Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) has set out 4 options for development in their Local Plan 2040.
Please find below details of the options and a map detailing the options. More information can be found on the SDC website.
The Plan sets out three development scenarios or growth options or spatial strategies. All of the options include, as a baseline, the sites which were found to be suitable through the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) process, including sites within settlements and on the edge of higher-tier settlements, in the Green Belt.
The options revolve around sites which are located in both the Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and whether it is preferable to allocate a number of smaller sites, or one large site, or a combination of the two.
Baseline – sites which were found to be suitable through the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) process. This includes sites within settlements and in the
Green Belt on the edge of higher-tier settlements (towns and service settlements), which have the services, facilities and connections, to promote a sustainable pattern of development. [Provides 8,500 homes].
Option 1 – Baseline sites plus Multiple Sites on the edge of higher tier settlements (Sevenoaks, Westerham and West Kingsdown) which are located in both the Green Belt and AONB. [Provides 9,500 new homes].
Option 2 – Baseline sites plus Stand-alone Settlement in a single location, mindful that there are wide ranging benefits to strategic growth, as set out at NPPF paragraph 73, including co-ordinated infrastructure investment. [Provides 11,000 new homes and includes a large development at Pedham Place]
Option 3 – Baseline sites plus Combined AONB/GB sites on the edge of higher tier settlements (Sevenoaks, Westerham and West Kingsdown) plus stand-alone settlement. [Provides 12,000 new homes].
Westerham Town Councillors discussed the SDC Local Plan at some length. The debate was focused on the best option for Westerham. Clearly the Baseline Option and Option 1 failed to meet the criteria for number of new homes and would be rejected by Government.
Option 3 delivers more homes than required, so would have greater impact on Green Belt and AONB.
It was agreed to provisionally support Option 2, which we felt had an acceptable level of impact locally, subject to any public comments from residents.