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February 01, 2013 

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44-48 Station Road - Listed Building A View down Church Road The Old Rectory


The Local Development Framework (LDF) structure came into being in 2004, with the passing of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act.  The new act has meant the loss of familiar planning documents such as the Kent Structure Plan and the local authority plans. So, for example, the Kent Structure Plan has been replaced by the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), and in 2010/11 the Sevenoaks Plan (last amended in 2000) will be replaced by the new Local Development Framework.

The LDF has the following characteristics :

  • a spatial plan, which means that it embraces all local council activities which have a spatial dimension.  It is about integration - how the development proposals of the authority relate to other corporate strategies and those of partners and other agencies.
  • It is a plan which must be  locally distinctive, so it must respond to the specific issues of the locality and not contain policies which could apply anywhere.
  • it must also be  short  and  concise, and avoid repeating regional and national policies.
  • It is also a plan which is about  delivery, whether this is through development or investment in infrastructure by other parties.  The means of delivering and implementing the  LDF  must be clearly set out, and this must be regularly monitored.


On June 9th, 2010, SDC produced a press release which indicated that they had already submitted their Core Strategy to the government for independent assessment.  They suggest that the documents will be examined in public at the Council Offices during Autumn 2010.

Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS’s)
Below is an article which recently appeared on the Plan-It Law website (

“On 27 May Eric Pickles wrote to all local authorities confirming the new Government's intention to abolish RSSs, and advising that, with immediate effect, this was to be considered as a material consideration for planning applications. He suggested that regional figures for housing supply were now irrelevant and that local authorities were free to set local targets. Our conundrum was going to be "what on earth does that mean for core strategies that are being consulted or examined on now?"
However, we now have the benefit of the guidance to inspectors, which sets out what they should do depending on what stage of the examination process they have reached and have also been told that a full announcement will be made on 22 June. We look forward to hearing in more detail quite how the government will action their intentions. In the meantime, perhaps the real conundrum is that even if there are no RSS targets, there is every chance that the planning authority will agree that some new housing is needed, but with an eye on the importance of "localism", where are these new homes to go? Local authorities will be reluctant to give up their Green Belts and that does not sit happily with the fact that most sustainable sites are on the edges of towns and cities ... i.e., in the Green Belt. Is there a real conflict between localism, housing needs, climate change and sustainability? “

A View down Stonehouse Lane


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