Planning for the Future, the Government’s consultation proposals for speeding up the planning process
Today 6th August the Government published its proposals for streamlining the planning system. The White Paper Planning for the Future is open for consultation until 29th October 2020.
Very briefly …
- The Government would still be pushing for 300,000 homes annually, and one million homes over this Parliament.
- The National Planning Policy Framework. The rule book upholding the Green Belt and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (The National Planning Policy Framework) would still be there, but it is set for another revision.
- The Local Planning process largely stripped down to placing all land in one of three categories: Growth areas suitable for substantial development, Renewal areas suitable for development, and Protected areas. Residents would have a say on this at the outset, but, as widely reported in the media today, we’d have no subsequent say about any development in the Growth and Renewal areas, i.e. no commenting on planning applications
- Infrastructure and affordable homes: the proposals would abolish the Section 106 route for getting developers to pay for infrastructure and/or build affordable homes. The Infrastructure Levy on developers would be payable only once the developed premises were occupied (In practice this happens anyway, but this is one reason why the Press are calling this White Paper a ‘developers’ charter’). There would be a national rate for the Levy based on post Local Plan land values.
- Environmental impacts assessments (EIAs) of proposed developments would be merged with sustainability appraisal. EIAs could become mere desk top exercises with no ecology experts visiting the site.
Read Sky News coverage of this here.
Sevenoaks District Council seeks proceedings over Inspector’s Local Plan rejection
Please see SDC’s press release issued 17th April. SDC_Press Release_20_04_17
Broke Hill & Fort Halstead: developers forge ahead regardless
The Local Plan proceedings are halted, but the big developer Quinn Estates has continued to push for 800 houses at the former Broke Hill Golf Course, between the roads to Orpington and Knockholt. Sevenoaks Planning Application ref 19/02616/OUT
Inspite of rejection from the Sevenoaks Draft Local Plan, the former Broke Hill Golf Course is still being pursued by the big developer Quinn Estates. The application was submitted just before the the Examination started up. It proposes 800 houses, down from the original 850.
You can see the planning application and full details here
Ref 19/02616/)OUT. Unfortunately, the deadline for comments has been unclear.
The Fort Halstead planning application amendment Application ref 19/05000/HYB
The deadline for comments to Sevenoaks District Council Planning is 31st July.
The proposal: 635 residential instead of the original 750 houses, primary school and two access roads. The development is slightly less dense in the middle. It is KWG’s understanding that The Fort Halstead site was included in the draft Local Plan in June 2019. However, as mentioned before, the entire Draft Plan will be subject to judicial review.
Work on M25 continues until November
You will have heard the late-night work that started 29th June on the M25 clockwise carriageway between junction 5 Sevenoaks to junction 6 Godstone, which is due to finish by November 2020. These works are to strengthen the embankment.
Phase 1 – Piling works: Access from M25 for approximately five weeks, from June to
July. Some work will take place during the day and there will also be some overnight
Phase 2 – Verge works: Access from M25 for approximately seven weeks, from
August to September. The work will take place during the day.
Phase 3 – Embankment earth and drainage works: Access from Water Lane, for
approximately nine weeks from August to the end of October. No closures are
required, but traffic on Water Lane will be busier.
Residents in the area have apparently been sent a letter about the works. The initial overnight works may generate some noise, but noise levels will be monitored and the work carried out in a way that minimises disturbance as much as possible.
If you have any questions about this work please contact the Highways England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 123 5000, available 24 hours a day.
KWG extends its thanks to the Tatsfield Parish Council Magazine Jul-Aug 2020 for this summary.
Government 31st July announcement about Coronavirus
The Tandridge District Council Local Plan 2033
The Planning Inspector will put further questions to Tandridge Council about the bid for money to improve the M25 Junction 6 . He will do this before finally publishing his final Report. To see the letter about this please click below.
To read more about the bid for funds to improve M25 Junction 6 (in connection with the proposed housing development at Godstone), please click here.
The Covers Farm Quarry Proposal
For the latest information on Covers Farm please click here.
KWGRG’s appeal for funds
We’re still trying to raise funds towards seeking expert opinion and producing campaign materials. If you are able to make a donation – £ 30, £10 or anything at all – it will make a big difference in the fight to protect Westerham’s Green Belt and to prevent the town from becoming a building site for 20 years.
There are three ways to donate:
Drop in a cheque payable to ‘Keep Westerham Green Residents Group’ or cash to
‘Hunters’ 1A Fullers Hill, Westerham, TN16 1AF. Receipts will be noted.
Make a bank transfer to account name ‘Keep Westerham Green Residents Group’ at Barclays, sort code: 20 88 13, account number: 43902846.
A £10 donation via PayPal using a Debit or Credit Card.
The Keep Westerham Green Residents Group is an unincorporated residents association.
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If you would like to join us you can sign up on our Contact Us page.
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