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Work on Otterpool garden town to begin in 2020

By Express reporter

Builders will begin working on Kent’s controversial 12,000 homes ‘garden town’ as early as 2020, it has emerged.

Otterpool Park, the 357-acre site off of Folkestone racecourse will include a number of schools, a medical centre, high street, religious buildings and more.

Additionally, planners and Shepway Council are in roundtable discussions with Network Rail, in the hope to bring High Speed Rail to Westenhanger Station.

Cozumel Estates, which owns Folkestone Racecourse, the other part of the site, is partnering the council on Otterpool Park
Cozumel Estates, which owns Folkestone Racecourse, the other part of the site, is partnering the council on Otterpool Park

The revelation came ahead of a string of public consultations during a private press briefing at Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone, on Wednesday.

Rebecca Kearney, project manager for Arcadis, a global development company, said: “For the first shovel in the ground, we are aiming for 2020.

“We are aiming to send the planning application into the council in the spring next year.

“What we are looking for (during the consultations) is for the public to be very engaged so we can take it away and continue evolving the proposals.”

The estate will feature homes of mixed sizes, with 40 per cent of the land earmarked for green spaces.

Otterpool housing development consultation at Lympne Village Hall
Otterpool housing development consultation at Lympne Village Hall

Talks are also underway for a Park and Ride to serve the town in an attempt to promote biodiversity and relieve traffic congestion.

Planners admitted they were ‘unsure’ how many additional cars the development would bring, but assured Kent Media road and parking infrastructure would be up to scratch.

Gary Young, who is leading the master-plan, told how the new town will consist of a “number of green spaces” – town or river parks for example.

Care homes for the elderly, an all-in-one medical centre featuring a GP surgery and nurses alongside primary and secondary schools are also part of the plans.

Consultation meetings, including a presentation, will take place across various Shepway venues later this month, when people can air their views over the development.

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