Sevenoaks Local Plan – Plan 2040 Consultation

We want to remind residents that the consultation deadline is Thursday 11th January for Sevenoaks District Council’s (SDC) new draft Local Plan, “Plan 2040”. The Plan contains proposed development sites along with policies which will guide what can be built and where, and what should be protected, until 2040.
Sites Proposed in the Local Area
Plan 2040 proposes a number of sites for development, including some in the Green Belt, and Fawkham Parish Council is very pleased to note that no sites are proposed within our Parish. Within our adjoining Parishes, two sites are proposed in Hartley (25 houses at a site on Manor Lane, Hartley, plus 8 on Church Road), two within New Ash Green (80 houses in total) and up to four sites are proposed in West Kingsdown (a total of 349 units across the four sites, all of which are in the Green Belt, close to the A20). We understand 11 sites within Fawkham were put forward for development by their landowners, although none are proposed by SDC within the consultation.
Development Strategy
SDC plans to focus future development in the eight existing towns and service settlements. However, they will also consider the potential contribution of Green Belt land, in exceptional circumstances, where the land is considered to be underperforming Green Belt and where it is sustainably located next to one of the eight towns or service settlements. Hartley, New Ash Green and West Kingsdown are all service settlements within SDC’s settlement hierarchy, whereas Fawkham Parish is classified as a hamlet, the lowest tier of the hierarchy. This means the Parish is not expected to accommodate much new development.
Development Options
The Government-set housing target for the district is 10,680 more houses by 2040. This represents an increase of around 20%.
The Plan sets out three development options, all of which sit on top of the Baseline site allocations:
– Baseline – All the options include sites put forward by their landowners which were found to be suitable through the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) process, including sites within settlements and on the edge of higher-tier settlements in the Green Belt. This gives approx 8,500 units, and so does not meet the target.
– Option 1 – Baseline sites plus Multiple Sites on the edge of certain higher tier settlements (Sevenoaks, Westerham and West Kingsdown) which are located in both the Green Belt and AONB. This option approximately meets the target (1,337 short).
– Option 2 – Baseline sites plus Pedham Place as a stand-alone Settlement in the Green Belt and AONB with 2,500 units. This option meets the target.
– Option 3 – Baseline sites plus options 2 and 3 Combined: AONB/Green Belt sites on the edge of higher tier settlements (Sevenoaks, Westerham and West Kingsdown) plus a stand-alone settlement Pedham Place. This option exceeds the target (1,163 over).
You can also see these options in SDC’s Summary document along with a summary of key policy topics here: The full Local Plan document can be found here:
It should be noted that changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) were released after the draft Local Plan was published. These include a key change related to the Local Plan process – the housing target is now “an advisory starting point for establishing a housing requirement”.
Housing Policies
Plan 2040 proposes detailed policies which will guide housing development, covering issues such as size of homes, types of home, affordable housing and housing density. Members of the public can comment on these.
Other Policies 
Plan 2040 includes other policies which will guide development covering Employment and the Economy, the Historic Environment, the Natural Environment, Infrastructure, Transport, Climate Change, Design, and Health and Wellbeing. Members of the public can also comment on all or any of these. The policies within the Neighbourhood Plan currently being prepared for Fawkham will sit alongside those of the district-wide Local Plan.
How you can respond to the Consultation
You can respond to the Consultation, including which Development Option you would prefer to see taken forward, here: The deadline is 11th January. FPC will be responding to the Consultation.
Fawkham Parish Council