On 17th September The Force Green Lane Doggie Day Care Centre application was approved by 9 votes to 8, with the Sevenoaks District Planning Control Committee chair casting the deciding vote. 20/01170/FUL – Land South of Force Green Farm, Force Green Lane, Westerham TN16 2DN. The conversion and change of use of an existing agricultural building and land to a dog day care business (sui generis). The site is located near the base of Westerham Hill.
Sevenoaks District Council Planning Team had recommended approval. Below is the the coverage from the Sevenoaks Chronicle.
Approval subject to conditions:
KCC Highways had already set out preconditions involving 1) alterations to the Force Lane junction 2) signage and 3) a ‘Travel Plan’ intended to reduce the number of private vehicle on site. Councillors’ observations highlighted how unspecific / enforceable these conditions were at the moment. One councillor asked why Kent Highways had not consulted Westerham Town Council on the potential highway hazard.
Sevenoaks Environmental Health Officer had already required a more effective Noise Management Plan as another pre-condition. Speaking at the committee meeting, Mr Cassalis, Director of Bruce’s Doggie Day Care, was not convincing when he said how the barking would be controlled. .
Another pre-condition was voted in at the meeting: a limit on the number of dogs to 130. This felt like a bit of a fig leaf given the extent of disquiet about the lack of evidence on satisfactory noise abatement and concerns about the number of extra rush hour vehicle movements. District Councillors Esler, Maskell and Westerham Town Councillor Cohen spoke well on these issues.
The 75 objections and total absence of supporting letters were mentioned this evening.
The diagram below from the application shows the proposed alteration to the junction.
Force Green Lane junction with Biggin Hill Road – proposed change to access and exit in Appl. 20/01170/FUL. Note: Inbound and Outbound are wrongly labelled
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