PRESS RELEASE: Referendum Date for the Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan set for 4th May 2023

Published: 13 February 2023

After many years of consultation and voluntary work

there is now the chance for Sevenoaks residents to have a vote

on the future of their town.

The Referendum Date for the 1st Sevenoaks Neighbourhood Plan

will be 4th May 2023

(alongside local elections) 

Sevenoaks Town Council has worked with the local community for several years in creating a Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan (STNP) and we are grateful to the many residents who have given their time voluntary to progress the Plan. The benefits of which have been outlined in this document.

The Mayor of Sevenoaks, Cllr Rachel Parry said:
Last Thursday Sevenoaks District Council unanimously agreed that the Sevenoaks Town Council’s STNP will provide a great deal of protection for our town’s buildings and new developments. When speaking of the Plan Cllr Peter Fleming spoke warmly of the excellent co-operation between the District and Town Council. The District Council unanimously voted for the arrangements for the Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan (STNP) to be the subject of a public referendum on 4th May this year. The STNP has been the subject of extensive consultation throughout the town, led by our Town Council, and in its final form received strong support and praise from His Majesty’s Planning Inspector. Hopefully all who vote in May will support and welcome the plan, and so help make our town ready for the future while respecting our heritage and history”.

The Independent Examiner’s Report on the Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Development Plan was received in December 2022 and was one of the final stages of the Plan’s progression towards Referendum. The Inspector required some minor modifications which related to emphasis and clarity on matters within the document which have been adopted alongside any of the minor amendment suggestions received during public consultation that have been agreed to be relevant.

The Independent Planning Examiner provides the following overview of the STNP and positive comments including below:

Overview: “It is evident that significant effort has been invested in the preparation of the STNP and the resultant document it well presented and clear. The identification of potential and allocated development sites and the identification of constraints and opportunities for those sites, will undoubtedly help in future decision making process. It is clear to me that the implementation of the policies in the STNP (as modified) will secure the realisation of the Town Council’s Vision and that Sevenoaks will retain its attractive characteristics while at the same time ensuring that a sustainable future is achieved.

- “All proposals […] will enhance the sustainability credentials of the town” (4.33)

- “Improvements would enhance the pedestrian experience in the town centre” and “ensure that the character of Sevenoaks is retained and improved” (4.34)

- The implementation of Policies E1, E3 and E4, which concern the local economy, “will be of benefit to local businesses and the wider community (4.37)

- Policy D5, relating to development, “clearly sets out the broad approach to providing energy efficient homes which minimise environmental impact”, and all “policies (as modified) relating to Development and Housing contribute to the achievement of sustainable development” (4.53 and 4.55)

If successful at Referendum the community of Sevenoaks will have created a Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan (STNP) which once formally adopted will be used to determine local planning applications and will carry the same weight as Local Plan policies.

Sevenoaks Town Council would like to acknowledge and thank members of the Steering Committee who contributed towards the completion of the Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan resulting in positive feedback from the Planning Inspector and ultimately a Plan for the benefit of the town.

Full copy of the Independent Examiner’s Report is available via this link, and the full Submission Draft of the NDP including schedule of its amendments as well as its supporting documents are available via this link.

Linda Larter MBE

Chief Executive / Town Clerk 13th February 2023

If you have any queries, please contact:

Georgie Elliston