A new Local Plan for Sevenoaks

The Council recognises that the Sevenoaks Core Strategy is out of date and work has begun on a new Local Plan that will establish the number of homes and level of economic development to be accommodated, and how and where this will be distributed.

In 2015, a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) identified a need for at least 12,400 houses in Sevenoaks District between 2013-2033 – equivalent to 620 new homes per annum.

A subsequent consultation by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in September 2017 has calculated that Sevenoaks District could now require 698 new homes to be built each year – a total of 13,960 for the plan period.

With need for housing having increased from 165 dwellings per annum to potentially 698, this is a watershed moment for the Council and clear evidence that the release of Green Belt is going to be fundamental to the new Local Plan.


Delivering identified need

Based on the current local planning context, Billings Group believes the land promoted represents an area suitable for removal from the Green Belt and for allocation to meet a range of needs, including:

For which there is an evidenced based need.


Sustaining the community

The benefits are wide reaching and will improve the lives of the youngest members of the community through enhanced education provision and will extend to the senior population via a new retirement village.

Business owners will benefit from new opportunities to take up incubator units, whilst families will have the opportunity to benefit from the ability to build their dream home from the available self-build plots.

The aspirations are wholly deliverable and would be achieved within a logical extension to the existing built confines of Hartley, where there is the capacity to provide sustainable growth with limited risk of harm being caused to either the character or appearance of the locality.

The vision builds upon the existing offer of services available in Hartley and Longfield including the public transport links via Longfield Railway Station.

Taking all of the above into consideration, we consider that the land promoted at Hartley would deliver genuine community benefits that will be inclusive for all.


Improving local education provision

Leigh Academies Trust operates the over-subscribed Hartley Primary Academy and Special Educational Needs (SEN) Milestone Academy, and is committed to improving the learning environment for its pupils.

It wishes to operate from one site in new purpose-built accommodation and benefit from shared services. There is the demand to increase the primary school to three form entry, with the pupils able to benefit from first class sports facilities.

It also wants to increase and improve its pre-school nursery provision for the residents of Hartley, which is currently in temporary accommodation. As a result Leigh Academies Trust is very excited to be part of the Vision for Hartley.


Improving local Primary Care

The proposed development would result in a fit for purpose facility to create a more sustainable health economy for the local area. It would provide suitable premises for better access to effective care and would enable an improved way of working, so improving access to, and providing resilience in, the local healthcare system.

It would also provide the opportunity to recruit new staff, both clinical and administrative, which would improve seven-day access.

A more sustainable workforce and co-location of services would potentially allow the practice to offer services between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week. The improved out of hours service pattern and the capacity to take A&E referrals from the local accident unit would also help meet the aim of increasing capacity for primary care services out of hospital.

The current premises simply do not have the capacity to provide these additional services. A new purpose-built facility could also allow for other healthcare professionals in secondary care to design preventative service models that reduce unplanned admissions and inappropriate use of emergency care.

Local Primary Care provision now aims to provide a multi-disciplinary ‘one operation model’.

A new surgery building would also allow the practice to accommodate allied health professionals, e.g. psychologists or osteopaths, along with additional services such as physiotherapists who could be catered for on a sessional basis from one building. In addressing local needs, it is also important to note that a long-term sustainable solution is needed to ensure on-going improvements in patient services.

A long-term training regime locally, including building a relationship with the newly created Kent Medical School at Canterbury, coupled with modern and state of the art premises, will assist with attracting new recruits to all roles, further enhancing the sustainable health economy as a whole.


Consistent with Hartley Parish Plan

Hartley Parish Council has a plan for the parish designed to ensure it is better informed about the views of residents; to encourage community spirit; take stock on the community needs and to collect evidence on the pressures affecting the village.

The Billings Group vision builds upon the existing services available in both Hartley and Longfield and seeks to address the following key action points relating to the need for new or extended services.
The Vison for Hartley is consistent with much of the Hartley Parish Plan, including:

Section 3 – Transport and Communications

‘With no clearly defined alternative access route, local people use the narrow route down Castle Hill which is unsuitable for heavy or two way traffic. 83% of our survey’s respondents agreed something must be done’.

This is part of the Vision for Hartley.

Section 7 – Health Services

‘Residents usually go either to the Kent House General Practice surgery in Longfield or in New Ash Green. This is a particular problem to those relying on an unsatisfactory bus service. Parking near the surgery in Longfield can be a problem. The general practice surgery service was rated only satisfactory. Hartley has no chemist’.

This is part of the Vision for Hartley.

Section 10 – Service for the elderly

‘Room for improvement particularly for services and transport...67% of respondents felt there is a need for a new community centre in Hartley’.

This is part of the Vision for Hartley.

Section 11 – Services for the youth

‘90% of young people endorse findings that there are few facilities for young people in Hartley’.

This is part of the Vision for Hartley.