Covering the villages of Four Elms, Hever & Markbeech

Category: Latest News (page 1 of 4)

Sevenoaks District Council has been granted permission to bring a judicial review against the Planning Inspector’s decision to reject the draft Local Plan.

Local Plan set to have its day in court


Sevenoaks District Council has been granted permission to bring a judicial review against the Planning Inspector’s decision to reject the draft Local Plan.

The High Court issued a notification on Tuesday 2 June 2020 granting permission for the review. The Honourable Mr Justice Swift concluded all grounds for the Council’s claim are arguable and permission for judicial review was granted, clearing the first hurdle of the process.

On 2 March 2020, the Planning Inspector wrote the final report on the examination of the Sevenoaks District Local Plan. It concluded the Plan was not legally compliant in respect of the Duty to Co-operate.

However, the Council strongly rejected this conclusion, which only surfaced after the first round of the Local Plan hearings in October, seven months after the Council had submitted the Plan and supporting evidence to the Inspector.

Within the Local Plan submission, there were more than 800 pages of evidence setting out how the Council had worked with its neighbours during the production of the Plan. The neighbouring councils and other organisations involved in the development of the Plan supported the Council’s evidence and approach on this matter.

In April, the Council began Judicial Review proceedings to overturn the Inspector’s decision.

Cllr Julia Thornton, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Development & Conservation, says: “This is great news as it means the High Court believes our position that the Planning Inspectorate may have a case to answer. This is an important first step to getting our Local Plan approved.

“We firmly believe we had followed the relevant guidance when we developed the plan. The evidence we provided to the Planning Inspector backs this up.

“In our opinion, the Planning Inspector has incorrectly interpreted key parts of the Local Plan requirements.

“Taking court action is not something we would take lightly, but we feel we have no choice.”

The High Court decision followed the news that the three MPs who represent the Sevenoaks District wrote to Robert Jenrick MP, the Secretary of State for Local Government, on Monday (1 June). Laura Trott MP, Tom Tugendhat MP and Gareth Johnson MP urged the Minister to use his powers to reconsider the Planning Inspectorate’s reasons for rejecting the draft Local Plan.

Cllr Thornton, adds: “Our MPs recognise we have produced a robust Local Plan to provide the right type of developments in the right place, at the right time. They share our concerns about the handling of the Local Plan examination. We’re grateful for their support and we hope this moves the Plan forward.”

Corona virus – do you need some help or know someone who does?


Friday, 26 March 2020


The minor injury unit (MIU) and x-ray department at Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital Minor is temporarily closed from 6pm this evening for the foreseeable future.


Your nearest MIU is at Sevenoaks Hospital. This is open from 8 am to 8pm, seven days-a-week.


As the local Edenbridge community is following the Government’s guidance on social distancing, there has been a significant reduction in people using the minor injury unit at Edenbridge.


That’s why, to support our work around COVID-19, we are temporarily moving staff from Edenbridge during these unprecedented times.

VE day celebration



8th May 2020



Hever Parish Council Meeting 21.01.20 – draft minutes


Tuesday 21st January 2020 at 7.00PM.  Held at Markbeech Village hall.


Present:  Rick Brookes-Smith (RBS), Angela Haydon (AH), Bonnie White (BW), Christine Thompson (CT), Stephen Sadler (SS)

Also in attendance: Charlotte Cole (CC, Clerk) and 2 members of the public. The meeting commenced at 7.00pm.

1.To receive apologies – to arrive late; John Hodson (JH) 7.10pm Joanna Wade (JW) Stephen Lark (SL) 7.11pm. In the absence of Chair and Vice Chair, SS Chaired the meeting.

To receive declarations of interest in respect of items on the Agenda. To be specified per item.

  1. To approve accuracy of minutes from the previous meetings (Minutes from 21.11.19). Previously circulated draft minutes approved by all and signed by JH (on arrival).
  2. Public Forum.

Peter Lake (Kent County Councillor) updated on; Public right of way SR577 due to Hever station area landslip.  Potholes, loose manhole cover, flooding, ditches discussed, particularly in How Green Lane.  Noting KCC receive 6000 pothole enquiries a month.  Supports the HPC initiative for offering grants towards self closing gates on PROW.  PL will be recommending a 4% increase in KCC budget.  There are 400 young (<16 years) asylum seekers in Kent.

Matthew Dickins (Sevenoaks District Councillor) updated that comments on SDC Local Plan would be in an article in the Link magazine http://hever.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Link-Feb-2020-web.pdf

Supported HPC Agenda item #15 regarding improving communications relating to parish wide licensing applications.  Continues to encourage a solution to Cowden station parking issues.  Claydene Farm planning application – being heard at SDC planning committee Feb.  Has been re-allocated to Emma Gore, Planning Officer.  High Weald AONB Design guide published http://www.highweald.org/news/2386-new-high-weald-housing-design-guide.html

PL and MD left at 7.20pm.


  1. History of village grant funding discussed. Clerk to add population figures and Council tax rates for information. Note some spending led to assets being retained by HPC.

Continue reading

Gatwick + 40%?! A meeting in Penshurst Friday 1st November 8pm

Penshurst Church
Tom Tugendhat MP will be joining us.
Gatwick recently announced plans to increase traffic by close to 40%. Partly through advances in technology, partly by bringing in their existing ‘standby’ runway for more frequent use.
And they want to ringfence land for a 3rd runway.
We have a plan.
Please come and hear what that is, give your feedback and help us in this mother of all contests for our skies. Makes everything we’ve done before feel like a skirmish in the foothills.
However with the help of the shifting sentiment towards air travel and airport expansion, I do believe we can win this. Well, not lose it.
The Reverend Tom Holme has graciously allowed us to use his church for the evening.
The agenda will be strictly aviation!
Martin Barraud & Crew

Is there a stile that needs replacing?


Hever Parish Council have considered and acted on a number of occasions in recent years, in response to residents and walkers’ requests, how to further promote and enhance the experience of walkers by having dog and user friendly pathways with clear access and signposting. This supports a positive, health, active lifestyle and local tourism. We have worked with local landowners, tourist attractions, walking groups and Kent County Council public rights of way officer.


Landowners are responsible for maintaining stiles and gates in a safe condition and to the required standard of repair in accordance with Section 146 of the Highways Act 1980.


Kent County Council are obliged to contribute a minimum of 25% towards the reasonable cost of maintenance.

This contribution has traditionally been through the provision of the materials necessary for the repair.  To assist in reducing the burden on landowners the County Council is willing to provide a self-closing gate (cost price £130.00) for the landowners’ installation. Continue reading

HPC / HRA report on how to spend £30,000 at Hever station.

GTR report on how to spend £ 30,000 at Hever station.  August 2019 GTR report Hever 2019

Completion of the limited assurance review for the year end 31 March 2019

Please find the external auditor report and certificate for the financial accounts of Hever Parish Council.  Details of the rights of inspection attached.

Audit complete Aug 2019

Updated Hever Parish Council planning meeting 16th July 7pm Hever Village Hall

2019 July Planning meeting

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