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Latest planning news

The Allocations and Development Management Plan

We received the Allocations and Development Management Plan Inspector's Report on 19 December 2014. The Inspector found the plan sound subject to the main modifications previously consulted on and now set out in the appendix to his report.

The provisional dates for the adoption of the ADMP are:

Advisory Committee (LPEAC) - 27 January 2015
Cabinet - 5 February 2015
Full Council - 17 February 2015

Gypsy and Traveller Site Options Consultation

The first stage of consultation on our Gypsy and Traveller Plan closed in July 2014. It sought views on potential site options across the District and asked landowners to suggest sites for additional pitches. The Council is now consulting on additional sites put forward during the previous consultation. To view and comment on the consultation document please visit the consultation portal. Comments can be received between 27 November 2014 and 22 January 2015.


Planning Policy consultations

Affordable Housing

On 28 November 2014 the Government amended the National Planning Practice Guidance(NPPG) to restrict the circumstances where contributions for affordable housing should be sought. Under the new guidance contributions should not be sought from developments of 10 units or less, and which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of no more than 1000sqm. In designated rural areas contributions should not be sought for developments of 5 units or less.

These thresholds apply with immediate effect.

Affordable housing contributions will continue to apply to developments above the new thresholds in accordance with Core Strategy Policy SP3 and the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document. In schemes where vacant buildings are redeveloped or brought back into use a vacant building credit may apply as described in the National Planning Practice Guidance.

Statement of Community Involvement

We have recently adopted a new Statement of Community Involvement . This document sets out how we will engage with the public and stakeholders when preparing new planning documents and determining planning applications.

New Permitted Development Rights

The Government has published a new amendment to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO), which will come into force on 30 May 2013.

The changes to the GDPO include permitted development rights to allow changes of use from B1a (offices) to C3 (dwellings), subject to a prior approval process set out in the legislation. We previously made a submission for exemption for eleven sites in the District to be exempt from these new rights. Of these, the following three have been made exempt by the Government because their loss would have substantial adverse economic consequences at the local authority level which are not offset by the positive benefits the new rights would bring:

  • Former BT Building, Sevenoaks
  • Land at London Road, Sevenoaks
  • The Crown, London Road, Westerham

View the areas covered by the Permitted Development Rights exemptions


Introduction to New Planning Legislation

The Government has published a number of new amendments to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO), which came into force on 30 May 2013.

The change to the GDPO introduces the following, without the need for planning permission:

  • Larger rear extensions to dwelling houses.
  • Change of use of a building and its curtilage currently falling within offices (B1) to dwelling houses (C3). 
  • Change of use of any building and any land within its curtilage from offices (B1), hotels (C1), residential and secure residential institutions (C2 and C2a) and leisure and assembly buildings (D2) to a state-funded school.
  • Change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage from use as a agricultural building to a flexible use including shops (A1), financial and professional services (A2), restaurants and cafes (A3), business (B1), storage or distribution (B8), hotels (C1) or assembly and leisure (D2);
  • The use of a building and any land within its curtilage as a state-funded school for a single academic year;
  • The change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage to a flexible use as a shop (A1), financial and professional service (A2), restaurant or café (A3) from a use as a shop (A1), financial and professional service (A2), restaurant or café (A3), drinking establishment (A4), hot food takeaway (A5), business (B1), non-residential institution (D1) or assembly and leisure (D2) for a period of 2 years.

Please note - These changes are subject to a number of criteria laid out in the above Order.

In order to benefit from the above changes applicants must submit an application for prior approval.

Please click on the application forms below:

E-mail your completed application to prior.approval@sevenoaks.gov.uk or post your application to The Planning Department, Sevenoaks District Council, Council Offices, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks Kent TN13 1HG. Please ensure your application includes a plan indicating the site and showing the proposed development.

Please note that applications for prior approval for a change of use are subject to a fee of £80.00 from 1 October 2013. Payment can be made by credit/debit card over the telephone on 01732 227000 or by cheque to the above address, made payable to Sevenoaks District Council. Alternatively please provide a contact telephone number and we will contact you.

Please click on the guidance notes below for further advice:

Other planning news

  • On 6 September 2012, the Government set out a package of proposed planning and housing reforms, with the aim of helping the economy to grow by speeding up the planning process and promoting more housing development including affordable housing. Follow the link to view the Secretary of State's written statement titled Housing and Growth.
  • The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 27 March 2012 and sets out the Government's planning policies for England
  • People who are considering buying plots of land in the Green Belt for housing are being warned that such sites are very unlikely to be granted planning permission