Planning approved for 8,500 homes in garden town in Kent

Planning for 8,500 home Otterpool Park Garden Town development has been approved.

A new 8,500 home sustainable garden town near Folkestone, Kent has been given the green light.

Work is scheduled to start on Otterpool Park Garden Town, which will feature approximately 50% open space, later this year.

The design has been influenced by the site’s landscape setting and heritage – including Westenhanger Castle and its medieval barns, Second World War facilities at Lympne Airfield, Bronze Age barrows and the remains of a Roman villa – and a commitment to high sustainability standards.

The approved outline plans include: up to 8,500 homes including over 1,870 affordable homes and over 400 self-build homes; seven primary and up to two secondary schools, nurseries and crèches, health centres, places of worship and community centres; creation of an integrated transport network to connect the new garden town and reduce car use centred around Westenhanger train station; electric vehicle charging points; measures to boost nature biodiversity by 20%; up to 29,000 sqm for retail use; commercial business hubs, a commercial business park and a light industrial park; up to 8,000 sqm of hotel floorspace; sports pavilion and indoor sports hall provision; plus infrastructure and utilities including a new electrical substation and potable water network reinforcement and provision of a fibre-to-home broadband network.

Andy Jarrett, managing director of Otterpool Park LLP, said: “This landmark decision is a pivotal point in the delivery of Otterpool Park and follows seven years of planning, masterplanning and community engagement.

“We are committed to creating an exemplar and sustainable garden town that will do so much more than meet local housing needs. This is about creating a new community which includes everything it needs to thrive now, and in the future, with a fundamental focus on enabling healthy, active, and sustainable lifestyles and early delivery of the infrastructure needed to support a community of this scale.

“Having secured outline planning, our immediate focus now is to submit the details for the first phase and then start work on site by the end of the year.”

The master developer will now progress the detailed planning of the first phase which includes the town centre and Castle Park, centred around Westenhanger Castle. Enabling works, including advanced planting on site, are expected to start later this year.

Led by Otterpool Park LLP on behalf of Folkestone & Hythe District Council and supported by planning and development specialists Quod, Arcadis, Tibbalds and Farrells, the development has been given outline planning permission by the council’s planning and licensing committee.

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