Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Comment ID DLPP1054
Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Protecting, Conserving and Enhancing Green Belt, Landscape and the Natural Environment Landscape and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Policy 3 - Landscape and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty [View all comments on this section]
Respondent Rob Moorhouse ID-5318 [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 27 Sep 2018

The Tyrolese site comprising open farmland and woodland on an undulating landform, lies to the south of
Bessels Green and is situated in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). SDLP Policy 3
states that proposals within AONB and their setting must conserve and enhance the character of the
The SDC Landscape Sensitivity Assessment (May 2017) identifies the Tyrolese site as falling within the much
larger Sevenoaks West (S4) sensitivity assessment area which is judged (pg. 74) to have a
sensitivity to housing development … and … since this is a highly rural landscape with a residential edge,
sensitivity to commercial development is even higher (high sensitivity)’.
In assessing ‘Recommended Area 14’ (RA-14, see below), the Sevenoaks Green Belt Assessment (SGBA,
January 2017), identifies (para. 7.1.14) that this Area could be developed in part in landscape and visual
terms. A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA), undertaken on behalf of Tyrolese by Rummey
Design (Appendix 2) assesses the likely landscape character effects of development proposals at the Tyrolese
site, both on the site itself, it’s immediate surroundings and in the wider landscape.
In terms of potential residential-led development of the site, the LVIA notes that the rural outlook of the
houses on the edge of Bessels Green would be replaced by development and identifies some visual exposure
to long-distance views from the North Downs (Section 2.6). However, mitigation measures are identified,
alongside a number of opportunities to enhance landscape features. The LVIA concludes (Section 2.7):
“..there is potential for development of this site provided that a robust landscape led approach is followed
which seeks to reduce visual effects, respects landscape character and retains and enhances landscape
features. If this approach is adopted the Site could be developed without significant harm to the landscape
character of the AONB and Green Belt and without significant visual effects. There are potential beneficial
effects on the landscape character, including reinstatement of hedgerow planting to some boundaries,
enhancement of woodland edge habitat, public access to roads, ecology, footpaths and speed reductions on
Cold Arbor Road

Such ‘landscape led’ design of the Tyrolese site will enable conservation (as a minimum) and (potential)
enhancement of the character of the landscape, fully in accordance with SDLP Policy 3, with such
enhancement including a number of items identified in the Policy. The SGBA supports such an assertion.