Sevenoaks Residents Show Strong Support for Garden Village Housing Plan in Public Consultation

Public Support for Garden Village Housing Plan in Sevenoaks

A proposed development plan to build a new garden village housing project at Pedham Place, near Swanley, has gained the support of over one-third of Sevenoaks residents. The plan, put forth by Sevenoaks council as part of their local plan for future development sites, has received positive feedback from 37% of respondents in a recent public consultation.

Out of the 11,000 responses received from 5,300 people, the London Road location was the most popular choice, with 32% in favor of multiple sites across the district and 2% in favor of both multiple sites and Pedham Place. However, the plan has faced opposition from residents of Farningham, Eynsford, and Crockenhill, who have expressed concerns about the potential development of their beloved greenbelt and AONB areas.

One of the campaigners, Su Hewitt, pointed out discrepancies in the responses, highlighting that many respondents who initially showed support for Pedham Place also expressed the need to protect greenbelt and AONB areas. She also raised concerns about residents from other areas voting for Pedham Place in order to avoid development in their own communities.

The proposed development, which is a partnership between Gladman Developments and the Ramac group, aims to create a “20-minute village” where residents will have easy access to shops, work, and schools within a 20-minute walk from their homes. The site is also conveniently located near the M25 and railway line.

While the council has received one of the highest responses to a consultation in recent years, Cllr Simon Reay, the cabinet member for planning and conservation, emphasized the need to balance the opinions of the public and other stakeholders. He also stated that the council will be guided by all the evidence before reviewing the Local Plan.

The council is under pressure from the government to accommodate 10,680 new homes from 2025 to 2040, and the proposed development at Pedham Place could potentially help meet this target. However, there has been no detailed proposal for the project, and the recently reformed Wasps Rugby Club’s interest in developing a new stadium in the area has also been put on hold.

The results of the public consultation are set to be discussed at the council’s development and conservation advisory committee meeting on March 26. Residents can also view the meeting on the council’s YouTube channel. As the council prepares for its next local plan, it is important to carefully consider the views of all stakeholders and ensure that any development is in the best interest of the local community.

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