Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Providing for Housing Choices Gypsies & Travellers Policy 11: Provision for the Gypsy and Traveller Community [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP289
Respondent Kent Downs AONB Unit (Katie Mi… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 04 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted

While reference to development being required to minimise the potential impacts on surround landscape, including AONBs in the policy wording is welcomed, this falls someway short of meeting the statutory requirement of requiring proposals to ‘conserve and enhance’ AONBs. Development in AONBs needs to be of the highest quality and maintain the local character, qualities and distinctiveness of the AONB, in line with AONB Management Plan policies SD1, SD2 and SD9.  The nature of gypsy sites means they will often be inappropriate development within an AONB; we would like to see a requirement for any sites that are located within the AONB to be required to meet the key test of conserving and enhancing the AONB.

We query the proposed strategy to include ‘existing temporary pitches on suitable sites that can be made permanent’.  The fact a site has temporary permission should not influence its inclusion as an allocated site; the assessment of suitability should be made on the basis of a new site in the condition the site was prior to its occupation by gypsies/travellers.  

The Planning Policy for Traveller Sites, August 2015 confirms that local plans must be consistent with policies in the NPPF, including the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the application of specific policies in the Framework.  This means that paragraph 172 of the revised NPPF is relevant.