Local Plan: Residents can have a say on Westerham future at public meeting

By Kevin Black in Planning

Sevenoaks District Council has now published the first of its Consultations 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 says is not associated with this idea, nor has it formed a view on it.

A spokeswoman said: “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 the Town Council is holding a Public Meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday September 13 at the Churchill CE Primary School when the Council will highlight what it sees 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. The District will hold a ‘drop-in’ session at the Council Offices in Westerham between 2 and 8 pm on Thursday, September 14 , so that residents can find out more before its consultation closes on October 5 .

The District Council’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. The Town Council wants to hear directly from residents and to learn their views before the Local Plan process moves on.

Email office@westerhamtowncouncil.gov.uk or ring 01959 562147.

If you would like to read the full documents, they can be found at HYPERLINK "http://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/issuesandoptions"; \t "_blank" www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/issuesandoptions

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