Whilst celebrating all that is good about Sevenoaks, the Society is committed to change, recognising that there is much that can be done to improve the town. What is considered good, and worthy of preservation, is itself subject to constant reassessment and change over time. There is now greater recognition of the importance of the spaces between buildings, which can contribute at least as much to the character of a place as the buildings themselves. There is more attention to detail, such as street furniture, lighting, railings, signs, seats, paving materials, post-boxes and the like. Well designed buildings, which might initially be considered to be “modern”, soon become part of our heritage. Historic buildings are frequently not the product of one particular moment in history: what we see today is often an original structure which has been subject to alteration and extension. It is therefore logical to accept that they may be able to accommodate further change, provided that it is done sensitively and based on a detailed understanding of what is significant.

Several parts of the town have Conservation Area status: they are listed on our Links page and may be accessed from there.

The Society welcomes debate about the town and ideas for its future. (Do contact us with your views - info@sevenoakssociety.co.uk)

Frequently, the most insensitive proposals do not consider the historical, cultural and environmental context, often through a lack of understanding. Whilst the town has its strengths, there are aspects that need improving, and these should be considered holistically. For example, for a market town, arrangements for market stalls are cramped and lack focus; parking, cycling and pedestrian provisions are all inadequate; there are opportunities in the town centre for new buildings and new public spaces.

By making information more accessible, and by encouraging debate, the Society will help to make Sevenoaks an even better place for future generations.

Local architect and artist Roger FitzGerald, a member of The Society’s Executive Committee, has produced a set of proposals for the town centre as an example of the type of holistic planning that should be encouraged. Click here to view them.

In 2013 The Society launched a new award for contemporary building works: The Frank Marshall Award for Townscape Improvement. The biennial award aims to recognise the best improvement or contribution to the townscape of Sevenoaks. The list of candidates for the 2019 award is now closed and the winner will be announce at the AGM in October..