Otterpool Park Update

Time marches on and in relation to Otterpool Park, SDC have now appointed their consultant team. They are:

  • Arcadis – lead consultants, covering all technical work (transport, landscape, water etc), project management and cost consultancy;

  • Farrells – masterplanning;

  • Property House – communications;

  • Signet Planning – strategic planning advice; and

  • Kevin Murray Associates – community engagement.

Arcadis  who are registered in the Netherlands  and in Ireland and who could be quite legitimately using the Double Irish with Dutch Sandwich have set out what the areas of planning will entail

  • Design, masterplanning and landscape

  • Green infrastructure and biodiversity

  • Water, flood risk and blue infrastructure

  • Sustainability and resources

  • Access and travel

  • Site infrastructure, utilities and ground conditions

  • Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Planning.

The timeline for this work will be broken down into four stages: –

  • Stage 1: Capacity and feasibility

  • Stage 2: Framework masterplan

  • Stage 3: Outline Planning Application Stage

  • 4: post-submission of application.

Arcadis has undertaken  a comprehensive baseline study that has reviewed all existing information available on the topics set out above. They have identified particular risks or information gaps.

Farrells has been assessing the landscape character of the area, views to and from the site and local historic settlement patterns and routes.

Arcadis and Farrells will report on Stage 1 by 31st December 2016. It is intended that this report will be brought to Cabinet in January 2017, in advance of community design workshops taking place in February 2017.

Community engagement events are planned to be held in late November 2016 (dates tbc) led by Kevin Murray Associates (KMA). These will focus on providing an update on progress so far, and listening to the view of local people about what is important to them about the area and what they think could be improved. KMA will be hosting the events and acting as a neutral facilitator to represent the views of participants.

Property House will be responsible for communications and liaising with local people and other stakeholders on behalf of the landowners. Property House will set up a new website for Otterpool Park to provide a central point of contact and a source of information about future community engagement events.

SDC intends to develop a proxy community to hear the views of potential future residents and businesses about what would attract them to live or work at Otterpool Park.

Image result for images Letchworth Garden City

SDC Cllrs and officers, representatives of parish councils and Shepway tenant and leaseholder group visited sites in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, including Letchworth Garden City(left)This took place on 15 and 16 Sept to learn from large scale new communities past and present A second study tour to sites in Kent will take place on 3 Nov, including representatives from businesses and local schools. Further visits will be planned for early 2017 to Bicester, Poundbury and Ebbsfleet.

Image result for images The Reuben Brothers

A collaboration agreement has been signed between SDC and Cozumel Estates, owners of Folkestone Racecourse (wholly owned by the Reuben Brothers – Left) to set out the principle of working together on a comprehensive masterplan for Otterpool Park. It includes the principle of equalisation for the whole area of search (ie land value will be the same across the whole site, irrespective of where housing is located). Negotiations on the Heads of Terms for options with other landowners are well advanced. Savills are acting on behalf of the Council for this work.




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