Sevenoaks Town Council - Press Release – 23rd May 2017
In December 2016 the Town Council started to develop a masterplan for the Northern Sevenoaks Area with planning consultants Urban Initiative Studios, seeking to develop a realistic plan for how development over the next 30 years could be guided in a manner which benefits the local community and protects the town from damaging piecemeal development.
During the development of the masterplan neighbouring parishes were invited to be involved as key stakeholders in the process, individual members of parish councils attended pre-consultation sessions but Sevenoaks Town Council did not receive any official responses.
All Neighbourhood Plan meetings are open to members of the public, and masterplan pre-consultation events were promoted via posters in the Town, leaflet drops to Northern Sevenoaks residents and businesses, adverts in the Chronicle, and the Town Council’s databases. These events included the Annual Town Public Meeting which over 160 members of the public attended and received a presentation on the pre-consultation draft masterplan.
During the pre-consultation stage the Town Council made a number of amendments to the plan in response to feedback from stakeholders and the public, including proposals around Greatness Recreation Ground, the Sevenoaks Scout Hut, and the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve.
Following the launch of official consultation on the draft plan on Friday 12th May 2017 the Town Council has received strong feedback from both members of the public in Otford and Dunton Green, and neighbouring parish councils in relation to proposals outside of the Town Council’s Parish boundary. The Town Council has now organised a further consultation event with Neighbouring Parish Council’s to discuss the plan in late May.
The Town Council is mindful that the original, and core, purpose of the Northern Sevenoaks Masterplan was to take a realistic and pragmatic approach to development which will take place over the next 30 years. Seeking to quantify the cumulative impact of new development to allow the local community to shape it in a manner which minimises negative impacts and captures as much benefit for the existing population as possible.
By taking a long-term approach to development the Town Council will be able to directly address the need for new infrastructure required to support long term growth including new medical facilities, schools, and other local amenities. It is concerned that without a solid plan incremental piecemeal development over the ensuing decades will have a significant impact on local infrastructure without the cumulative impact ever being directly addressed or solved.
Taking on board the concerns of Neighbouring Parish Councils and residents, and given the importance of the Masterplan to ensuring residents of Northern Sevenoaks and the wider town are safeguarded against the impacts of piecemeal development the Town Council has resolved to remove the following elements from the Northern Sevenoaks Masterplan: