Sevenoaks District Council has now published the first Consultation regarding progress on the new Local Plan.
This is the ‘Issues and Options’ Consultation and importantly for Westerham, it contains the Squerryes Estate’s idea for significant development on Green Belt land.
For this idea to proceed, Squerryes will need to demonstrate that there are exceptional reasons which justify this (‘exceptional circumstances’): in this case a by-pass, environmental improvements and increased Common Land are cited.
Westerham Town Council is not associated with this idea, nor have we formed a view on it. We will not do so until we have ascertained what residents think.
In order to do this we will be sending out a Yes or No question on the Squerryes Estate’s idea to each household in Westerham and Crockham Hill in September.
This can be completed in paper form or on-line. We believe that it is important that your Council asks you directly for your view on an issue which could radically affect the future of our town.
Before that we will be holding a Public Meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 13th September at Churchill School when we will highlight what we see as the main impacts for Westerham.
Sevenoaks District Council will also mail each household with an extensive survey on the entire Issues and Options Consultation. They will hold a ‘drop-in’ session at the Council Offices in Westerham between 2 and 8 pm on Thursday 14th September, so that you can find out more before their consultation closes on 5 October.
Why two questionnaires? SDC’s survey will go to the whole of Sevenoaks District and the results will not be known until November/December. Its questions cover the ‘Issues and Options’ raised in the Sevenoaks District whereas Westerham Town Council’s will cover the Squerryes Estate’s idea as affecting Westerham only. Your Council wants to hear directly from residents and to learn your views before the Local Plan process moves on.
It is important that we are all involved in this consultation and take this, the first of several opportunities to make our views known. Please watch out for more information on our website, Facebook page, in your email box, on notice boards and in the press. Email us or write to us with your views: email@example.com or 01959 562147.
If you would like to read the full documents, they can be found at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/issuesandoptions and the Squerryes submission at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/info/20014/planning_policy/349/local_plan_-_issues_and_options_consultation/ Paper versions can be viewed at the Library. The Council Office at Russell House has an area where the documents can be read and where you will be able to leave your views.