Hobbs Parker Planning Consultants, based in Ashford, and Canterbury-based Clague Architects, have recently achieved.
The new dwellings, six of which are to be secured to meet local needs through the English Rural Housing Association, are at Foxbury Farm, Stone Street, near Sevenoaks.
The decision was confirmed after Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government, decided not to call in the application on the agricultural site within the Green Belt. The development was approved after Seal Parish Council and Sevenoaks District Council expressed difficulty in securing affordable provision locally, with a waiting list for accommodation.
A high quality scheme with 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes was presented, sensitively designed to meet the need for property for existing local residents to downsize, enabling them to stay in the village.
Jane Scott, senior planning consultant at Hobbs Parker Property Consultants, said: “When people think of land within the Green Belt they have a picture in their mind of rolling green fields and open countryside. The reality can often be very different. In this case it was an existing concrete farmyard within Stone Street, surrounded by residential development, rather than a green space.
“With 93 per cent of Sevenoaks District identified as Green Belt it is difficult to see how the local authority can meet its housing targets. Small schemes like Foxbury Farm, which is sensitive to the local community and well-designed, will help secure much-needed new homes.
“We worked closely with the parish council and local residents through public consultation to determine the type of development needed locally, and with the council’s housing officer to ensure the scheme delivers the right mix of affordable units to meet the identified local need.”
Pat Mills, partner at Clague, said: “The scheme presents a traditional frontage to Stone Street reminiscent of workers cottages or almshouses. These complement the oast house and farmhouse, while the rear of the site is conceived as a modern take on a farmstead with contemporary dwellings set around a shared courtyard.
“The removal of the imposing agricultural buildings will significantly reduce the amount of built development on the site, improving the level of openness within the settlement and the setting of the listed building while providing new landscaping to the benefit of wildlife.”
The six much-needed affordable homes will be retained and managed to provide for the needs of local people into the future by English Rural Housing Association, a registered housing provider.
The final scheme also retains an existing listed building for conversion to office accommodation, to support local businesses.