Residents in the Sevenoaks District are being urged to have their say on a new Local Plan which will help guide what can be built and what should be protected in the District up until 2035, in what is called the Issues and Options consultation.
Sevenoaks District Council is running the consultation now, with residents able to view information on the Council’s website and then share their thoughts until 5 October by filling out a survey, which will also be sent to every household in the District and publicised in a special edition of In Shape, going to every District household in August.
The Local Plan needs to achieve a balance as many residents want to continue to protect the rural nature of the District, being 93% Green Belt, with others voicing a need for additional employment, new medical, community, retail and leisure facilities.
Alongside transport and infrastructure, the plan considers needs for all types of new housing to ensure that the right mix is provided in the future.
The work carried out so far by the Council suggests the Green Belt can continue to be protected by providing homes and space for businesses in existing built up areas, with the Green Belt only being considered where land has already built on (known as brownfield land) or in exceptional circumstances.
Cllr Robert Piper, Sevenoaks District Council Portfolio Holder for Planning, says: “Our new local plan will focus on the needs of local communities and reflect local issues. To properly do this we need people to get involved in the consultation.
“In August, residents will receive a short survey asking for their views on our Local Plan ideas which will take less than 15 minutes to complete.
“They can then return this in a freepost envelope supplied, or alternatively, complete the survey online.
“The Local Plan will affect us all for many years so we are urging people to get involved and take part in our forthcoming survey – we want to hear what everyone has to say.”
Residents can now view the information about the Local Plan at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/issuesandoptions