garage picA controversial proposal to demolish Colin Bird’s garage and associated buildings in Lime Tree Walk and to replace them with seventeen flats with ground floor parking attracted a good deal of opposition. Formerly known as Hilder’s Yard, this is a highly sensitive area just off London Road, and its relationship to the workers’ terrace houses designed by Sir Thomas Jackson demands careful treatment.

The Society’s view is that this site, next to the Sevenoaks Business Centre (formerly The lime Tree Hotel), is an important piece of Sevenoaks’s historical identity and the buildings should not be demolished. It is the last remaining Victorian workshop building in the centre of the town, where a series of coach-makers assembled and painted carriages. (Hence the narrow width of the lane leading off London Road).

We wrote opposing the original proposal and it was withdrawn, only to be resubmitted. The Society has again written to object: the latest new proposal is still much too overbearing for the location in general and will change the character of Hilders Yard completely. Planning permission was refused by SDC but the situation needs to be closely monitored. Click here for our letter.

The Society is often approached by local residents or their Associations and other concerned bodies and persons regarding proposed developments affecting private residences. The Society monitors the weekly list of planning applications and whilst in general we try to keep out of neighbour disputes, we may well become involved in commenting upon or objecting to, a proposal where we believe there is a public interest concern. This may arise where a proposal involves inappropriate development, the alteration or demolition of a listed or locally listed building or where a proposal creates an adverse impact on the setting of such a building or conservation area. As with all schemes, we will also consider whether the proposed design is consistent with the character of the area, notable trees and open spaces may be affected, or there are significant traffic implications.