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Masterplanner appointed for garden town in South East

Words: Laura Edgar
Westenhanger Castle / Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design

Folkestone & Hythe District Council has appointed Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design to develop a town centre masterplan and design codes for Otterpool Park, a garden town proposed for between Folkestone and Ashford in Kent.

The garden town is set to comprise 10,000 homes, employment areas, shops, schools and medical centres. Open space will be provided across a site that incorporates Westenhanger Castle.

The masterplan will focus on phase one of the scheme, which will see the north-eastern part of the site developed. It will include a design strategy for the mixed-use town centre, 1,000 homes, commercial units, green space, landscaping and a station linking to the HS1 line.

Tibbalds is going to create two design codes. A strategic design code will cover the garden town as a whole, with a focus on streets and public realm, while a second, more detailed design code will sit alongside the masterplan for phase one. It will provide guidelines for developers and their design team for the town centre and other high-density areas.

The landowners for the scheme are Folkestone & Hythe District Council and Homes England.

Andy Jarrett, chief of strategic development projects at Folkestone & Hythe District Council, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Tibbalds again. As the project enters a crucial stage moving through planning to delivery, we are confident that the team will bring excitement to the placemaking that will endure and prove to be a major contribution to the garden town.”

Katja Stille, director at Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, commented: “Otterpool Park will be a new garden town with culture and creativity at its core. Even though green space and open landscaping will be a central feature, this development will first and foremost need to function as a community, so it is essential to get the right infrastructure and facilities in place from the start. Although the new town centre will develop over time as the population grows, it needs to be capable of becoming a focus of activity from day one and continue to provide for the community in perpetuity. 

“We are committed to ensuring sustainable, green, healthy principles are applied to all aspects of this new development, helping to maximise wellbeing and healthy living opportunities for the people who will live and work there, as we have with other projects of this scale such as Manydown and Northstowe.”

Landscape specialist BBUK is supporting both the masterplanning and the design code development.

Read more:

Application submitted for new community in Kent

Image credit | Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design