Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Providing for Housing Choices Homes to suit all incomes [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP233
Respondent Stephanie Kitchenham ID-5824 [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 03 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted

I think there's a point (or several) being missed here.

You state that 70% of the district is made up of larger homes yet I wonder how many of these are truly 'Affordable' homes as opposed to privately owned? There are plenty of people in this district that cannot afford to buy or privately rent that are stuck in homes too small for them. (After having twins, I am one of them). Even your own allocations policy states at Appendix 2A "There is a high demand for certain properties such as two bedroom properties and four bedroom properties in the district" it also says "Where the bedroom requirements exceed what size property is likely to become available a smaller property may be offered"

So my point is, How many of these needed two and four-bed social housing units are you intending to build? Because it seems that whenever a development is constructed, most properties are private ownership (available to people outside the area) or small units. Just how does your plan help existing overcrowded families as opposed to developers?

Another point, which someone else has already made but I'd like to comment on myself. The provision for older people.

I need a bigger property, a single older person may have a bigger property but that doesn't mean they should make way for me. Far from it. If you think building a nice new one bed flat for an elderly person is a solution, you're missing something. We are talking about an older person who, not only may need help from a family member moving in with them but a person who has memories of their family or partner tied up in their home. How many people decided to stay in their home after the bedroom tax was introduced? How many older people have taken up west kent housings cash offer for downsizing? The reason for that? It's not about the money. It's a persons home.

My opinion is that building one or two bedroomed houses is the way forward is flawed. Build truly affordable bigger homes, move the overcrowded into the bigger homes (freeing up smaller homes). Don't assume that building smaller properties will benefit our older generation or our younger because more likely, these one-bed flats will become (probably unaffordable) private rents or house people that came into the area. It won't help/keep those already here.