Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 A Balanced Strategy for Sustainable Growth in a Constrained District Policy 1 - A Balanced Strategy For Growth in a Constrained District [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP903
Respondent Seal Parish Council (Tim Marti… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 06 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted

1 A Balanced Strategy for Sustainable Growth in a Constrained District

The housing provision for Sevenoaks should be less than the ‘objectively assessed need’ for two reasons. First, the high proportion of the District covered by the Green Belt and AONB provides a sound reason to limit the scale of development to a sustainable level. Secondly, the draft plan states that it is not practical to provide the proportion of affordable dwellings that the technical work concludes is required to meet local housing needs.

Policy 1 - A Balanced Strategy for Sustainable Growth in a Constrained District

The policy will need to be re-written after any development in the Green Belt in 'exceptional circumstances' has been decided.

The final version of Policy 1 should reflect the last clause of approved Policy LO1 as follows:

"In other locations priority will be given to protecting the rural character of the District. Development will take place only where it is compatible with policies for protecting the Green Belt and the High Weald and Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty".

A new Policy for Proposals and Priorities table at para. 1.14

The table at para. 1.14 sets out proposals and priorities for the towns within the District, and should become a new policy to replace approved policies LO2 to LO6.

Exceptional circumstances by Settlement page 25

The footnote to the table at para. 1.14 states that certain sites are: "…greenfield Green Belt sites which claim to have exceptional circumstances. These sites are currently being tested and are included in this consultation for comment, but this does not guarantee their inclusion in the final Draft Local Plan".

The draft Plan itself does not adequately summarise the merits that could justify each of these sites, or the overriding problems that should eliminate them, in part because work on their impact continues. The Plan should not rely on the promoters’ suggested benefits, but should investigate each site and require affordable dwellings, schools and transport etc. at all sites.

Consequently the draft Plan does not adequately inform the consultation, on which the District Council will rely in part to make its decisions about the sites. At this stage the Plan should assess the planning case for each major site and provide a clear strategy for development, focussing on the major settlements.

The draft Plan does not assess the cumulative impact of all proposed development, notably the consequences of retail, employment, housing and education uses on the A25 and its junctions in north Sevenoaks.

Duty to Cooperate

The draft Plan must assess the cumulative impact of development in north Sevenoaks and the 3,500 dwellings proposed in the neighbouring District at Borough Green, which will also create significant additional traffic on the A25 through Seal and north Sevenoaks.