Our Achievements Making a Difference

Much of our work is “behind the scenes” as we monitor and scrutinise development proposals and make representations as appropriate on schemes, designs and a range of planning issues. Because of our experience, efforts and expertise, and, importantly, our non-political nature, the Society is recognised as an objective and influential body that operates impartially for the benefit of the community as a whole. Our views and suggestions are respected by the authorities and the media, our opinions sought; and evidence shows that over time we have had a significant impact in helping to preserve the best of the town and to improve it through change that is beneficial and in keeping with its unique character. Raising Awareness One of our roles is to promote understanding, pride and commitment by increasing awareness of Sevenoaks’ historic buildings, townscape and heritage, the trees and landscape that are such an essential part of our environment, and the risks and threats that they face. Provoking Action We have an important role in being vigilant and drawing attention to issues that need addressing and action by others. These include:

  • Taking a leading role in a coalition of local groups at a public inquiry, successfully opposing an appeal by developers against refusal for a proposed development on a particularly sensitive site in the Green Belt off Brittains Lane;
  • Undertaking a four-year project to survey every street within the town to identify buildings and other townscape features of architectural or historic important which were proposed for ‘local listing’. After scrutiny by an expert panel the ‘Local List’ was adopted by the District Council and is now a material consideration in development management decisions;
  • Running a biennial award scheme to recognise and celebrate excellence in design and construction quality and buildings and projects which make a positive contribution to Sevenoaks;
  • Pressing the Council to take action over vacant and derelict sites; most notably the Farmers site opposite the main railway station at Tubs Hill. Here we launched a petition which attracted support from more than 1500 local people pressing the Council to compulsorily purchase the site which has now been vacant for 18 years and bring it into use for much needed local housing. The site remains vacant but we continue to press;

Actively participating in consultations on local planning documents including the Local Plan and the Neighbourhood Plan and helping to develop ideas for how the town should respond to pressures for growth and change

Achieving Results 

Click here for more examples of our activities and successes. We do not always achieve what we and others might wish. But through our commitment and determination, we certainly do try!