To meet its Government-set housing target of 698 new homes per year across the district, SDC must now identify a number of sites of a variety of sizes.
Here in Westerham we face a number of challenges unique to the town, not least the issue of affordable homes for local people, the poor air quality and congestion in the town centre, a dramatic fall in the number of school age children threatening the future of our primary school, and a fall in the number of working age people set against sharp increases in the number of elderly people.
All of these place particular stresses on the town’s services, some of which are already grappling with pressures for which solutions are hard to come by.
Like every other settlement in the district, Westerham is also vulnerable to the challenges of climate change.
Solutions to these sustainability challenges are possible – but will require sustainable development in sustainable locations to generate the resources needed to put the solutions in place.
Exceptionally, in Westerham, there is a single landowner who has the opportunity, and is willing to take it, to invest in the developments and take the kind of long term review on the investment returns needed to leverage the resources required to deliver the infrastructure, community facilities and environmental improvements that Westerham needs – regardless of WWW.
The WWW proposals will go a long way towards delivering the new homes the town needs to secure its future and provide the resources needed to help tackle the town’s other challenges.