Local Council Chairman Compares Housing Plans to Hunger Games Amid Ongoing Public Consultation and Community Rift

Local Council Chairman Compares Housing Plans to

Local Council Chairman Compares Housing Plans to Hunger Games

The local parish council chairman has likened the current housing plans and proposed Wasps stadium near Swanley to the popular book and movie series “The Hunger Games.” Cllr Vince Robson expressed his concerns about the ongoing public consultation, where residents in Sevenoaks were asked about the future development of housing between 2025 and 2040.

The consultation, which ended yesterday, has caused a rift between local communities as they struggle to come to a consensus on where thousands of new homes should be built on precious green belt land. Sevenoaks council has stated that they have “had to consider” a number of green belt and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) sites to meet the need for 10,680 new homes in the coming years.

One of the major points of contention is the proposal to build a stadium “bigger than the O2 Arena” for Wasps Rugby Football Club to move to Kent. This has sparked a campaign on a Sevenoaks Facebook group, pushing for a mass development of 2,500 homes near the historic villages of Eynsford and Farningham.

According to Eynsford Parish Council chairman Vince Robson, the Facebook group has more members than the entire village of Eynsford, highlighting the impact that this development would have on the small community. He also expressed his disappointment with the lack of information provided in the consultation, stating that it is not fair or equitable to make decisions without accurate information.

Residents in Eynsford and Farningham are keen to resist the development, known as Pedham Place, due to its ecological advantages and concerns about increased traffic on race days at the nearby Brands Hatch track. The land in the Darent Valley, where the development is proposed, is currently used as a golf course and driving range.

Mr. Robson emphasized that the village is not opposed to all development, but they prefer the option of spread-out developments that are less invasive to green belt land. He also raised concerns about the protection of areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs), which are designated as national landscapes.

Sevenoaks District Council has laid out their proposals for the second phase of their Local Plan 2040, which includes the development at Pedham Place. In a 280-page document, the council has stated that the proposed development would be within a national landscape. However, residents are skeptical and are urging the council to consider more sustainable and less intrusive options.

A spokesperson for the council has stated that the consultation process is set by central government and that the council believes the information provided is accurate. They have also assured residents that the plan will be carefully reviewed and examined by a Government-appointed planning inspector before it can be adopted and implemented.

As the consultation period has now ended, it remains to be seen how the council will move forward with the proposed developments and whether the concerns of local communities will be taken into consideration.

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