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Firm releases more details on plans for 3,000-home 'garden village' at Bobbing

More details have been released about a proposal to build a 3,000-home development.

A huge parcel of land at Bobbing, near Sittingbourne, on fields around the children’s hospice Demelza, was put forward for a massive housing scheme in September 2018.

More houses could be built. Stock picture
More houses could be built. Stock picture

That proposed 'garden village' development is now being promoted by a firm called Appin and is being called the Foxchurch Garden Village.

According to Appin, which acquires land where local authorities need to meet demand for new homes and puts forward housing plans, the proposed development would deliver:

  • Up to 3,000 new homes – of which up to 40% would be affordable,
  • Employment space,
  • Road improvements,
  • A health centre,
  • Primary school,
  • Improved parking for Bobbing Primary School,
  • A village hall,
  • Community centre and nursery,
  • Pub/restaurant and retail centre,
  • A village green including a new and improved cricket club and the Gore Court Sports Facility,
  • Public open spaces including new parklands, greens allowing for public events, public art, playgrounds, community gardens and allotments and retained agricultural land.

The firm said: "This proposal has been formulated after careful consideration and analysis of the most sustainable locations to locate significant growth within the borough of Swale.

"We believe this site not only meets the strategic housing need of the borough, including the provision of affordable housing, but can deliver housing and employment opportunities without the requirement for major infrastructure improvements, such as an additional motorway junction."

It added: "We believe a development of this scale will require the provision of a new primary school and have made the necessary contacts to further understand and investigate the education provision for Bobbing and the demand that an additional 3,000 homes would create.

More details about plans for a development of up to 3,000 homes at Bobbing, called the Foxchurch Garden Village, have been released by Appin
More details about plans for a development of up to 3,000 homes at Bobbing, called the Foxchurch Garden Village, have been released by Appin

However, Cllr Mike Baldock (Swale Ind) said the project proposal on Appin's website had caused "some confusion" among people living in neighbouring villages.

“People thought it was different from the original proposal, but it’s the same area and scheme from 2018,” he said.

However, when he first saw the web page, Cllr Baldock said it was a surprise.

Cllr Mike Baldock
Cllr Mike Baldock

"I had to check it was the same," he said. "I wasn’t expecting it because no one had been in touch with us."

He said the name, Foxchurch Garden Village, was news to him and that the reason for the proposal being shared by the firm was "possibly ahead of some sort of public engagement".

The Bobbing scheme is one of 200 strategic local housing land assessments that have been put forward.

They will be considered at a Swale council Local Plan meeting later this spring.

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