Monday, 6 Dec 2021

Prince Charles’ estate to unveil 2500-home plan for Kent site – ‘Starts from the earth up’

Prince Charles: Inside The Duchy Of Cornwall documentary trailer

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The Duchy of Cornwall, which is led by the Queen’s son and heir, is ready to reveal to developers and locals its plans for a massive housing development in the Faversham countryside. The Duchy owns 320 acres of land in the southeast area of the town, running up to the M2 and the Brenley Corner junction.

The plans have been devised after the area had been singled out as a potential location for housing development.

In 2018, the Duchy undertook an Enquiry by Design process to help shape a masterplan that also included the aspiration and desire of the local community.

It is now ready to be revealed and discussed at a town meeting taking place next Wednesday and at a drop-in consultation event held next Thursday between 12pm and 7.30pm.

A description of the plans has been released ahead of the meeting.

The statement highlights how Prince Charles has been long calling for a “sustainable human-scale development that is land-efficient, uses low-carbon materials and is less car-dependent”.

The presentation to the plan shared on the website of the Faversham Society, added: “The proposed new neighbourhood at South East Faversham starts from the earth up.

“It has been designed around soil, water and the centuries-old, local pattern of human relationship with the land.

“Avenues, orchards, allotments, meadows and wooded rides will link the houses together in a shaded, green framework.

“A simple grid of tree-lined streets will open south from the Roman Watling Street (A2 Canterbury Road) and frame a central green with a cricket pitch and pub.

“Footpaths, cycle ways and flowing open spaces will connect houses, workplaces and shops, crossing the railway with a new bridge to the east and aligning with old pedestrian routes through to the centre of Faversham to the north.”

The statement also explained these plans are being unveiled “following the announcement of the draft allocation in the emerging Swale Local Plan for 2,500 homes and an aspiration to provide for 2,500 jobs, which sets out how local housing and infrastructure needs are going to be met over the next 15 years”.

While the drop-in event will take place on Thursday at the city’s Assembly Rooms, the Faversham Society, a group celebrating and protecting Faversham heritage, is hosting a public meeting at St Mary of Charity Church on Wednesday at 7.30pm.

The group has invited four different developers behind the major housing schemes proposed for the town – but has so far received a response only from the Duchy.

Society chairman Harold Goodwin said, as reported by KentOnline: “I would urge anybody who is interested and looking for answers about the future of housing in Faversham to come along.

“We wrote to four developers but only the Duchy has said it is coming.

“The invitation remains open for the others, but it is a matter of very great regret they have not responded.”

The Duchy is a 135,000-acre wide private estate funding the public, private and charitable activities of the Prince of Wales and his family.

It was created in 1337 by King Edward III for his son Edward, also known as the Black Prince.

Prince Charles currently leads it and will be inherited by Prince William when the heir to the throne becomes King.

In an ITV documentary aired in 2019, Prince William revealed he is becoming more and more involved in the management of the Duchy.

Appearing on Prince Charles: Inside the Duchy of Cornwall while having a conversation with farmer Mervyn Keeling, he said: “I’ve started to think about how I will inherit the Duchy one day and what I do with it.

“I think it’s really important, the family angle, I really do.”

Charles, who was later shown this clip, said to be “deeply touched” by his son’s words and commitment.

He added: “Frankly, it reduced me to tears. It did, really.

“Because, I suddenly thought, well, just hearing that from him has made the last 50 years worthwhile.”

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