The Chief Executive of Sevenoaks District Council has supplied the answers to Cllr Mike Hogg’s question that they failed to include in the Council Agenda on 18th July.
Whether the omission of these questions was deliberate or a simple clerical error cannot be established. Mike has, however, received and accepted the expressed sincere apologies from the CEO.
“I am happy to answer your questions and the responses are as follows:
The questions with their answers are listed below: –
“Will the Leader please tell me the dates of a) the vacation of Meeting Point Swanley by Rural Age concern? 6th March 2015.
b) the purchase and subsequent demolition of the Swanley Working Men’s Club?
We completed the purchase on 6th February 2015. The demolition commenced in March 2016 and completed on 27th July 2016.
What is the estimated cost to the Council of securing and maintaining these sites, including the photographic display?
The cost of securing the site by way of the hoarding was included in part of the demolition contract itself. Since then, the cost of maintaining the site has been minimal. The cost of supplying the panels upon which the photos are displayed was £3950.40, however the photos themselves were taken as part of other work commissioned at the same time that related to the consultation regarding Swanley Mastervision.
What are the estimated when the dates when development of both sites will be completed?”
Whilst planning Consent to redevelop 27-37 High St, ( that includes the Former Meeting Point), was obtained in May 2015, the redevelopment of this and the vacant Working Man’s club site is currently subject to further feasibility studies following the outcome of the Swanley Mastervision consultation.
You will be aware that we awaited the outcome of the Swanley Mastervision consultation before commencing work on the sites in order to be sure that we took into account local opinions. Once the outcome was known, work started straight away on the detailed feasibility.”
It has been well over two years since the Council gained possession of these properties and what have they done, apart from demolishing the iconic Working Man’s Club? NOTHING.
They have had planning permission for the Meeting Point site for over two years. WHERE ARE THE BUILDERS? It seems that the District Council want to leave this building unused and derelict with no concrete plans to proceed with its development.
The prime land on the Working Man’s Club site has been ready for development since July 2016. The Council have no plans for this site and is undertaking a long winded and unnecessary consultation as part of the Mastervision.
It is likely that no action will be taken on these sites for another year at the very earliest.
It has been suggested on good authority that they may want to build high rise flats to replace the Working Man’s Club.
Sevenoaks District council say that their aim is to regenerate Swanley, the truth, by their lack of action, is that they are running Swanley into the ground.
The people of SevenoaksTown would not get or stand for such treatment.
Labour Councillor Mike Hogg said that,
Despite all the good intentions and promises to regenerate Swanley, nothing has been achieved apart from evicting elderly people form their club to leave a derelict building and the knocking down of one of Swanley’s few historic buildings to leave the site empty and surrounded by a gaudy photo display. When is the District Council going to act for the people of Swanley and deliver what it promises?
Will this lead to a regeneration of our town or is it just a shoddy attempt at land speculation?”