Neighbourhood Plan

Neighbourhood Plan

Public Consultation on the submitted Fawkham Parish Neighbourhood Plan

We are pleased to let you know that Fawkham’s Neighbourhood Plan has been submitted to Sevenoaks District Council.

An exhibition detailing the draft Plan was held last summer, alongside a questionnaire seeking feedback on its content. 73 questionnaires were completed – 68 from Fawkham residents. Careful consideration was given to all comments, and the Plan amended accordingly. SDC is now publicising the Plan through a further consultation process, which runs for 6 weeks from 7th June to 19th July. It can be found here: where there is also a short survey for your feedback. Please do take a look at the final proposed Neighbourhood Plan and give your thoughts. 

After this step, the Plan will be examined by an Examiner, independent of both SDC and FPC. We hope the Examiner recommends we proceed to a referendum vote amongst residents on the adoption of the Plan, to sit as legal document used to determine planning applications alongside SDC’s Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework. The timescale for this vote is not yet known, although we hope it will take place later this year.

We recognise that the Parish has evolved throughout its long history to meet changing needs and understand there continues to be a need to evolve. But we also recognise the distinctiveness provided by the landscape, heritage and character – assets that should be protected to ensure Fawkham’s sense of place in the Green Belt in the North Downs area of Kent. What came through from evidence gathering and engagement with residents is the desire to protect the beautiful Kent Downs landscape, with its woodland, open fields, biodiversity and panoramic views, as well as maintaining our community facilities and local economy, protecting our heritage and meeting the very small need for housing originating from the Parish, and thereby allow what is a small rural Parish to retain all that it values highly. 

Fawkham Parish Council


Background information: 

A six week public consultation was held on the draft Regulation 14 Fawkham Neighbourhood Plan, which closed on 14th August 2023. We have been talking to residents and businesses in the Parish since 2019, asking what they think about Fawkham Parish now and how they would like to see it in the future. This has enabled us put together a draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fawkham Parish – and we wanted to know what you think.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

A Neighbourhood Plan guides the development of land and buildings in a parish, It is created by the local community, led by the Parish Council. It gives us a legal say in local planning matters. It is a relatively new type of planning document for Fawkham and is produced by the Parish. It is part of the Government’s approach to planning which aims to give local people more say about what goes on in their area.

The results of the Parish Survey of 2019 led the Parish Council to believe writing a Neighbourhood Plan would be a good idea and, following consultation with residents, the unanimous decision was made in December 2020 to go ahead with preparing one.

Since then, the Parish Council and the volunteers of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group have undertaken further public consultation and engagement activities to ensure that the content of the Plan reflects what local people want. This information has been used to develop background evidence for the Plan and also to commission studies to support the Plan’s policies.

If passed at a local referendum, the Neighbourhood Plan will be adopted by Sevenoaks District Council and must be used to determine planning applications in the Parish. It will become part of the Development Plan alongside SDC’s Local Plan, which looks at the District as a whole. Sevenoaks Town has already adopted a Neighbourhood Plan, and Swanley is also at an advanced stage. Several other Parishes are in the process of preparing one, including Hartley and Ash-cum-Ridley.

The Plan will provide the local community with a powerful tool to guide the long term future of Fawkham Parish. 

The Plan contains a vision for the future of the Parish and sets out clear planning policies to realise this vision. These policies include protecting the landscape, with its woodland, open fields, ecological biodiversity and panoramic views; maintaining our community facilities and local economy; protecting our heritage and meeting the very small need for housing originating from the Parish.

A Neighbourhood Plan cannot stop development: it must support the strategic needs set out in the Local Plan. This means it cannot prevent development identified in the Local Plan; there are no sites allocated by SDC in their draft Local Plan, although this has yet to be examined. Housing developments have recently been granted permission by SDC at Salts Farm depot (26 units), Fawkham Manor hospital (26 units) and Gay Dawn Farm (9 units).

How has it been put together?

Fawkham Parish Council set up a Steering Group of Parish Councillors and local residents to develop the Neighbourhood Plan. The Draft Plan has been shaped by the views of residents and brings together results of our community engagement workshops and surveys, and evidence gathered by our volunteer Steering Group. We have been supported in this by a professional planning consultant.

How has the community been involved?

During development of the Plan, we have engaged with the people of Fawkham Parish and others with an interest in the area. To date, this has included: 

  • A formal consultation on a draft Plan in the summer of 2023, which included exhibitions detailing its content at the village hall and a questionnaire seeking feedback. 73 questionnaires were returned to us, 68 of which were from residents
  • A workshop in July 2022 looking at what is important to residents and how they wish to see the Parish in the future 
  • A workshop seeking input to the report on the local landscape in spring 2022
  • A business survey sent to all houses and all businesses in spring 2022
  • A survey seeking views on the countryside in autumn 2021
  • A survey for children at Fawkham School in autumn 2021
  • A picnic at Small Grains looking at site-specific issues in 2021
  • A survey sent to all households in 2019
  • Stalls at the church fetes in 2021, 2022 and 2023

To see previous updates on the Neighbourhood Plan, please visit: Neighbourhood Plan News

For information on the Steering Group, click here: Steering Group

You can find more information on the following pages:

Neighbourhood Plan Key Documents

Neighbourhood Plan Other Documents

How can I get more involved?

Please do get in touch if you have the skills, experience, time and, most importantly, the willingness to help by joining our Steering Group or by joining a working group looking at a particular topic, such as environment, biodiversity, infrastructure, housing or urban design.

Please do contact us if you have any thoughts, comments or queries.

Preparing a Neighbourhood Plan is your chance to shape the future of Fawkham.

If you’d like to find out more about Neighbourhood Plans in general, you can visit:

How to shape where you live: Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in association with National Association of Local Councils:


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