Update on the progress of the NDP’s Strategic Environmental Assessment

As previously reported, Sevenoaks Town Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) was recommended as requiring a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) by one of its Statutory Consultees.

An SEA addresses various themes within an NDP, including but not limited to: Air Quality, Biodiversity and Geodiversity, Community Wellbeing and Climate Change. It evaluates whether the allocations and/or proposals in an emerging NDP effectively address these themes in the relevant context of the area. For instance, due to the town’s rich history, Sevenoaks Town Council’s NDP will need to be evaluated on whether its proposals will protect, conserve and enhance heritage assets within the NDP area.

Following its successful application to Locality for Technical Support to fund the production of this document, STC was allocated an AECOM lead consultant to progress the SEA on its behalf.

The Scoping Report for the SEA, which outlines the questions that AECOM has identified the NDP as needing to address, went out to Statutory Consultees Historic England, Natural England and Environment Agency on 28th September 2021. This consultation period of 5 weeks is due to end on 2nd November 2021, after which AECOM will discuss the responses with Sevenoaks Town Council and Reasonable Alternatives to any concerns raised.

The amended predicted timeline for the progression of the NDP therefore, is as follows. This is subject to review and amendment following Statutory Consultee responses and is primarily intended to give an estimation of the NDP’s progress to interested parties.

Any questions regarding the above information may be forwarded to Georgie Elliston, Planning Committee Clerk at planning@sevenoakstown.gov.uk.

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