Sign this petition and help put an end to The Farmers eyesore says The Sevenoaks Society
A petition has been launched by the Sevenoaks Society calling on Sevenoaks District Council to compulsorily purchase the site of the former Farmers public house opposite Sevenoaks station and bring it into productive use.
The Farmers, which was also formerly known as The Sennocke Hotel, was demolished in 2005 despite a campaign to save the popular pub. Since then the site has remained empty and is seen as an eyesore at what is one of the gateways into the town.
Planning consent for 18 flats and five maisonettes plus some retail units was granted in 2005. A second application was later made for a larger development, this time for 39 flats and some retail units, which was granted on appeal in February 2015.
The Glenman Corporation, which own the site, claim they started doing ground works in collaboration with the Premier Inn development on the adjacent site. But to date, the site still remains unused and is overgrown and fronted by hoarding.
The Sevenoaks Society Chairman David Green said: “At a time when developers are pressing at the Local Plan Examination in Public for more sites to be made available for housing in and around Sevenoaks Town, we have a site opposite the station at a gateway to the town which has lain vacant and an eyesore for 14 years and which could be used for much needed residential development instead of releasing more land in the town and in the Green Belt.
“In collaboration with the right development partner or housing association much needed homes could be provided on this site including an element of affordable housing.
“It is time for the Council to stop making excuses, to follow up what they have said in the Local Plan about getting vacant sites into development and act to put an end to this eyesore which is an affront to the people of Sevenoaks every time they have passed the station.
“Having considered the options, the Society believes that a compulsory purchase order is likely to be the most effective way of ensuring that the site is developed and an appropriate scheme is designed to meet the needs of our community.
“I would encourage everyone concerned about our town to go online and support the petition at https://cds.sevenoaks.gov.uk/mgePetitionListDisplay.aspx?bcr=1”
Sevenoaks District Council has power to make a Compulsory Purchase Order under section 226 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) (‘Compulsory purchase of land for development and other planning purposes’).
If a petition receives 1,000 signatures or more it will be scheduled for a Council debate.