Key points re Swanley Centre Planning Application:
- Support in principle redevelopment of the tired, 1960s shopping centre in Swanley
- The proposed 11 storey building is too high for Swanley town centre. (Planning ground: visual amenity. In any location where the highest adjacent buildings are 4 storey and most only 2 storey, an 11 storey building will be completely out of scale. With Swanley being on top of a hill, the tower will be visible for miles in the surrounding countryside.
- The proposed mix of housing is inappropriate. It should include homes to rent and to buy with a substantial number (preferably 40%) being affordable homes.
- This is proposed to be the first part of a phased development. Community facilities (for instance a replacement for the Cedars doctors’ surgery) should be an integral part of each phase of the development not back-loaded to a final phase which may never be built.
- There is massive demand for housing throughout the southeast including within and near Swanley
- With its excellent transport links Swanley is an ideal place for development and the creation of jobs that will bring
- Rail services can comfortably accommodate addition passenger demand created by new housing in the Swanley area, especially with completion of the Thameslink Programme in 2018
- Overly high development is not just a visual amenity issue, it would also impact at street level owing to the wind tunnelling effect of high-rise buildings. Street level needs to be well designed with mitigation such as trees.