Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Supporting a Vibrant and Balanced Economy Visitor Economy Policy 14 - Town and Local Centres [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP1162
Respondent Lichfields (Sarah Fabes ID-3226) [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 02 Oct 2018
Current Status Accepted

The NPPF (para. 85) acknowledges the important role that residential development can play in town centres and requires that planning policies allocate a range of suitable sites in town centres to meet the scale and type of development that is likely to be needed.

Whilst some of the proposed site allocations do encourage residential development on some town centre sites, the current wording of Policy 14 cannot be said to encourage residential development in town centres.

This conflicts with both the NPPF (para. 85) and SDC’s Retail Study (2016), which note the benefits of residential development and include recommendations to diversify town centre uses. Accordingly, we suggest that the policy is re-worded as below:

"Within the defined town centre boundaries of Sevenoaks, Swanley, Edenbridge and Westerham, town centre uses which meet the needs of the town they serve will be permitted. In recognising that residential development often plays an important role in ensuring the vitality of centres, residential development will be permitted in appropriate locations, providing that in primary shopping areas, the residential element is not proposed at the ground floor."