Which way Westerham?

It has been a pleasure working with Rummey Design once again on the plans for Westerham in Kent. Working for Squerreyes Estate, we have been examining the landscape around the town, the way the town works and has developed over the years and how new development might allow it to grow whilst maintaining its character, conserving the beautiful mediaeval town centre (that is much blighted by heavy traffic), improving local employment opportunities and enhancing its countryside setting. The town is in the North Weald AONB and is surrounded by Green Belt so first consideration is whether the emerging local plan will consider any change to this.

My work has been to map the full constraints and opportunities and develop concepts for the town centre, developing a better network of connected walking and cycling routes. I also addressed the route of a potential relief road route.  The strategy showed how the landscape around the town could be enriched with woodlands and usable green space, along with new meadows and wetlands along the river Darent. The plans consider how to include the restoration of nearby gravel pits and improve public access to the surrounding agricultural countryside too. The work emerged from several stages of community engagement listening to how the town might consider growth. This led to developing some outline framework concepts to assist further community consultation presentations, discussions and websites. If the idea is agreed by the local planners, then the concepts may be developed in due course.

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