We are the official amenity society for Sevenoaks town, and a registered charity, with 850 members.
By raising public awareness, monitoring developments and working with local authorities and other bodies we help to safeguard the town’s character and its physical and natural heritage. We promote responsible and responsive planning and appropriate building development for the improvement of Sevenoaks and the benefit of its community.
Click here for our Constitution.
Our primary aim is to help ensure that Sevenoaks continues to be a pleasant and attractive place for residents, workers and visitors, by preserving the best of the past and present and embracing appropriate and well thought -through change.
Click here for our Mission Statement.
A Brief History
The Society was founded in 1952, as The Sevenoaks Preservation Society. It succeeded The Sevenoaks Civic Society (founded 1944) and before that The Sevenoaks Town Planning Association (established in 1930). In 1996 the Society assumed its current name: “The Sevenoaks Society for the Conservation and Improvement of the Town”. In that same year The Sevenoaks Historical Society was established as a separate, independent entity. Our Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in 2012.
A commemorative calendar and a special edition of our newsletter were published, and a reception held in the Orangery in Knole House. A major project in 2014 was the extremely successful exhibition held also in the Orangery at Knole on “The Remarkable Trees of Sevenoaks”, by invitation of The National Trust.
Since its foundation the Society has had a significant influence on the development of the town, monitoring and responding to proposals for new buildings – commercial, civic or domestic; assessing the impact of planning policies, practices and decisions; and being alert to anything that may have an adverse effect on the town’s character, heritage and future development.
We work closely with the various agencies, including Sevenoaks Town and District Councils, the Town Forum, the Town Centre Partnership, and the Conservation Council; with heritage bodies and land-owners such as The National Trust; and with the media, including The Sevenoaks Chronicle.
The scope of our work, and our vigilance, ranges from grand houses and estates such as Knole to the historic horse-troughs in the town. We comment on and monitor significant planning developments including Marks & Spencer and Lidl, propose actions on derelict sites such as The Farmers’, urge action where there has been neglect, suggest improvements to building design and landscaping, warn of notable trees that are at risk, highlight the impact of heavy lorries on our town centre roads, encourage appreciation of our many historic building and applaud developments that are innovative yet in character.
We are not afraid to criticise (with constructive advice of course), to speak out publicly and to campaign where necessary – for example regarding the proposed and ill-conceived multi-storey car park in Buckhurst 2; a proposal withdrawn partly as a result of the Society’s efforts.