Otford Chalk Pit | Sevenoaks District Council

Otford Chalk Pit

We regret that former Chalk Pit in Otford, including the entrance in Pilgrims Way East, is closed to the public after an independent survey found large underground cavities throughout the site posing a danger to life.

In recent years, sink holes have appeared. As a safety precaution, we partially closed the site in September 2023 and brought in an independent surveyor to investigate the cause and extent of the problem using ground-penetrating radar.

The survey uncovered widespread evidence of large underground cavities, which may be filled with water. Many are believed to be close to the surface and could give way at any time, putting life in danger.

The site will be closed while we carry out further investigations with additional fencing and signage installed.

Members of the public should not enter the site for their own safety.

The public right of way between Tudor Drive and Station Road, around the edge of the Chalk Pit, currently remains open.

We have also surveyed the site in and around the nearby Scout Hut. The survey found no signs of subsidence or underground cavities.

A structural appraisal of the retaining wall and earth embankment adjacent to Pilgrims Way East chalk pit found the area to stable requiring no remedial works.

We remain committed to restoring the Chalk Pit so this popular open space can be reopened as soon as possible.


Survey results

Download and view the survey reports
 

Timeline

Phase                    

Activity

Location

Date

1

Ground Penetrating Radar Survey

Chalk Pit

10 June 2024

1

Ground Penetrating Radar Survey

Scout Hut site

19 June 2024

1

Geologist and KCC Engineers Site Survey

Chalk Pit 26 June 2024
2

Dimitrios Kalianidis BSc (Hons) CGeol FGS commissoned (Independent Chartered Geologist of the Geological Society, London)

Chalk Pit 26 June 2024

2

Intrusive Ground Testing, such as boreholes, trenches and electronic survey

Chalk Pit

Currently being costed

3

Commissioned a Geologist/Hydrologist to view all results

Chalk Pit & Scout Hut sites

Early July 2024

Chalk pit questions and answers

Chalk Pit Q & As
 

Site history

During the Victorian period, the site was mined for chalk then used as a landfill site. In recent years, sink holes have appeared, which were subsequently filled in.

In 2021 Otford Parish Council ended its long-term lease on the former Chalk Pit due to mounting health and safety and maintenance costs from the sink holes and Ash Dieback. We took back responsibility for the site.

As there is new evidence of underground cavities, we will carry out further investigations. The surveys will provide recommendations and advice for our next steps.

There are no plans to develop the former Chalk Pit as the site is allocated as an open space in our current and new Local Plan.

If you have any questions about the site, please contact Trevor Kennett, Head of Direct Services.