Well actually, yes, planning does matter! One of the reasons that our village has remained the way it is today is the control of change…
Luckily we have some “Legislative Big Guns” supporting our efforts to preserve and protect…
Firstly, Sevenoaks District Council and our Parish Council take their commitment to protecting, preserving and sustaining our environment seriously.
Secondly, Hever lies just inside the northern edge of 1630 square kilometres (about 630 square miles) of rolling countryside known as the High Weald. Within this area 1461 square kilometres was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1983. This designation (which covers parts of Hever) “gives national recognition to the unique landscape of rolling ridges and deeply incised valleys clothed in a mosaic of woodlands, small fields divided by hedgerows and thick shaws (belts of woodland); sunken lanes and scattered villages” – High Weald Forum 1995.
Thirdly, Hever nestles within the SE corner of London’s Green Belt.
Planning Matters – The HRA View…
HRA monitors planning applications but does not, as a policy, comment either in favour or against unless there is significant local opinion that requires a collective local response. HRA sees its main function as one of communication in making sure that anyone who could be affected by any planning application is fully aware.
- That HRA only becomes involved in any planning application if there is significant local interest.
- HRA will take an interest in any development that should be the subject of planning permission if it is brought to its attention by a group of members. HRA may bring the activity to the attention of the planning authorities and encouraging them to act appropriately.
- To enable a wider circulation of local planning applications, so residents beyond just those immediately involved can also be made aware of significant proposals in the village, and their views may be made known to the planning authorities.
- Where members feel they do not want to put their name to a comment on an application HRA will provide a route for such anonymous involvement.
- Maintain close coordination between HRA and the Parish Council to raise early objections where applications could cause local concern.
- Subject to approval by Committee, use HRA funds for commissioning quality professional advice to HRA, enabling informed comment to be made to SDC at an early stage on any inappropriate application.