Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Ensuring new development respects local distinctiveness Designing and protecting attractive places [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP855
Respondent Kent County Council (Barbara C… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 20 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted
Response Type OBSERVATIONS
Comment

Page 83

Heritage and Conservation - Paragraph 7.2
‘Historic landscape’ could be added to the ways in which the district’s heritage contributes to the cultural heritage and special character of Sevenoaks
(paragraph 7.2).
The landscape that is visible today is the result of many centuries of evolution and the pattern of roads, tracks, field boundaries and hedgerows that gives
the modern landscape its character is firmly rooted in the past. The Kent Historic Landscape Characterisation Survey (2001) (HLC) is an important resource
for understanding the landscape of Kent and its development through time. KCC notes that the HLC is a strategic, not local, assessment. It allows us to look
at the landscape of Kent and draw conclusions about the development of the landscape in different parts of the county and the county as a whole. It is not
detailed enough to use at a small scale. It is not appropriate, therefore, to use the HLC data alone to inform specific development proposals or to identify
potential development sites. To assess the historic landscape in a detailed way it is necessary to refine the existing HLC further. Tunbridge Wells Borough
Council has recently done this for their Borough and KCC recommends that a similar approach could be taken. KCC is happy to discuss this further.
In addition, Sevenoaks District Council is urged to consider that features within the historic landscape may also be heritage assets in their own right.
It should also be noted that Sevenoaks contains numerous historic buildings that are not Listed (whether nationally or locally) and are not in Conservation
Areas and which also contribute to the character of the area.

Paragraph 7.4
The historic environment has a significant role to play in the conservation of resources required for development and also in energy efficiency. Old buildings
can often be more energy efficient than newer ones and of course have already been built. Thus, it may take less overall resource to adapt an old building
than to demolish it and build a completely new one. English Heritage has produced guidance (‘Climate Change and the Historic Environment’, 2008) that
reviews the threats to the historic environment posed by climate change. The guidance also demonstrates that historic structures, settlements and
landscapes can in fact be more resilient in the face of climate change, and more energy efficient, than more modern structures and settlements.

Sustainable Business and Communities -  Paragraph 7.4
KCC considers it would be beneficial for developments over 100 residential units to have an Energy and Water Statement, which considers mitigation
strategies for energy and water use to achieve above Building Standards recommendations.

Heritage and Conservation - Paragraph 7.5
Sustainable Drainage Schemes (SuDS) may have both direct and indirect impacts on the historic environment. Direct impacts could include damage to
known heritage assets – for example if a historic drainage ditch is widened and deepened as part of SuDS works. Alternatively, they may directly impact on
unknown assets, such as when SuDS works damage buried archaeological remains. Indirect impacts occur when the ground conditions are changed by
SuDS works, thereby impacting on heritage assets. For example, using an area for water storage, or improving an area’s drainage can change the moisture
level in the local environment. Archaeological remains in particular are highly vulnerable to changing moisture levels, which can accelerate the decay of
organic remains and alter the chemical constituency of the soils. Historic buildings are often more vulnerable than modern buildings to flood damage to their
foundations.
When SuDS are planned, it is important that the potential impact on the historic environment is fully considered and any unavoidable damage is mitigated.
This is best secured by early consideration of the local historic environment following consultation with the Kent Historic Environment Record (HER) and by
taking relevant expert advice. KCC maintains the County HER and can offer guidance on avoiding damage to the County’s heritage.

Attachments