Wednesday, 13 November 2013

New lease of life for former laboratories

A ‘win-win’ situation for the Kent housing market and the future of horticultural research is how an agreement between a housing developer and a charity is being heralded.

Demolition of the former Ditton Laboratories is now under way after Tonbridge-based Millwood Designer Homes and East Malling Trust secured planning permission to transform the site on Kiln Barn Road, into Orchard Gate, a development of 37 high quality homes.

The former laboratories, once part of East Malling Research, the leading centre for perennial crop research in the UK, had stood empty for more than 15 years. 

Teaming up with local housebuilder Millwood Designer Homes has enabled the Trust to unlock the value of a redundant building, which can now be reinvested as part of the charity’s on-going support for the horticultural scientific work being undertaken by East Malling Research. The Trust has now sold the site to Millwood’s development partners.

The residential development, with established orchards on all sides, has been designed to celebrate the local vernacular in terms of its architectural design and at the same time will incorporate allotments and environmentally friendly technologies for most of the houses.

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