Developers Crest Nicholson, residents and members of Ashford Borough Council attended a ground breaking ceremony last Friday at the former Cheeseman’s Green site, which has been re-named Finberry.
The project, which could see up to 1,180 homes being built, was kick started after the developers received £2.3million of investment from the government’s Get Britain Building programme.
John Weir, Mark Osborn, Stephen Stone and Gerald Allison
The scheme will be delivered in 14 phases, with phase one, which will be known as Stour Meadows, consisting of 140 two and three bedroom cottages and four bedroom family homes.
Phase two will see a further 245 homes built, known as Green Street, and the developers are planning to submit permission for phase three’s homes in early 2014.
When complete, Finberry will also feature a primary school, convenience store, local restaurant, health centre and various communal facilities such as a community centre and sports pitches.
Work has also started to provide a 1km access road linking the development to the A2070, which is due to be completed by the end of 2013.
Stephen Stone at the ground breaking ceremony at Finberry
Stephen Stone, CEO of Crest Nicholson, said: “We have spent a long time ensuring that the plans for Finberry genuinely enhance the existing locality, and that we are not only building a mix of new homes, but also implementing the necessary infrastructure to cultivate and support a new and thriving neighbourhood.
“With all the supporting lifestyle and leisure facilities in place to harness a vibrant and sustainable community, Finberry will deliver a real boost to the Ashford area, and it’s exciting to see these plans now coming to fruition.”
The developers have also invested more than £1 million in landscaping and the site will include 200 trees, 1km of hedging, two pieces of artwork and three ornamental lakes.
Cllr David Robey, Ashford council’s portfolio holder for planning and development, said: “This marks the start of a major new community being built in Ashford.
“Not only will the development mean new homes and community facilities it will provide many new jobs locally, from the construction phrase right through to its completion.”
The developers are hoping that a show home will be available to view in January 2014.
Developer Crest Nicholson has decided to re-brand the Cheeseman’s Green area Finberry to show its potential as a ‘new village in the Garden of England’.
The word Finberry is the combination of two generic UK place name forms that both have relevance to the site when bought together.
The word ‘fin’ comes from the meaning white or holy, which has been used in reference to the site owners and ‘berry’ means hill - in reference to the raised nature of the site out of the floodplain.