The Future of the Green Belt Around Swanley
The Metropolitan Green Belt, established in the 1940s was created to both contain the growth of London into the Kent Countryside and to prevent existing urban areas from merging to form large conurbations.
The Green Belt is defined as an area of open country, whether it be farmland, parkland, woodland or other open space, in which building is severely restricted. Development of the Green Belt is only possible in exceptional circumstances and must conform to strict planning conditions.
Sevenoaks District, which has Swanley as its second largest town, can boast that 93% of its total land area is Green Belt. The town is surrounded by the Green Belt, restricting its outward growth and the town a semi-rural feel. Most of the green belt land around Swanley is productive farmland, some of which is the best in the District.
There is now a very worrying threat to Swanley’s Green Belt. With the Tory Government instructing Sevenoaks District Council to build an extra 14,000 new homes by 2035, land around Swanley is going to come under the bull dozer very soon.
The Sevenoaks Council, dominated by the Conservative Party are determined to make Swanley take more than its fair share of this extra housing destroying our precious green lung.
Here are some of the facts:-
- In 2017 the Tories planned to build a massive garden village on the farmland between Archer Way, Swanley Village and the M25. This was defeated by a concerted campaign of local residents including the Swanley Labour Party.
- In their catalogue of potential sites for building, most, if not all of the green fields around Swanley are included.
- Most of the Green Belt land around Swanley has been bought by property speculators and developers waiting for the green light from their Tory friends.
- One developer is chaffing at the bit to build on the land behind Moultain Hill.
- The Tories are targeting Swanley, they want to swamp the town with an urban sprawl, but have no plans to touch their own heartlands, notably Sevenoaks Town and the Southern Villages.
- Labour councillor Mike Hogg was removed from the Development Control Committee at Sevenoaks, reducing the voice against the “rape of Swanley’s Green Belt”.
There are enough brown field sites in the District to absorb most of this new housing, just think of the Working Men’s Club site, abandoned for 3 years by Tory Council, with no current plans to develop.
THE LABOUR PARTY WANTS TO SEE NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING BUILT IN SEVENOAKS DISTRICT
WE BELIEVE THAT THIS CAN BE DONE WITHOUT THE WHOLESALE DESRUCTION OF OUR GREEN BELT BY:
- APPROVING MINOR INCREASES IN HOUSING DENSITY.
- UTILIZING ALL BROWN FIELD SITES.
- AVOIDING BUILDING ON GREEN BELT LAND.
- SPREADING THE BUILDING OF AFFORDABLE HOMES INTO THE MORE AFFLUENT AREAS.
- STOPPING THE CONSENT FOR MASSIVE MULTIMILLION POUND COMPLEXES IN FAVOUR OF AFFORDABLE FAMILY HOMES.