Plans resubmitted for 8,500-home garden village development
A local authority-led partnership has resubmitted outline plans for an 8,500-home garden village development in Kent.
Visualisation of the scheme (Pic: Pillory Barn)
Otterpool Park, a development partnership set up by Folkestone and Hythe District Council in May 2020, has submitted a revised outline application for the 800 hectare site near Folkestone in Kent.
According to Otterpool Park, permission is being sought for 8,500 homes, including more than 1,870 affordable homes and 400 self-build homes.
The plans also include 29,000 square metres of retail space, 87,500 square metres of employment floor space, including a commercial business park, and 67,000 square metres of education and community space.
An 8,000 square metre hotel and 8,000 square metres of leisure floorspace are further included.
According to Otterpool Park, the development will deliver 9,000 jobs over the next 25-30 years and is made up of more than 50 per cent green space.
The site, near Folkestone, includes the former Folkestone Racecourse and the villages of Newingreen and Westenhanger village, plus a train station in the latter.
Plans for the site were first announced by the council in May 2016, with the project receiving a share of £6 million of government funding allocated to 21 garden towns and villages across England in January 2020. Initial outline plans were then submitted by Folkestone and Hythe District Council, the landowners, in March 2019.
The site is allocated for development in Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s local plan, which was found inspected and approved by an inspector earlier this year.
Following the consultation on the application, which ran between March 2018 and June 2019, the local planning authority provided an initial response to the applicant which found that a “unifying vision… does not emerge strongly in the outline planning application” and recommended further work to “expand on the aspirations for design quality by defining more clearly what this means locally and uniquely to Otterpool Park”.
Planning consultancy Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design was appointed by the council to prepare a master plan and design codes for the site in June 2020.
The latest plans include an amendment to the site’s boundary, which will incorporate nearby Westenhanger Castle into the site, and allow for a possible wastewater facility and highway junction.
The application also includes new survey work and the submission of additional green infrastructure, heritage, transport and mobility documents.
According to Otterpool Park, “some of the amendments made to the application will assist with the delivery of the development across the long-term, and allow for further consultation on detailed master planning and design and allowing for flexibility in order to best suit the needs of the local population”.
Director of planning at Otterpool Park, Andy Jarret, said: “Submitting our final proposals marks a significant milestone for the project.
“Extensive work has gone into amending the outline planning application to incorporate feedback and present a proposal that will address local housing needs, deliver substantial infrastructure improvements and create direct opportunities for the area, as well as being able to respond to changing and growing needs in the future.”
According to Otterpool Park, the revised application has been submitted but as of 4 April is yet to appear on the council’s website.