‘There’s too many homes needed for Sevenoaks and there will be no choice but to use green belt land’

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People living in Sevenoaks want more homes but not on their Green Belt land.

That’s the overwhelming response to a survey of households carried out over nine weeks this weeks this summer.

More than 92% of people who responded said they supported protecting the Green Belt from development.

Ninety two per cent of people who replied to the survey want to keep the Green Belt as it is

Ninety two per cent of people who replied to the survey want to keep the Green Belt as it is

A total of 84% also agree with promoting smaller affordable homes.

But the issues and options consultation, which will now be used to help form the district’s Local Plan setting planning policy and housing targets over 20 years, said the trade off will mean building homes on brownfield sites at higher densities.

Chairman of Sevenoaks CPRE, Nigel Britten says Green Belt could be under threat if housing targets are set too hard

Chairman of Sevenoaks CPRE, Nigel Britten says Green Belt could be under threat if housing targets are set too hard

Chairman of the Sevenoaks branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), Nigel Britten said he feared this would not be enough to meet a huge increase in housing demand.

‘Not realistic’

He said: “12,400 new homes was the figure identified – not as a target but as an objective need.

“It is not realistic.

“It is more than three times the total figure required in the last local plan.

“And when 93% of the district is Green Belt and two thirds an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) there is just nowhere where you can put that number without building on Green Belt.”

Fifty six per cent of people think homes should be built at a higher density

Fifty six per cent of people think homes should be built at a higher density

The survey, which will be discussed Sevenoaks District’s Council’s planning advisory committee on Thursday (November 23), also identified two hot spots – north Sevenoaks and Westerham as a possible solution.

Yet, 73% of people living in the Westerham area oppose plans for 600 new homes and a by-pass around the town.

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Response

There was more support for the Northern Sevenoaks Masterplan with 72% in favour of developing land around Greatness Quarry.

In total around 30% of the Sevenoaks District’s households responded to the survey.

Just 1.2% of these were age 16 to 24 while pensioners and people over the age of 65 made up 43% of responses.

More than 15,000 people filled in the questionnaire which asked people to rate a series of statements from strongly agree to strongly oppose.

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