At the Steering Committee meeting last night members considered a report on the Sevenoaks District Council call for sites, review of the Core Strategy, and how these processes will need to be factored into the development of the Neighbourhood Plan.
By way of background; during the Inspector’s consideration of the District Council’s Allocations and Development Management Plan (adopted 2015) a request was made and agreed that the Core Strategy should be reviewed in the next 5 years to ensure policies are based on up to date evidence which is in compliance with National Planning Policy Framework guidance. To this end Sevenoaks District Council are conducting a strategic assessment of the need for residential and employment space, and looking again at the subject of land allocations.
The District Council call for sites is currently underway and seeks to identify additional land which could be allocated for residential / employment / mixed use.
One of the key conditions that the Neighbourhood Plan must fulfil is being in general complain with the strategic policies of the District’s Local plan, and therefore, the allocations which will emerge from the review of the Core Strategy.
In order to ensure a ‘joined up’ approach to land allocations members approved the following recommendations at last night’s meeting:
- The Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee reviews current allocations and new draft allocations (when published), and forms a view on whether additional site-specific guidance and infrastructure requirements are justified.
- The Steering Committee considers the list of unsuccessful allocations (due to owner objection) and determines whether allocation can be justified due to the desire of, and benefit to, the wider community.
- The Steering Committee carries out a ‘Call for ‘micro’ sites’ capable of supporting <5 units, to build a broader evidence base for the capability of Sevenoaks Town to deliver additional housing / employment space during the plan period.
- The Steering Committee considers whether clusters of allocations can be considered together to ensure that a holistic vision is developed for these areas of the town.
It is likely that the proposed ‘micro’ call for sites will be conducted in the new year. It is hoped that this will form an evidence base of Sevenoaks’ ability to deliver additional development beyond the larger allocations.