Residents in uproar at plans for new Swanley gypsy pitches

News Shopper: More sites like this could be set to spring up around Swanley. More sites like this could be set to spring up around Swanley.

Residents are in uproar at plans to put dozens of new gypsy pitches in Swanley and the surrounding area in the next few years.

Sevenoaks District Council is looking at the town, along with Hextable, Crockenhill and West Kingsdown, to help meet a target of 72 additional pitches.

The council says it called in independent experts from Salford University in Manchester to carry out the research and come up with the figure.

It claims it is required by law to find the extra space in the area by 2026, along with Ash, Edenbridge, Farningham, Halstead and Shoreham.

If it is unable to identify sufficient new pitches, the council says it will run the risk of losing planning appeals for gypsy and traveller sites, giving councillors little or no control over their future location.

Horton Kirby resident James Stewart posted on Facebook: "These are in close surrounding areas and will impact our village.

"At a rate of nine new camps a year over the next nine years, are we really expected to believe that crime and fly-tipping in particular or not going to increase?"

Fellow resident Lee Champion added: "So basically we can look forward to more fly-tipping, more general rubbish, more burnt out cars, increased crime-rate, fewer school places for children living locally, a decrease in property values for all home owners, and no doubt increased council tax fees to cover the general clean up."

Residents and landowners are being asked to comment on the council’s Gypsy and Traveller Plan as part of a consultation on the plans.

Swanley residents can contribute their views at a drop-in session at the Clocktower Pavilion at the town council offices on June 3 from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Alternatively they can e-mail planning.policy@sevenoaks.gov.uk or write to Planning Policy Team, Sevenoaks District Council, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1HG.

The draft plans are available to view at Swanley library or online at planningconsult.sevenoaks.gov.uk Responses must be received by July 4 at 5pm.

Do you know of a potential gypsy or traveller site near your home or business? Call 01689 885702, e-mail tim.macfarlan@london.newsquest.co.uk or tweet @NewsShopperTim

Comments (5)

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3:35pm Fri 23 May 14

disgruntres says...

Yet again an instance where Sevenoaks Council will consider Swanley not worth bothering about. Are there no sites closer to Sevenoaks? "OH NO we couldn't possibly have such a site to close to our desirable up market town"
Push it out to Swanley.
We put up with traffic chaos as soon as M25 traffic affects junction 3, but Sevenoaks failed to register us for Dart tags.
Swanley is a nice place to live. We want it to be so in the future, but what hope with proposed gypsy camps?
Yet again an instance where Sevenoaks Council will consider Swanley not worth bothering about. Are there no sites closer to Sevenoaks? "OH NO we couldn't possibly have such a site to close to our desirable up market town" Push it out to Swanley. We put up with traffic chaos as soon as M25 traffic affects junction 3, but Sevenoaks failed to register us for Dart tags. Swanley is a nice place to live. We want it to be so in the future, but what hope with proposed gypsy camps? disgruntres
  • Score: 21

8:17pm Sat 24 May 14

MikeD4 says...

The reporter is way out on his figures btw. Two breaches of tthe accuracy (clause 1) of the editors code of practice....There will not be and never were dozens of sites proposed that will then be built. The fprolosals are for potential sites. its usually 10-15 pitches per site. sometimes more. A short list of first choices will be drawn up after the consultation period. . Nor do the council actually have to build them. They might, but they also could lease the land to a private developer. It will be for local families, they will be paying rent and council tax just the same as you. The council plan for extra houses for population growth in exactly the same way.
The reporter is way out on his figures btw. Two breaches of tthe accuracy (clause 1) of the editors code of practice....There will not be and never were dozens of sites proposed that will then be built. The fprolosals are for potential sites. its usually 10-15 pitches per site. sometimes more. A short list of first choices will be drawn up after the consultation period. . Nor do the council actually have to build them. They might, but they also could lease the land to a private developer. It will be for local families, they will be paying rent and council tax just the same as you. The council plan for extra houses for population growth in exactly the same way. MikeD4
  • Score: 2

12:56am Sun 25 May 14

ksc says...

Are they really going to do this to Edenbridge and Farningham, that is just pure evil, seriously any council inflicting this sort of torture on these beautiful areas should be removed from power. So sorry to hear this, they were such lovely areas.
Are they really going to do this to Edenbridge and Farningham, that is just pure evil, seriously any council inflicting this sort of torture on these beautiful areas should be removed from power. So sorry to hear this, they were such lovely areas. ksc
  • Score: 8

12:26pm Sun 25 May 14

ms day says...

no one wants these people on there doorstep .send them to swanley with the rest .
no one wants these people on there doorstep .send them to swanley with the rest . ms day
  • Score: 6

1:40pm Sun 25 May 14

paulbexleyheath says...

more sites
more crime
more tarmac
great just what we al need...............N
OT
more sites more crime more tarmac great just what we al need...............N OT paulbexleyheath
  • Score: 8

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