Steering Group Meeting Minutes 22/03/2011

Penshurst Village Project Steering Group – 22 March 2011




Evelyn Divall)

            Rob Sellings)

Dianne Broad)                       Penshurst Parish Council (PPC)

Andy Campbell)

Cllr Paddy Cooke                    SDC Ward Councillor

            Janet Ranson                         West Kent HA

            Ben Thomas)             

            Andy Stronghill)                     Penshurst Place Estate (PPE)

            Lesley Bowles                         SDC Community Development

            Liz Crockford                          SDC Housing




Dave Geal                   Penshurst Parish Council (PPC)

Bill Hughes                 Smiths Gore

Gavin Missons            SDC Housing

Jim Sperryn                SDC Planning

Roger Dawe                Penshurst Primary School


Matters Arising from Steering Group meeting – 16 December 2010


LC advised there was no amendment from SDC Planning re. the sites analysis commentary for Forge Field.  The sites analysis was undertaken using the template provided by the Rural Housing Enabler and the template was used again more recently for the Knockholt Parish sites search.

For any affordable housing developed, LC reported higher priority cannot be given to existing residents or children of existing residents, as the Core Strategy policy SP4 gives equal weighting to those with specified local connection.

LC verbally reported the names of the Becket Trust Trustees to the Steering Group.

LB queried the position on the size of any affordable housing to be developed. The workshops indicated a “preference” for 2 and 3 bedroom houses whereas the Parish Needs Survey identified an actual need for 1 and 2 bedroom houses. Action, LC to clarify position with JS in terms of compliance with Core Strategy Policy SP4.

Minutes agreed as accurate.  Action, ED to arrange to put on PPC website.


Parish Council update.


ED reported Environment Agency attended a meeting.  The position of the flood-line is critical to any development of the Forge Field site.

The Parish Councillors advised they had liaised with various residents during the course of March 2011 . 


March 2011 Newsletter and Questionnaire – results


LC reported in March 2011, 3 residents made contact to advise they had not received a questionnaire of which 2 requested duplicate questionnaires.  Named duplicates were dispatched and both were returned and are identified within the results.

LC presented the results of the March 2011 questionnaire and the Group discussed these. Please see table below.

It was noted that in the June 2010 survey, 131 out of 699 questionnaires were returned with 75% supporting the development of new affordable housing in the Parish.

ED advised the results of the March 2011 questionnaire would be presented to the next meeting of the Parish Council on 4 April and a decision on the Forge Field site would be made at this meeting. 

Action, ED to publish the results of the March 2011 questionnaire on the Parish Council website and LC to publish on the Sevenoaks District Council website.



Supports the development of up to 6 affordable homes at Forge Field

Does not support the development of up to 6 affordable homes at Forge Field

Questionnaires returned






By location in Parish:




Penshurst Village


118 (including one duplicate*)

Swaylands & Poundsbridge



Smarts Hill & Saints Hill






Walters Green





7 (including one duplicate*)

Not specified




Undelivered/no such address = 5

Don’t know/undecided = 1

431/753 = 57.24% return rate.


Next Steps – WKHA 


JR advised the Homes & Communities’ (HCA’s) bidding round for the four year period 2011 to 2015 closes on 3 May. The decision arising from the Parish Council meeting on 4 April will be critical in determining whether WKHA submit a bid for the Forge Field site. If a bid is made, the HCA funding decision will not be announced until the Summer.


JR explained the impact of the HCA’s Affordable Rents framework.  Rents will be higher than existing social rents, although the rents will remain eligible for Housing Benefit , but there may be pressure on working households. Tenancies will be fixed term.


Any Other Business


Cllr Cooke thanked LC and LB for all their hard work in bringing the project to this stage.


Date of next meeting.


LC to arrange meeting for September 2011. .   




Liz Crockford