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UPDATE: Planning advisors recommend Swanley garden village plan is thrown out

PUBLISHED: 13:34 26 January 2017

A view of the proposed garden village and Swanley Halt station

A view of the proposed garden village and Swanley Halt station

Archant

The proposal is part of Sevenoaks District Council's 'master vision' for the town

A map of Sevenoaks District Council's plans for Swanley and HextableA map of Sevenoaks District Council's plans for Swanley and Hextable

Planning officials in Sevenoaks have decided not to recommend a 3000 home ‘garden village’.

In its master vision for Swanley and Hextable’s development over the next 20 years, the district council had put forward the idea for the development, which could include a new, smaller ‘halt’ train station, as an alternative to town’s main station.

The council is expecting the local population in the town and village to grow significantly in the next two decades, forecasting more than 600 new homes needed every year to keep up with demand.

Last night (Wednesday) the council’s planning advisory committee met to discuss the results of a consultation, which put 27 ideas to residents in Swanley, Hextable and surrounding areas.

Just over 1,800 of the area’s 20,000 residents responded to the consultation, with 63 per cent voicing support for a proposed ‘garden village’.

But the committee unanimously recommended council throws out the proposal, over residents’ fears the development could be built on green belt land.

County councillor for Swanley and Hextable Michael Horwood was among those voicing their concerns.

He said: “It’s not that Swanley residents don’t want to take development forward, it’s just that 3,000 homes in prime green belt land isn’t suitable.”

Elsewhere in the consultation responses, residents’ views revealed an even split on recommendations for a new ‘halt’ station, and proposals to move Swanley station closer to the town centre.

More than three quarters of residents were against the idea of a hotel being built on part of the town’s recreation ground.

While no developments are currently being planned, the proposals could become part of the council’s local planning policy by 2019.

A further consultation is expected to go ahead in the summer, following a meeting of Sevenoaks District Council’s cabinet members next month.

What do you think? Email luke.may@archant.co.uk.

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