Posted on | by Seb Willett
We are pleased to share that our proposals for Phase 2 at The Old Goods Yard in Lenham have been approved by Maidstone Borough Council.
Phase 2 of The Old Goods Yard comprises 50 new homes on a site allocated by Parish Council as part of their landmark new masterplan to the south of Lenham - which holds the title of England's only historic 'market village'.
This decision marks continued success for us in Lenham, where we have been working with a local resident landowner to redevelop their former works yard on Headcorn Road. Our work on Phase 1 provided 72 much-needed new homes immediately to the south of the train station on the site of the historic railyard, and was approved in 2019. Phase 2 - extending to the west of The Old Goods Yard - was due to be considered at MBC's Planning Committee in March this year, which was unfortunately cancelled due to concerns over Covid-19. Thanks to the Project Team's positive long-term relationship with Senior Planning Officers, the proposals were ultimately approved under delegated powers in April 2020.
The Project Team, who have all been involved since Phase 1, maintained throughout a methodology of design-led collaboration with community stakeholders; local planners, elected councillors, and county infrastructure. This included a Planning Performance Agreement, with a number of pre-application discussions with both MBC and KCC on the proposals, and a formal Presentation to Council Members. This session was vital to elicit important design-stage input from community representatives, with their feedback - particularly on landscape and ecology - helping us to prepare a revised layout.
With the site allocated by Lenham Parish Council in their emerging Neighbourhood Development Plan, the Project Team were pleased to be able to work with the community on a scheme that will deliver some much-needed new local homes. The Project Team has had ongoing conversations with the Parish in helping to shape and refine the detail of their NDP, and the applicant has been keen to work with the community on enabling the wider masterplan. This has included providing the starting points of a sustainable movement strategy, including a bus route connection from Headcorn Road towards Old Ham Lane, and a safe walking/cycling link for future connectivity to the south of the railway station.
The landowner is a local resident with a keen understanding of material quality and design detailing, so we were delighted to be able to work collaboratively with both applicant and senior planners on the detailed design of the houses. We were able to supplement our usual context-responsive design process with deeper local knowledge, identifying the very best of Lenham's architectural vernacular and translating it to contemporary methods of construction. With such an emphasis on the applicant's desired legacy of design and building quality, we were pleased to see this has been reinforced through a planning condition for bespoke junction details.
Phases 1 and 2 at The Old Goods Yard provide the landmark first 122 new homes of Lenham Parish Council's landmark South Lenham masterplan. We have already started sketching out ideas for Phase 3, and look forward to continuing our successful work with the local landowner to provide homes for the next generation of families in Lenham.