Campaigners are claiming victory after a developer buckled to pressure and re-drew “unacceptable” plans for a large-scale housing estate.
Volunteers from the Faversham Community Land Trust (FCLT) led calls for Crest Nicholson to rethink proposals to erect 88 properties at Lady Dane Farm, off Love Lane.
Their worries centred on the firm’s decision to earmark more than a third of the buildings for four or five bedrooms – while pledging to offer just 22 starter homes.
But after the group lodged an objection to the scheme, the company decided to appease their concerns by lowering the number of large houses on the plot by almost a third, and increasing the number of smaller properties by more than a quarter.
FCLT director Steve Atkins explained: “Housebuilders have been building far too many larger homes in Faversham recently while building very few one- and two-beds.
“As a consequence of this prices have gone up, and they’ve become unaffordable. There’s a significant need for small housing around the town.
“Three-and-a-half thousand homes are proposed for Faversham, and hopefully this will mean developers will offer a balanced mix of houses.”
The proposals form the second phase of Crest Nicholson’s development of Lady Dane Farm, which will total 284 homes.
Papers show the company has now knocked the number of four- and five-bedroom properties from 31 down to 22, while the proportion of one- and two-bedroom homes has been bumped from 22 to 28.
When Mr Atkins first mounted his opposition to the plans, he branded the mix of housing put forward by the developer “unacceptable”.
“I thought it was excessive. This is a problem that’s been compounded on most of the sites in the town,” he added.
“There aren’t many people who are capable of buying many of these houses that are being built.”
A spokesman for Crest Nicholson says the firm decided to add more smaller homes to the project following consultations with FCLT and a meeting with Swale Borough Council.
He also expects the company to begin this phase of the development by late spring, with residents moving on to the site later this year.
Work on the first stage of the project, bordering Graveney Road, has already begun.
“We are committed to delivering developments that meet local housing needs and support thriving communities,” the spokesman said.
“Following consultations with FCLT, we met with Swale Borough Council and agreed to revise the mix in order to provide smaller units to meet demand.
“Lady Dane Farm will deliver much-needed homes to the area, both affordable and private, and various schemes to support prospective buyers in their purchase.”