Farningham still needs you!

The threat of 2500 houses at Pedham Place has not gone away…

Sevenoaks District Council have kept Pedham Place in the plan, albeit as a ‘Broad Location of Growth’ for future development.

What does this mean?

  • The Pedham Place proposal was submitted too late to be properly considered.
  • The proposed development is too large and too complex to make a decision on in the timescales available.
  • Sevenoaks District Council appear to like the site, with its ‘proximity’ to Swanley which they feel is badly in need of regeneration and ripe for development.
  • The large capacity site helps SDC fulfil their housing target.
  • The development of the site has been placed in the later phases of the local plan (15 to 25 years), a realistic time frame to deliver a site of this size.
  • SDC will review the site in 5 years, giving the developers time to iron out all the issues.

Regulation 19 Consultation

The current Sevenoaks plan is the final draft intended to be sent to the Government Inspector.

The Inspector will review the plan to check its ‘soundness’ and that it makes sense.

If the Inspector feels there are questions still outstanding, they can choose to open it up to another public consultation.  If, as a result of that consultation, the plan is amended, the amended plan will then have to go to a further public consultation.

Comments on the current version of the plan are directed at the Inspector, not at Sevenoaks District Council.

We need to cast enough doubt to encourage the Inspector to open another consultation and have the plan amended – Pedham Place needs to be taken out of the plan by the Inspector.

And there is plenty of doubt…

Traffic Congestion:

Kent Highways have yet to publish their road infrastructure report.

Swanley Town Council’s Traffic Study identified an ‘inability of existing junction to M25 to cope with current level of traffic.’

Limited opportunity for multiple access points to the site due to narrow rural roads, local covered reservoir and M25 on three sides of the site.

Site access by foot is untenable:

Walking and cycling routes to Swanley are unsafe and unclear.  Eynsford and Farningham Road stations out of walking range.

Area topography does not make walking and cycling sustainable – top of a very steep hill, next to junction of two major motorways, cut off from town by congested motorway junction roundabout.  M25 travels over the junction, M20 travels underneath.  Safe route would require installation of a subway under the M25.

Public health:

Electricity pylons cross the site, known health concerns from living in close proximity to pylons.

Pollution caused by regular M25 congestion queuing to Dartford Crossing back to junction 4 breaks European safety standards.

All of these reasons are enough to cast doubt on the suitability of the Pedham Place for housing development.

To fix most of these issues does not make sound economic sense.

And the site is an important buffer between London’s urban sprawl and Kent, the Garden of England.  The site has Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Green Belt status.  Its removal from the greenbelt will invite London through its gateway.

This is your chance to talk directly to the Inspector.  Tell them the Pedham Place Development does not make sound economic sense.  Raise enough doubt for the Inspector to remove Pedham Place from the plan.

Click on the link below, scroll down to Site ST2-28 and add your comments.

Please do it today!

The deadline for comments is Sunday 3rd February.