Shoreham residents welcome Council’s decision to halt building conversions on village farm
A GROUP of Shoreham residents are breathing a sigh of relief after receiving the news that Sevenoaks District Council has decided to no longer pursue plans to convert redundant farm buildings at Timberden Farm in the village.
The Council sold the farmland, that formed part of Timberden Farm, in 2017 but retained the barn and other agricultural buildings with the view that, with the benefit of planning permission, these could be converted into new homes. The Council believed that the conversion of the run-down buildings would not only enhance the area but also ensure local taxpayers received the best possible return from the sale of the land. But the plans were not welcomed by many Shoreham residents who made their objections known.
When the Council sold the remainder of the land, the new owner secured a right of pre-emption, in practice giving them the right to purchase the land and buildings. In September the owners indicated that they wish to exercise this right to enable the use of the buildings as part of the neighbouring farm. In the event of any future non-agricultural development on the site by the new owner, the Council will receive a share of any enhanced values.
Cllr John Scholey, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, says: “The recent approach by the owner of Timberden Farm has given us the opportunity to help support a growing agricultural business, while ensuring local tax payers would benefit from any future non-agricultural development of the farm buildings. The sale will recoup monies spent on the planning application and bring a capital receipt back to the Council.”
The Council’s Cabinet agreed to no longer pursue a planning application on the Timberden Farm buildings at its meeting on Thursday, 8 November. The Council will now take the next steps towards selling the buildings.