Foxchurch Garden Village
A development proposal for land near the village of Bobbing in the Borough of Swale.
Why this site?
This proposal has been formulated after careful consideration and analysis of the most sustainable locations to locate significant growth within the Borough of Swale. The National Planning Policy Framework states that, ‘to be considered developable, sites should be in a suitable location for housing development with a reasonable prospect that they will be available and could be viably developed at the point envisaged.’
We believe this site not only meets the strategic housing need of the Borough, including the provision of affordable housing, but can deliver housing and employment opportunities without the requirement for major infrastructure improvements, such as an additional motorway junction.
The site is extensive, equating to approximately 201 hectares. With the exception of two smaller parcels of land to the south, the majority of the site is located to the west of Sheppey Way, close to the village of Bobbing. The site is not covered by or contains any statutory or non-statutory landscape protection designation and is well connected to local road infrastructure, Sheppey Way being the main thoroughfare running through Bobbing, although we recognise the importance and aesthetics of the Grade I and II listed buildings nearby, including the church. Presently the site’s use is mainly arable and on occasion has been the subject of local concern because of fly tipping and other anti-social behaviour due to its lack of natural surveillance. A high voltage electricity transmission line which dissects the site is also a major visual detractor.
The new proposal will deliver
- Up to 3,000 new homes comprising a mix of tenures including starter homes, self-build, extra care and up to 40% affordable
- Flexible employment space
- Strategic highway improvements
- A new health centre
- A new 3FE primary school
- Improved parking facilities for Bobbing Primary School
- A new village hall, community centre and nursery, pub/restaurant and local retail centre
- A new village green set to incorporate the new and improved Bobbing Cricket Club and the Gore Court Sports Facility subject to further discussion
- Mutli-functional public open spaces including new parklands, greens allowing for public events, public art, playgrounds, community gardens and allotments and retained agricultural land
We would aim to deliver a bespoke garden community, located west of Bobbing, comprising approximately 3,000 new homes; a primary/sec- ondary school (TBC); employment and commercial space with retail uses; community/leisure facilities and publicly accessible open space. We believe that a development of this scale will require the provision of a new primary school and have made the necessary contacts to further understand and investigate the education provision for Bobbing and the demand that an additional 3,000 homes would create.
The garden community would be supported by retail and social infrastructure. We have reviewed the neighbouring settlements (Sittingbourne, Milton, Regis, Newington, Keycol and Iwade) to inform what these essential services should be. Given the level of separation from these settlements and the lack of inter-connectivity brought about by the existing highway network, we believe the development should include a local retail parade which can accommodate a mix of retail and commercial uses such as shops, a village hall, restaurants or café and potentially a public house. We estimate it could generate over 500 jobs locally in the long term (not including those involved in the construction of the site).