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Revised plans to build 92 flats, shops and public courtyard on site of former Swanley Working Men’s Club and Bevan Place car park


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Revised plans have been submitted to convert the site of a former working men's club into new homes, shops and public green space.

Sevenoaks council has submitted proposals to regenerate a derelict part of Swanley High Street which has been out of use for more than seven years.

A view of the courtyard as part of the proposals to redevelop the former Swanley Working Men's club site. Photo: Sevenoaks council
A view of the courtyard as part of the proposals to redevelop the former Swanley Working Men's club site. Photo: Sevenoaks council

It would see the site of the Swanley Working Men’s Club, the Bevan Place car park and other neighbouring land given a new lease of life.

Under the proposals the development would provide 93 new flats with retail space on the ground floor along the current curve of the site.

Of these new homes, a total of 71 would be for private tenure and 22 units for the West Kent Housing Association, of which 11 would be designated as affordable rent and another 11 as private tenure.

The eco-friendly build would be highly insulated with energy efficient heating, electric vehicle charging points and cycle spaces.

Plans also include new trees and other green planting as part of a designated public courtyard and a commitment from the council to be net zero by 2030.

Plans have been put forward to transform the former Swanley Working Men's Club site and Bevan Place car park. Photo: Sevenoaks council
Plans have been put forward to transform the former Swanley Working Men's Club site and Bevan Place car park. Photo: Sevenoaks council

The site in Swanley High Street has had many historic uses but has sat unused for many years.

During the Victorian period, it was high-density housing and more recently, it was home to the working men’s club and a small car park.

After the club closed in 2015, the council purchased the site – once mooted as a potential Wetherspoons location – as part of its plans to improve the southern entrance to Swanley.

According to a design and access statement, demolition of two Bevan Place blocks and the relocation of existing residents would be recommended in order to facilitate the development.

There are also possible daylight and overshadowing impacts on neighbouring properties.

In November, the council asked for residents’ views on its initial ideas for the site and revised its proposals to take into account local people’s comments.

The former Working Men's Club in Swanley High Street was demolished some years ago
The former Working Men's Club in Swanley High Street was demolished some years ago

Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of Sevenoaks council, said: “We are really excited to put forward plans to regenerate this important site.

"They include new homes, shops and best of all, a new green open space that the whole community can enjoy.

“The new development would be built to the highest environmental standards as part of our ambitions to make the district net zero by 2030."

So far it has received a mixed response with some calling it the "best thing to happen" to the town, whilst others labelled the plans "ridiculous" amid pressures on local resources.

One neighbour said: "Ridiculous the traffic this will cause will be horrendous the buildings look ugly from the road.

"Local doctors are full, preschools are full and schools are full where are you proposing to send these people?

Sevenoaks council leader Peter Flemming said the proposals would be of the highest environmental standards
Sevenoaks council leader Peter Flemming said the proposals would be of the highest environmental standards

"Swanley cannot cope with the extra people and traffic this development will bring."

However, others agreed the proposals were much needed and could complement the town.

"I live in Bevan place and this would be the best thing to happen," one resident responded.

"The current flats here are in shocking condition and damp in the flats is out of control. I for one am all for this development."

Potential parking and congestion concerns have also been flagged.

The development proposals include a total of 47 parking space to serve 78 of the homes.

Bevan Place would part replace the existing car park facility. Photo: Sevenoaks council
Bevan Place would part replace the existing car park facility. Photo: Sevenoaks council

It is not expected to result in any changes in the demands for car parking across Swanley town centre itself.

However, the proposals would include the closure of the Bevan Place car park in its current capacity.

The facility would retain 22 on-street parking spaces, with 20 spaces available for the use of permit holders and short-stay use by the public.

The latest project follows on from the council's new £20m leisure centre to replace White Oak, £5.5m train station upgrade and the new work hub and apartments planned on the former ‘Meeting Point’ site opposite the former club.

Residents can view and comment on the latest plans here.

If permission is granted, work could begin in 2023. The deadline to comment is July 18.

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