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Kent house prices: The garden towns, villages and housing estates springing up around Kent

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Original article from Kent Live

A number of new homes have been springing up across Kent in recent years.

Whether it's one of a few or a whole cluster, there's potential for new garden towns and villages to be formed in the county off the back of development plans.

With the big problem being a lack of social housing, authorities must prove they are doing something to combat the issue.

READ MORE: BBC warns summer could come to abrupt end as hurricane season unfolds

Therefore, in Kent there are a number of ongoing proposals for new builds across the county.

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Here's a list of some big developments and the progress they have made, as well as a few which has already been completed.

Garden Village – Swale

A closer look at the location

Where: 317 hectares of land adjacent to southern side of junction 6 of M2 and approximately 3km from Faversham

Homes: Potential to deliver in the region of 5,000 new homes

The plans

The proposals made by Gladman Developments are for a combination of high quality market, affordable and specialised housing to the south of Faversham.

There's also plans for the creation of land for business and employment use, as well as making land available for community use.

The location, south of the M2, will offer extensive green space in a "strategically important and sustainable location".

Delivery of the site is secured as the land is owned by a small group of landowners who are said to be committed to working together with an experienced land promoter alongside a full team of professional consultants.

The close location to Faversham will also provide the opportunity for a self-sustaining new settlement with the potential to enhance existing sustainable transport connections.

This could include the wider catchment areas of Canterbury, Sittingbourne, Ashford, London, Medway Towns and Maidstone.

It is envisaged a masterbuilder will deliver key infrastructure including a local centre, schools, community facilities and landscaping with land sales to housebuilders, housing associations or care providers.

The masterbuilder and landowners will be responsible for controlling the quality of the environment in the short-term. However, this does not preclude the opportunity for smaller scale SME builders or even self-build plots.

What's happening with it now?

While no formal decision has been made regarding the future of these plans, a number of alternative garden village proposals have since emerged in Swale.

Binbury Park Garden Village – Maidstone

A closer look at plans

Where: Binbury Park, Detling

Homes: 1,700 new homes

The plans

Quinn Estates have made proposals to build 1,700 new homes in Detling, Maidstone.

50 of these properties will be self-build dwellings, and a hotel is also included as part of the plans.

In total, there is 500,000sq. ft of B8 commercial space, while 150,000sq. ft will be used for office and incubator space.

A new park and ride scheme has also been included in proposals with a view to easing the dreaded congestion in and around Maidstone.

There will also be a new country park created alongside the Garden Village which would include a bridge across to the existing White Horse Country Park.

A two-form entry Primary School along with playing fields has also been added to proposals.

Plans for local village facilities, which include a shop and a medical centre, have also been drawn up.

Improvements have also been proposed for the surrounding highways which could ease access to the nearby Detling Showground.

What is happening with it now?

Developers are still awaiting confirmation of outline planning permission, which was initially submitted in October 2018.

An updated version of plans were submitted in December.

Langley Square – Dartford

Where: Mill Pond Road, Dartford

Homes: 728 apartments

The plans

Unlike the other two developments, Langley Square has already opened its doors.

All 728 apartments were sold ahead of the launch date in May 2021, with single, double and rooms for three available.

The development is a collection of apartments which are situated in the heart of Dartford town.

It's surrounded by green open spaces and is said to be the perfect place for families, young professions and couples.

Rooms are equipped with luxurious designer kitchens as well as bathrooms and en-suites.

The site is divided into three separate builds, The Duchess, The Monarch and The Emperor.

Rooms include fitted wardrobes, a television and a gas fired heating system.

Residents are also able to choose between a variety of flooring and carpet options to enable them to design their apartment as they please.

Otterpool Park – Folkestone

Plans were on display to the public at Westenhanger Castle in 2018

Where: Land between Hythe and Lympne including Folkestone racecourse

Homes: Up to 10,000 new homes are set to make up the new Otterpool Park garden town over the next three decades.

The plans

It is proposed by landowners Folkestone and Hythe District Council and Cozumel Estates.

To speed up house building across the country, housing minister Gavin Barwell announced Folkestone and Hythe District Council's plan will be backed by the government back in 2016.

The 770 hectare greenfield site is set to come with its own high street, two secondary schools, seven primary schools and commercial space.

The scheme is marketed as 50 per cent green space and an upgrade to nearby Westenhanger station to include High Speed train services is set to provide a key link to London in under an hour.

Despite being branded as a development which will bring affordable homes, it has been met with mass opposition from people living across the Folkestone and Hythe district.

Marches have taken place in protest, and some people who are living in the current footprint of the masterplan have been told they could be forced out of their homes by a compulsory purchase order.

This is usually put in place when there is a wider public value in a proposed development, which is blocked by a minority of residents who are living where new construction is planned.

What's happening with it now?

As reported by In Your Area, the planners of the site have spoken openly about their aims for Otterpool Park.

They insisted it's a place that all can enjoy, "young, old and everyone".

As of May this year, a public consultation has been held on the first phase of the development and additional parts of the proposals.

Ebbsfleet Garden City

Where: Ebbsfleet Valley – which straddles boundaries of Gravesham and Dartford

Homes: Up to 15,000 across brownfield land and former quarries over the next 15 years

The plans

It was back in 2014 when the government announced plans to create the county's first garden city.

Individual planning applications have been submitted over the years, and the area is now already populated with some 1,700 homes containing some 4,000 residents.

This includes a primary school, hotel, pub and Co-op supermarket.

The vision is to combine urban and rural living – with the style of homes being replicated with Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian period features.

As its capacity, some 30,000 will work there.

Gravesham Borough Council says the government is seeking to speed up the development.

It aims to do this via the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, which has been set up in a bid to push the scheme in the right direction.

The corporation is now responsible for deciding planning applications, giving pre-application advice and carrying out planning enforcement in its area.

What's happening with it now?

The latest update from the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation has revealed 302 new homes have been approved for the Garden City.

Among these homes are also the Garden City's first custom-built designs.

Some of the homes are to be built in the centre of Whitecliffe in Alkerden Village, while the majority will be in Ashmere Village.

The development has already started to take shape, with hundreds of new houses already built as part of the project.

Regular public consultations have been held as more progress is made with the plans, and these are uploaded to the Garden City's YouTube channel.

Tunbridge Wells Garden Village

Tudeley residents Ian Pattenden (and his wife) who are fighting the new building plans for the area

Where: Capel parish, in the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells

Homes: 6,500

Plans

One of the newest major developments to tip the scale in Kent is being proposed for the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells.

The plans came to light earlier this summer, infuriating residents so much so that dozens took part in a march through the town.

An estimated 2,600 homes would be created in Tudeley, making it a 'garden village' with 1,400 homes in east Capel and a further 2,500 in Paddock Wood.

As a result, a Save Capel protest group has since sprung up, with issues concerning the mass of development that is set to surround its parish.

Branded an "extension of Tonbridge", residents met back in July in a meeting which discussed how residents would fight the proposal at every base.

What's happening with it now?

Back in February this year councillors voted to approve the plans for a Tunbridge Wells Garden Village.

It is not yet clear when work will begin on the development.

Borough Green Gardens

The site earmarked for Borough Green Gardens lies between the existing villages of Borough Green and Wrotham

Where: Land between Borough Green, Wrotham Heath and Ightham

Homes: 3,000

Plans

The new garden village settlement of 3,000 homes would link Borough Green to Wrotham Heath and Ightham.

The huge development sprawling between four villages would include a relief road diverting traffic away from Borough Green centre.

But also means building on a large swathe of agricultural land.

The controversial plans were first announced a year ago.

According to our report from last July, the plans would see 1,720 homes built by 2031 – the date of the next Local Plan, with a further 1,280 homes to be constructed thereafter.

The move was promoted as one option to meet the area's housing target, with up to 7,000 new homes in the Tonbridge borough thought to be needed over the next few years.

What's happening with it now?

Back in November last year, KentLive revealed plans for the new 3,000-home gardens have suffered a "huge setback".

This came after Government Inspectors raised “serious concerns in relation to legal compliance”.

Wrotham Parish Council chairman Peter Gillen said there is little local appetite for a development of such scale.

He told KentLive: “We think they have completely miscalculated the traffic implications. Around here we already have great long queues in the mornings and in the evenings.

“They are trying to urbanise a country area. We are a series of villages. We don’t want one continuous urban area.”

Mountfield Park – Canterbury

An artist impression of the potential development Mountfield Park

Where: South Canterbury

Homes: 4,000

Plans

Mountfield Park is the biggest housing scheme ever proposed in Canterbury and caused huge amount of controversy among residents.

The plans for 4,000 homes to be built in south Canterbury were given the green light in December 2016.

Developer Corinthian Land has outline approval for 3,860 homes and detailed permission for another 140.

The masterplan includes shops, sports pitches, office space, two primary schools and was even proposed as a new site for Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

Alongside thousands of contemporary homes, Mountfield Park will offer shops, office space, sports pitches, two primary schools and a potential new site for Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

The scheme first stalled in May 2017 after a judge ordered a judicial review over pollution concerns after a second plea by clean air campaigners.

What's happening with it?

The 4,000-home development was approved by Canterbury City Council back in December last year.

The initial application did receive a legal challenge, however the Supreme Court in July 2019 decided not to hear the appeal.

Farthingloe and Western Heights – Dover

Farthingloe Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Where: Dover

Homes: 552

Plans

The proposals are for 552 homes, a 90-apartment retirement village, a health club, a 130-bed “prestige” hotel and conference centre.

If approved construction is estimated to take seven years.

The development site is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which has caused a long running saga with Campaigners to Protect Rural England.

The dispute went all the way to the Supreme Court in 2017.

Campaigners still argue that the council had not sufficiently explained how it came to the decision that the economic benefits outweighed the need to protect the landscape.

Similar plans from the same developer, China Gateway International Ltd, were submitted in 2012 and approved by Dover District Council in 2015.

But after a long legal battle over a breach of planning regulation that went all the way to the country’s top court, the Kent branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) overturned the decision.

If the fresh plans are approved, construction is estimated to take seven years.

What's happening with it now?

Kent County Council was consulted on the plans in March 2019.

The proposals are a hybrid, meaning the council's verdict is required.

However, issues were raised over parking and transport modelling, with it calling on more information to be provided.

There were also raised concerns over a lack of investigation on the current drainage.

Court Lodge – Kingsnorth

This is how developers see the community looking when 1,000 homes are built

Where: South Ashford, Kingsnorth

Homes: 1,000

Plans

The site, dubbed Court Lodge, is set to be developed by Hallam Land if outline planning permission is granted.

Plans include a local centre, a new primary school and open spaces along with cycle routes.

It is not known when planners will make a decision on whether or not to give the scheme the green light.

What's happening with it now?

An update on the development was posted earlier this month, which explains that an outline planning application is presently being prepared for submission later this year.

Westwood – Thanet

This is how the site could look, with retail and commercial buildings in the north-east corner closest to Westwood Cross

Where: Manston Court Road, Westwood, Thanet

Homes: 900

Plans

A proposal for up to 900 homes, a retail area, hotel, social and sheltered house and a primary school were given the go ahead in February 2019.

Planners at Thanet District Council waved through the plans submitted by Developers Greenacre (Thanet) Ltd which will spread across 96 acres of agricultural land.

It is bordered by Manston Court Road to the north and Haine Road to the east.

The retail and commercial aspect of the development will be in the northeastern corner of the site, directly opposite Westwood Cross shopping centre.

The plans have been approved in principle, subject to 44 planning conditions being met by the developers – if these are all met planning permission will be granted.

What's happening with it now?

Plans for the 900 new homes to be built in Westwood were approved in February 2019.

It is one of two sites in Westwood set to be developed in future, with a neighbouring site also allocated for housing as well as a secondary school and a link road joining Haine Road to Manston Court Road.

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Original Article