The 15 new homes, six of which are to be secured to meet local needs through the Rural Housing Authority, were approved after Seal Parish Council and Sevenoaks District Council had expressed difficulty in securing affordable provision locally, with a waiting list for accommodation.

Permission for the high quality  scheme with 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes sensitively designed to meet the need for properties for existing local residents to downsize enabling them to stay in the village was secured by Hobbs Parker Property Consultants, the Ashford-based planning adviser.

Pat Mills, Partner at Clague Architects, said: “The scheme presents a traditional frontage to Stone Street reminiscent of workers cottages or almshouses. These complement the Oast House and Farmhouse, while the rear of the site is conceived as a modern take on a farmstead with contemporary dwellings set around a shared courtyard.

“The removal of the imposing agricultural buildings will significantly reduce the amount of built development on the site, improving the level of openness within the settlement and the setting of the listed building whilst providing new landscaping to the benefit of wildlife.”

Andrew Clague, Senior Partner at Clague Architects, added: “This exceptional architectural scheme is designed specifically to enhance and reflect its setting. It is a one off with a great sense of place.”

The planning permission was granted after Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government, decided not to call in the application on the agricultural site within the Green Belt.

Jane Scott, Senior Planning Consultant at Hobbs Parker Property Consultants, said: “When people think of land within the Green Belt they have a picture in their mind of rolling green fields and open countryside. The reality can often be very different. In this case it was an existing concrete farmyard within Stone Street, surrounded by residential development, rather than a green space.

“With 93% of Sevenoaks District identified as Green Belt it is difficult to see how the local authority can meet its housing targets. Small schemes like Foxbury Farm, which is sensitive to the local community and well-designed, will help secure much-needed new homes.

“We worked closely with the parish council and local residents through public consultation to determine the type of development needed locally and with and the council’s housing officer to ensure the scheme delivers the right mix of affordable units to meet the identified local need.”

The six much needed affordable homes will be retained and managed to provide for the needs of local people into the future by English Rural Housing Association, a registered housing provider.

The final scheme also retains an existing listed building for conversion to office accommodation to support local businesses.

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