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 DLPP294
Respondent Kent Downs AONB Unit (Katie Mi… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 04 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted

In respect of the proposed allocations:

GT2 – Early Autumn, East Hill, Shoreham

The site has been established as a gypsy site for a significant period and is located within a locality where there is a dispersed settlement pattern.  It is well screened and has limited impact on the landscape.

GT3 – St Georges Stable, Shoreham

The establishment of a gypsy site in this location is considered wholly inappropriate.  The site comprises open countryside, unrelated to existing settlement pattern in an unsustainable location.  While the mobile home is relatively well contained in the wider landscape as a result of topography and vegetative screening, the presence of occupation of the site is nevertheless apparent, including as a result of entrance gates of an inappropriate design.  We note that a previous appeal on this site for a gypsy site was dismissed on the grounds of harm to the AONB and Green Belt.  While we note a temporary permission has subsequently been granted by Sevenoaks District Council for a single plot, we do not consider that this is justification for allocating the site thereby resulting in the permanent stationing of a gypsy site in this inappropriate location, that would neither conserve nor enhance the Kent Downs AONB.     

GT8 – Knatts Valley Caravan Park, West Kingsdown

This site is located on the Knatts Valley Road in an area of established ribbon development and the site of the proposed allocation has been used as a caravan site since the 1960s, before the AONB was designated.  The caravans extend in some depth from the road on rising ground up the valley side meaning they are more prominent in views from the road and the site has become more formalised in recent years, with large areas of the site now comprising hard standing.   In order to help mitigate impacts on the AONB, if the site is allocated we would like to see a requirement for tree planting within the site to help filter views of the caravans.

GT9 – Hollywood Gardens, School Lane, West Kingsdown

This site is located in amongst existing residential development and is relatively well contained in the wider landscape, however the mobile home is visible from School Lane.  School Lane has a heavily treed character and in the venet of the site being allocated, we consider that the site would benefit from the planting of a tree(s) that can established a large crown in the grassed area at the entrance to the site to help mitigate the impacts on the AONB and be in keeping with the established character of the area.

GT10 – Two Barns, Knatts lane, West Kingsdown

Whilst there is a dispersed settlement pattern in this locality, the proposed allocation is located some distance away from the rural lane network in the open countryside and on the side of a valley.  A gypsy site in this location would fail to reflect local settlement pattern and would not conserve nor enhance the AONB.  The LCA undertaken by Sevenoaks District Council places this site in the 3b ‘East Hill Wooded Downs’ Landscape Character Area of the Sevenoaks LCA where suburban land uses are noted to detract from the condition of the rural landscape. Local objectives for this area include enhancing local vernacular built form and respecting the special qualities of the Kent Downs AONB.  The proposed allocation would not comply with the objectives. The AONB Unit objects to this allocation.