It has been announced that the Government has given the go-ahead on proposals for 12,000 homes at a new Garden Town near Folkestone Racecourse.
The town, named Otterpool Park, will be situated near the villages of Lympne, Westenhanger and Sellindge, and provide homes for 29,000 people, nine schools, an upgraded railway station, three doctors’ surgeries and business space. Shepway District Council says the project will take 30 years to complete.
The housing minister Gavin Barwell announced last week that the government had approved the plans put forward by Shepway District Council in the summer.
Mr Barwell also announced that the government has awarded the project £750,000 to go towards designing the masterplan for the farmland and former racecourse site which closed in 2012.
The announcement is part of an £18 million package which was launched last week to fund large-scale developments across the country in order to prevent "long-term projects from stalling".
Mr Barwell said: "We are getting behind plans for a new Garden Town which offers a unique opportunity to boost the local economy, jobs and provide new homes in Shepway."
Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins said the decision "is a game changer for jobs, new homes, and local businesses".
Detailed planning will now start to develop a masterplan. The consultations on the design are set to cover the "architecture, infrastructure and sustainability, as well as landscape, public realm and transport", with the first public exhibitions and consultations scheduled to begin as early as next month.
A planning application will then be formally submitted once the designs are completed.
Cllr Monk, Leader of Shepway Council said: "I am delighted that Otterpool Park - a Garden Town for the Future - has been chosen.
“Housing minister Gavin Barwell’s announcement of support and capacity funding £750,000 means we will be able to pursue our ambitions to create a new community where our children and their children can live, work and play.
“I have already met with many people, businesses and local parishes to discuss our ideas but nothing is set in stone yet.
"We do know that over the next 30 years we will need more homes and jobs for our children and grandchildren. Many in my generation have done well for themselves.
"I feel a deep obligation to make sure that we do not deny future generations the same opportunities that we had."
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