise the impact on the Green Belt.”

The sites were considered at last night’s Planning Advisory Committee (21 June 2016).

Local people can view the sites at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/callforsites and can comment on the accuracy of the information presented by e-mailing sites@sevenoaks.gov.uk.

The Council will carry out two full consultations on the sites that will be recommend for development in 2017 followed by a public examination by The Government’s Planning Inspector in 2018 before being formally agreed in 2019.

 

Westerham Town Council wants to make it clear that it was not one of the landowners who put forward land for development and has not offered any of the land it owns as part of this exercise.  It is currently looking at the sites put forward within Westerham and Crockham Hill and will be commenting to SDC should it discover any inaccuracies.  The sites put forward can be viewed at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/callforsites .  For those not able to access the internet, a copy is held in the Council Offices (opening times Mon- Fri 9.30am -1pm)

Last week WTC put up on its website the news that the Planning Advisory Committee was to consider this subject at the Planning and Development Committee on 23rd June.