Villagers March Against Proposed Development at Pedham Place

Villagers March Against Proposed Development at Pedham Place

Villagers unite in protest against proposed development at Pedham Place

A peaceful protest march was held on Saturday (June 29) by a group of around 100 villagers in opposition to plans for a 2,500-home garden village on the green belt at Pedham Place, near Swanley.

The site, currently a golf course, has been earmarked for major redevelopment by Sevenoaks Council as part of its new draft Local Plan. The council is seeking to find sites for 10,000 new homes within the next 15 years, but this has caused concern among the neighboring communities of Farningham, Eynsford, Horton Kirby, South Darenth and Crockenhill.

The protest walk, organized by umbrella group Protect Our Green Belt Together, began at The Lion Hotel in Farningham and followed a route that crossed the golf course using public rights of way. The protesters also stopped for a picnic at the Arthur Mee memorial bench along the way.

Su Hewitt, one of the organizers, expressed her gratitude for the support shown by drivers and golfers on the course, as well as the discovery of nesting skylarks on the site. She also highlighted the potential expense and environmental impact of the development, including an oil pipe running beneath the site.

This protest walk is just one of several demonstrations against the planned development, including a tractor drive by local farmers. Sevenoaks Council is currently revising its draft plan and a report on the programme for the Local Plan will be presented at a meeting on July 11. The final draft is expected to be released for public consultation towards the end of the year.

The proposed development is being promoted by builders Gladman Developments and the Ramac group, who envision a self-sufficient “20-minute community” with all necessary amenities within a short walk. However, plans for a 28,000 seater sports stadium for the Wasps Rugby Football Club have been abandoned.

As the council considers allocating the Pedham Place Golf Course for major redevelopment, villagers remain determined to protect their green belt and way of life.

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