Otterpool Park Update
Lots of new developments promise new business districts, but Otterpool Park – now the subject of a planning application submitted to Folkestone & Hythe District Council in February – aims to deliver something different.
This new Garden Town, if planning consent is given, will seek to offer a modern template for how people work today, with the technology in place to give future residents the flexibility to work how they want.
Whether it’s working from home; in a shared or co-working space; or plugging in a laptop at the local cafe, Otterpool Park intends to give people every opportunity to do just that – avoiding the need for long commutes to the office.
The intention is to create a new, self-sufficient community that will deliver much-needed homes and jobs into the area, as well as facilities and infrastructure to support it.
In all, around 9,000 local jobs would be supported by this ambitious phased development which would deliver some 82,418 sq. m. of commercial business space over the next 30 years – from the small business owner to staff needed to support the new shops, schools, health centres and other community facilities that will bring together this new place.
The Gateway Quarter, as the name suggests, will be a place of arrival into Otterpool Park, located a 10-minute walk from the town centre. This new business area will be close to excellent public transport, including a new rail/bus transport interchange. It will also be close to improved access the M20 junction 11.
Jobs at schools, in retail, medical centres will also be created throughout the development. A new Creative Quarter in the town centre will also incorporate SME workspace for the creative industries. It will be a place that delivers a great working and living environment with an emphasis on quality of life.
The proposed development is located seven miles from Folkestone. If given the go-ahead Otterpool Park would take shape on the former racecourse and the land surrounding it. Around 50 per cent of the total space would remain as green open space, including new country parks.
It has excellent connectivity with easy access to the M20 via junction 11 and Westenhanger station with its services to London, as well as being centrally positioned in the district.
In addition to employment opportunities, the development areas have the capacity to make a major contribution to the district’s housing needs, incorporating up to 10,000 homes as part of a carefully planned and sustainable scheme. The planning application accounts for the first 8,500 of these that would be delivered up to 2050.
Want to have your say? The statutory consultation for the Otterpool Park outline planning application is still underway, with a deadline of Monday, 27 May for comments. To make your comment, visit the planning section of the Folkestone& Hythe District Council website [add in link].
For more details on Otterpool Park, visit www.otterpoolpark.org, where you will also find links to all the documents supporting the planning application, including employment plans for the site.