Covering the villages of Four Elms, Hever & Markbeech

Category: Parish Council (Page 1 of 7)

Ladies only – empower yourself with a night of self defence

Ladies specific workshop

Due to the recent awful events, women’s worries about personal safety and travelling alone have been a main concern for many. Working With Cobra Self Defence we are offering 2 workshops for all Women and Girls 13+
Friday 22 October 1pm—3pm at Bat and Ball Station Function Room, Sevenoaks, TN14 5AP
40 free bookings available
Saturday 23 October 11am-1pm via Zoom—no limit
This is a FREE workshop giving you advice and training covering the following and more;
* Safety Strategies and tactics on travelling alone
* How to deal with unwanted encounters/situations
* What to do if you feel you are being followed
* Physical techniques to escape grabs and holds, that are easy to learn and remember
* Places of safety
We will also cover a short anti vehicle abduction section, we go through strategies to stop some-one getting you into a vehicle, also ways to stop a vehicle to get out.
Please share this post so as many women as possible can be empowered by this FREE workshop.
Please contact COBRA Defence London via Facebook to book your space.
(13-16 year olds must be accompanied by a participating adult)

Saturday Bulk Refuse Freighter for locals – 21st August 2021

09.15 – 10.00 FOUR ELMS village hall

10.15 – 11.00 HEVER bottle bank area next to Henry pub in coach car park

11.15 – 12.00 MARKBEECH village hall

The Freighter cannot accept white goods, washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, cookers, cast iron boilers or baths, long metal poles, building materials, manure, large parts of engines or vehicles or hazardous waste or compostable garden waste.

Hazardous waste now includes items like fluorescent tubes, Televisions’ & computer monitors, batteries, oil tins and filters, paint and paint tins and chemical containers. These items cannot be accepted on the Saturday Freighter service and must be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Please do not leave any rubbish unattended. Please DO NOT arrive early or leave items on site, otherwise will be classed as flytipping and information passed to the police, thank you.

This is a service free to residents, funded by Hever Parish Council and provided by Sevenoaks District Council.


A joint statement agreed by Civility and Respect Project Working Group

The Civility and Respect Project Working Group agreed at its latest meeting on 28 June 2021 a joint statement committing to promote civility and respect in public life. The statement, which summarises the core aims and values for securing permanent change in the local (parish and town) council sector, reads:

“Civility and respect should be at the heart of public life and good governance is fundamental to ensuring an effective and well-functioning democracy at all levels.

The intimidation, abuse, bullying and harassment of councillors, professional officers and staff, in person or online, is totally unacceptable; whether that is by councillors, professional officers, staff or members of the public.

This can prevent councils from functioning effectively, councillors from representing local people, discourage people from getting involved including standing for election, and undermine public confidence and trust in local democracy.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC), county associations and One Voice Wales (OVW), as the membership organisations representing the first tier of local government in England and Wales, and the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) as the professional body for clerks, are committed to working together to promote civility and respect in public life, good governance, positive debate and supporting the well-being of councillors, professional officers and staff.

To that end the group will be working to deliver tangible resources, actions and interventions in four main areas: providing councils with the tools to support good governance; lobbying to strengthen the standards regime and encourage more people to get involved; training; and processes to intervene to provide support to struggling councils.”

The meeting of the working group also finalised plans for the appointment of a fixed-term project officer, funded by NALC and SLCC, to drive forward the projects’ key priorities and tangible objectives. Other issues covered at the meeting, which was held online, included a local resolution protocol, links to the Improvement and Development Board (IDB) and lobbying.


This week sees the launch of the newly published Parish Councillor’s Guide to Affordable Housing

The guide sets out a wide range of information, useful to Parish Councillors considering their local areas.  It answers question from everything such as ‘what is affordable housing’ and ‘what planning routes are available’ to more detailed guidance on Rural Exception Sites and how to deliver affordable rural housing in your local area.

It also includes a range of case studies to explore the issues further.

You can access the guide below or by clicking here

Kent Housing Group – A guide to developing affordable homes in rural communities

The Housing Strategy and Enabling Group, sub group of the Kent Housing Group have reviewed and updated the KHG Guide to Developing Affordable Homes in Rural Communities Protocol.

The Kent Housing Group has a long standing commitment and success in supporting the delivery of affordable housing for the rural communities of Kent and Medway, this has been in partnership with a number of organisations, each of whom are passionate about protecting and invigorating our rural communities.

This Guide has been produced to address housing needs through the development of new affordable homes.   it will reflect and offer advice and information that is relevant for a broad audience, with the guide being split into useful Fact Sheets.    This guide has been updated and is one of many key objectives outlined within the Kent and Medway Housing Strategy, a county wide high level strategic plan that has been developed by Kent Housing Group over 2020.

Baroness Warwick, Chair of the National Housing Federation has produced the Foreword for this protocol and a video to support this is available to view here.

The protocol was launched ‘virtually’ on the 19th February 2021, providing an overview of the protocol aims and content and with support from Baroness Warwick and English Rural Housing Association.  Thank you noted to Action with Communities Rural Kent and English Rural HA for their support and participation in the launch.  To view the recording of the event please use the following LINK

 A Guide to Developing Affordable Homes in Rural Communities

What powers does Hever Parish Council have in planning applications?

What powers does Hever Parish Council have in planning applications?

Hever Parish Council acts as a consultee for all planning applications in the parish.  Sevenoaks District Council is the planning authority and will decide whether or not an application is granted, receiving comments made by the Parish Council (but SDC have no obligation to agree with or take these comments into account) and other consultees, such as Kent Highway Services and The Environment Agency and any member of the public.

The final decision is made by the Planning Authority, not the Parish Council.

  • Parish councils are statutory consultees and have no powers to approve or reject planning applications, they can only comment (or not) on applications.
  • Parish Councils are not obliged to respond to any application it is consulted on.


Hever Parish Council will only comment on what are known as “material considerations” *

If you would like to submit a comment to Sevenoaks District Council, either for or against an application, please send a copy to the Clerk of the Parish Council ( and we will take your comments into consideration whilst discussing the application.  If you would like to know when an application will be considered by the Parish Council to share further information or give us your views, please contact the Clerk.

To view applications on the Sevenoaks District Council website, see, then enter the application number without the SE prefix, for example Ref. No: 09/00009/FUL, in the search box.

A summary of each and every application commented on is included on the Agendas so that it is absolutely transparent to anyone who is interested what the council has commented on, on what planning grounds, which Cllrs. were involved in the consideration (if there is any conflict of interest then the relevant Cllr. must leave the room / zoom meeting so as not to influence the discussion) and what the outcome of the application was (if already decided by SDC).


Do parish councils grant planning permission?

  • Town and parish councils are not Planning Authorities.  Town and parish councils are only statutory consultees in the planning process (for some applications)*.
  • This means that they only have the right to be informed of planning applications within the parish.
  • They cannot approve or reject planning applications.
  • They can only comment on planning applications in the same way that individuals can comment.
  • Consequently, the length of time taken to determine a planning application is governed by the local planning authority not the parish council.
  • The decision whether this is granted rests solely with the planning authority and its own deadlines for decision making.
  • It is also worth mentioning that we have no duty to respond to applications we are informed about. The planning committee consists of volunteer Councillors who have a large number of applications to consider, in addition to major planning issues e.g Local Plan, affordable housing etc.




Valid reasons for comment on a Planning Application

Comments that are clear, concise and accurate stand more chance of being accepted than those that are not. When planning applications are considered, the following matters can all be relevant. These are sometimes referred to as ‘material planning considerations’:

  • Central government policy and guidance – Acts, Circulars, Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) etc.
  • The Development Plan – and any review of the Development Plan which is underway.
  • Adopted supplementary guidance – for example, village design statements, conservation area appraisals, car parking standards.
  • Replies from statutory and non-statutory agencies (e.g. Environment Agency, Highways Authority).
  • Representations from others – neighbours, amenity groups and other interested parties so long as they relate to land use matters.
  • Effects on an area – this includes the character of an area, availability of infrastructure, density, over-development, layout, position, design and external appearance of buildings and landscaping
  • The need to safeguard valuable resources such as good farmland or mineral reserves.
  • Highway safety issues – such as traffic generation, road capacity, means of access, visibility, car parking and effects on pedestrians and cyclists.
  • Public services – such as drainage and water supply
  • Public proposals for using the same land
  • Effects on individual buildings – such as overlooking, loss of light, overshadowing, visual intrusion, noise, disturbance and smell.
  • Effects on a specially designated area or building – such as green belt, conservation areas, listed buildings, ancient monuments and areas of special scientific interest.
  • Effects on existing tree cover and hedgerows.
  • Nature conservation interests – such as protection of badgers, great crested newts etc.
  • Public rights of way
  • Flooding or pollution.
  • Planning history of the site – including existing permissions and appeal decisions.
  • A desire to retain or promote certain uses – such as playing fields, village shops and pubs.
  • Need for the development – such as a petrol station
  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Presence of a hazardous substance directly associated with a development
  • Human Rights Act
  • Precedent – but only where it can be shown there would be a real danger that a proposal would inevitably lead to other inappropriate development (for example, isolated housing in the countryside)

Irrelevant reasons for objection

There are certain matters which do not amount to ‘material planning considerations’ under current legislation and guidance. These matters cannot be taken into account in considering a planning application and should not be included in objections as they weaken your case:

  • Speculation over future use
  • The identity of the applicant or occupant
  • Unfair competition
  • Boundary disputes
  • Breach of covenants and personal property rights, including personal (not Public) rights of way
  • Loss of a private view
  • Devaluation of property
  • Other financial matters
  • Matters controlled by other legislation – such as internal space standards for dwellings or fire prevention
  • Religious or moral issues – such as betting shops and amusement arcades
  • The fact that the applicant does not own the land to which the application relates
  • The fact that an objector is a tenant of land where the development is proposed
  • The fact that the development has already been carried out and the applicant is seeking to regularise the situation.  People can carry out development at their own risk before getting planning permission)
  • The developer’s motives, record or reputation

Other Matters – “concerns and issues”

The person making a planning application has to provide enough information for the application to be determined. They do not have to provide every single detail before an application can be approved because certain matters can be resolved by way of conditions included as part of the permission.

Because of this, certain issues may not be considered as ‘objections’ but it is entirely reasonable for you to raise concerns on such issues and to ask to be kept informed before they are approved. These include:

  • The proposed type and colour of the materials to be used
  • The exact nature of any proposed planting or boundary treatment




Applications where the Parish Council is not a statutory consultee

DETAIL – Submission of Approval of Details

ADJ or ADJAPP – Adjoining Authority Consultations

AGRNOT – Agricultural/Forestry Notifications

DEMNOT – Demolition Consultation Demolition Notification – Details

DEDET RG5, RG9, RG10 or RG1 – Environmental Impact Assessment applications

HEDNOT – Hedgerow Removal Notification

KCCRG3, KCCRG4, DIVERT or PROW – Kent County Council consultations

LDCLBC – Lawful Development Certificate Listed Building

LDCPR – Lawful Development Certificate Proposed

NMA – Non-Material Amendments

PAE – Prior Approval Extension

PAC – Prior Approval Change of Use

WTPO, WTCA, WTREE or W5DAY – Works to Trees


More information;,Loss%20of%20light%20or%20overshadowing for minutes and agendas of the planning committee meetings.

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