A reworked Draft Local Plan by April 2023?

Keep Westerham Green asked Cllr Diana Esler to explain where we are with the Sevenoaks Local Plan, now that the Council had not been successful at the judicial review. The following note supplied by the Head of Strategic Planning, shows that they are reworking the plan.

‘The Planning Policy Team has published a timetable to take forward an updated Local Plan through to adoption. The timetable, called the Local Development Scheme (LDS), includes two rounds of consultation, where residents and other interested parties can submit comments.

The first round of consultation, called the Regulation 18 stage, is scheduled to take place in April/May 2022 and will ask for comments on what our Local Plan ought to contain. All comments received will go forward to inform the production of the ‘Regulation 19’ version, that the Council intends to submit to the Government for examination. Consultation on the Regulation 19 version is expected to take place in December 2022 through to January 2023 and will focus on specific aspects of the planning regulations and guidance, including the duty to co-operate.

The LDS indicates that the Council intends to submit the plan for examination in April 2023.

Sites on Green Belt come forward starting 25th November

‘Officers have also recently commenced a ‘Call for Sites’ to be included in the emerging Local Plan. The Call for Sites is being undertaken in two stages. Stage 1 commenced in mid-October and requests sites that are within existing settlements, outside of the Green Belt. Stage 2 will begin on 25th November and relates to all other parts of the District.

Evidence updated

A number of new and updated evidence base documents are also being prepared to inform the emerging plan and you may have been involved in some of the associated workshop sessions. Documents of note include:

The District -wide character study: This work investigates the physical, social and economic character of places in Sevenoaks District to inform the development of Local Plan policies and allocations.

The Town Centre Strategy: which considers how our town centres can remain vibrant in response to trends such as online shopping, which has accelerated since COVID 19; and

The Targeted Review of Local Housing Needs: This work considers the size, type and tenure of housing, particularly affordable housing, that will be needed in the District over the 15 year period of the Local Plan.

Updates on the Local Plan are now a standing item at the Council’s Development and Conservation Advisory Committee and the latest position is available in these reports. Specific queries can be submitted by email to the planning policy team at planning.policy@sevenoaks.gov.uk.’

James Gleave, Strategic Planning Manager, Sevenoaks District Council

How will major developments be assessed before 2023?

The Council determines planning applications using policies in the Core Strategy, the ADMP and also national planning guidance.’

James Gleave, Strategic Planning Manager, Sevenoaks District Council

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