Hundreds have say on plans for Kings Hill
Hundreds of people living and working at Kings Hill have taken the opportunity to have their say on future plans for the development.
Developer Liberty Property Trust UK Ltd held a day of public consultation on Thursday, September 6, which saw some 150 people visit during the morning and a further 250 attend a late afternoon session.
The development team and its advisors were on hand to hear suggestions of what people would like to see on site.
Andrew Blevins, Liberty’s managing director, said: “The original masterplan for Kings Hill was set out in 1989 and one of the major reasons for the development’s success is that those plans have been revisited and adapted over the years in response to the ever changing economic and social climate.
“We are reviewing those plans again to see how we can better respond to current market demands, and, in particular, to the need for more housing in the south east. With its established hard and social infrastructure we believe Kings Hill is well placed to accommodate further, carefully designed, residential-led development and this is part of the masterplan review.
“The focus is the area of vacant land adjacent to Kings Hill Avenue running down to the latest Hillreed development, Cathcart Gate. At this stage it is impossible to say how many houses will be built as we are still going through the design process. However, we estimate it could be in the region of 850-950 new houses.”
Topics raised by visitors during the day included school provision, parking, traffic and employment.
On education, Andrew Blevins commented:
“We are aware that school provision is at the forefront of many Kings Hill residents’ minds, which is why we had the foresight to invite representatives from Kent County Council’s Education Department to be at the consultation. Clearly we will need to consider the provision of any new infrastructure, such as schooling. Residents had the opportunity to speak to education specialists face to face, to enable them to understand the process for increasing primary school provision and to help the Department forecast the need, specific to the development’s demographics.”
On parking, Andrew Blevins commented:
“We have listened to Kings Hillians and all residential areas consented in 2011 will be applying the Kent Design Guide Review with regard to residential parking. This will include on-street visitor parking bays and a minimum of two parking spaces per home. As emerging policy firms up we will seek to implement it where appropriate for future residential development.”
On traffic, Andrew Blevins commented:
“The development’s current consent has resulted in roads already designed, constructed and paid for to accommodate the full 2 million square foot of commercial development and 2,750 homes. By reducing the amount of future commercial development, the amount of traffic generated will be substantially less than has been potentially provided for. The proposed change of use of undeveloped commercial land to further residential development will better spread traffic flow, especially at peak times.”
On employment, Andrew Blevins commented:
“Despite the challenging economic climate, in 2011 more property transactions completed at Kings Hill than any other business location in Kent. To date approximately 5,000 jobs have been created. Even with the change of use of some of the commercial land, planning consent will still remain for a further approximate 30% increase in employment space and so more jobs on the business park. In addition, independent research shows the new residential-led development could create up to a total of 730 new jobs.”
The development team will now be reviewing the suggestions made with the aim of incorporating as many as possible into a revised masterplan. There will be further opportunities to provide feedback over the following weeks for anyone who was unable to attend the public consultation, or who has further thoughts. A public consultation feedback form can be downloaded from www.kings-hill.com or suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liberty will then share the collective ideas with Kings Hillians, who will have further opportunities to comment.