Published: 06:00, 25 September 2021
Prince Charles’ estate will unveil its plans to build 2,500 homes in the Faversham countryside next week.
The Duchy of Cornwall, which is fronted by the heir to the throne, owns 320 acres of land to the south-east of the town, running up to the M2 and the Brenley Corner junction.
The site, which is dissected by Selling Road, has long been discussed as a potential location for a massive housing development.
Now, the royal estate is ready to reveal its plans for the land at a town meeting and a drop-in consultation event next week.
The Duchy undertook an inquiry process in 2018, and now, three years later, a masterplan has been devised.
Details of the 2,500-home plan are currently scarce, aside from a brief description sent to councillors this week inviting them to view the proposals at next week’s consultation.
The statement released this week says how the Prince of Wales has long called for “sustainable human-scale development that is land-efficient, uses low-carbon materials and is less car-dependent”.
It reads: “A simple grid of tree-lined streets will open south from the A2 and frame a central green with a cricket pitch and pub.
“Footpaths, cycle ways and flowing open spaces will connect houses, workplaces and shops, crossing the railway with a new bridge to the east and aligning with old pedestrian routes through to the centre of Faversham to the north.
“The proposed new neighbourhood starts from the earth up.
“It has been designed around soil, water and the centuries-old, local pattern of human relationship with the land.
“Avenues, orchards, allotments, meadows and wooded rides will link the houses together in a shaded, green framework.”
“After further design work, investigations and engagement with various stakeholders, the Duchy has refined its masterplan and is now inviting feedback on refined proposals at a drop-in consultation event.”
The land in question is primed to be earmarked for development in Swale Borough Council’s Local Plan, which is due to be finalised next year.
The Duchy of Cornwall was established by Edward III in 1337, and a charter ruled that each future Duke of Cornwall would be the eldest surviving son of the monarch and heir to the throne.
The estate is made of 130,000 acres in the UK, spread across 21 different counties. The revenue from the estate is used to fund the public, private and charitable activities of the Duke and his children.
As well as next Thursday’s drop-in event at the Assembly Rooms, the Faversham Society is hosting a public meeting at the St Mary of Charity Church on Wednesday.
The group has invited the four different developers behind the major housing schemes proposed for the town, but has only received a response from the Duchy.
Representatives from the royal estate will be in attendance to discuss the plans from 7.30pm.
Society chairman Harold Goodwin says it is disappointing other developers look set to snub the event, but urges residents to attend in order to learn about the Duchy’s proposals.
“I would urge anybody who is interested and looking for answers about the future of housing in Faversham to come along.
“We wrote to four developers but only the Duchy has said it is coming.
“The invitation remains open for the others, but it is a matter of very great regret they have not responded.”
The drop-in consultation runs from noon until 7.30pm next Thursday at the Assembly Rooms in Preston Street.