A street view of the Working Man's Club in Swanley

Labour Councillor Asked for Answers

Labour Councillor Asked for Answers

On the agenda of the Sevenoaks District Council Scrutiny Committee meeting, held on the 8th February, was the following statement:-

The Council has acquired one property that has not yet been developed. That property is the Swanley Working Men’s Club, which was acquired in February 2015. The acquisition completed the assembly of a key gateway site to the town in the Council’s ownership. The property was demolished in July 2016. The redevelopment of the site was included within the Swanley Master Vision work and feasibility studies are being undertaken to establish viable redevelopment options for this site. These feasibility studies are taking into account the Town Centre location and requirement for any redevelopment…..”

It states clearly that the Council, that acquired the Working Men’s Club three years ago, has made no effort to develop this site and does not even know what it wants to do with it.

Labour Councillor Mike Hogg, a member of the Committee, asked why there were no plans to develop this site. He added that the site, which the Council admits is in a gateway location, has been left derelict for far too long and does not give visitors a true welcome to the town. It is a weed infested site curtained by hoardings and expensive photographs. He asked why the Council could not at least put the site to some temporary use, such as a playground, whilst the Council decides what to do with it.

As a result of Mike efforts the Committee has asked the Council to produce a clear timetable for consultation and development.

In a statement to the website Mike said:

This is yet another example of the contempt the Sevenoaks Tories show for our town.  To leave a demolition site for so long, with no plans for what to do with it, is an outrage. They say that they want to regenerate our town, but their words are not mirrored by their actions. Swanley is the bottom of their pile. It would not happen elsewhere in the district. If it were a private developer, I am sure they would take rigorous action to make sure the site was put to good use and not left derelict for years.”

This is another example of why the party should mobilise and challenge the Tories in future elections and knock them off their ivory tower.

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