Homes England invests in Otterpool Park

Homes England, the government’s new national housing agency, has completed the purchase of 60 hectares of land in the area earmarked by Folkestone and Hythe District Council for Otterpool Park – a garden town for the future.

The land that Homes England has bought from Somerton Capital lies near junction 11 of the M20, between Lympne and the Lympne Industrial Estate. It was always included in the area within which the plans for Otterpool Park are being drawn up.

Otterpool Park is a proposed garden town of up to 12,000 homes near Folkestone. It is being put forward by Folkestone and Hythe District Council and Cozumel Estates Ltd the owners of the former racecourse at Westenhanger. This investment is further evidence of government support for a new generation of garden towns to help deliver the high quality homes the country needs.

When the government announced the formation of Homes England it said it would play a major role in securing land in areas where people want to live to help deliver an average of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Paul Kitson, General Manager for the South East for Homes England, said: “Buying this land shows how Homes England is determined to use our finance and expertise to expand the delivery of affordable new homes and connect ambitious partners.

“We have been very impressed by the ambition shown by the Council and landowners to deliver Otterpool Park – a garden town for the21st century. Owning this land will give us a voice in delivering a community that will meet the local need for homes in a place that is truly environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”

David Monk, Leader of Folkestone and Hythe District Council, welcomed the news: “I am delighted that Homes England has co-invested with the Council to deliver Otterpool Park. It shows the government has faith in our plans for this garden town.

This investment will help us deliver an even better place so that our children and grandchildren can have the homes they need in a community that will also meet their needs for jobs, access to the countryside, transport links, schools, health centres and a great quality of life.”

A planning application for Otterpool Park is likely to be considered later this year.