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'Later living' community proposed for Aylesford

A sand and gravel quarry in Aylesford that is coming to the end of its working life could be transformed into a "later living" village.

Aylesford Heritage has begun the first stage of the planning process that would see the 33-hectare site – which contains a lake – redeveloped to provide properties for older people and key workers.

Aylesford today: Photo: Aylesford Heritage
Aylesford today: Photo: Aylesford Heritage

There would also be a care home and a range of community facilities.

The site, which has been quarried for more than 100 years, lies just north of Aylesford, between Bull Lane and Rochester Road.

Aylesford Heritage submitted a scoping inquiry to Tonbridge and Malling council to discover whether the borough felt the scheme would require a full Environmental Impact Assessment.

The council said no, leaving the way clear for the firm to now submit an outline planning application.

In details submitted with the scooping inquiry, the company set out "indicative" proposals for the site.

An indicative view of what the development might look like
An indicative view of what the development might look like

It indicated 200 "later living" housing units, 200 extra-care housing units and a 75-bed care home, while also providing 50 affordable homes for key workers, which the company suggested would be mostly for people working on the site.

The plans show the housing divided into two areas: the later-living and key worker component to the west of the lake, which is to remain, and the care village to the east.

It also suggested there would be a bowls green, view point over the lake, allotments, a cafe, and facilities for Aylesford Scouts.

The lake area would be open for the public to enjoy.

The submerged nature of the site means it would be largely below the level of the surrounding landscape, though it would be visible from the Blue Bell Hill observation point.

An aerial view of the site at Aylesford Lakes
An aerial view of the site at Aylesford Lakes

Part of the site adjoins the Grade I-listed 11th century church of St Peter and St Paul.

The site is used by bats, great crested newts and other animals and mitigation measures would be needed.

The company's agents estimated that the development would generate an additional 1,400 traffic movements a day on roads in the area while adding around 550 new housing units to the village, which currently has a population of around 5,000.

The scheme comes at the same time as another from Trenport Investments to build 950 homes at Bushey Wood in Eccles just a little further to the north.

The scooping application can be viewed here.

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