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Planners consider much-reduced 60-home Peters Village extension

One year on from consulting the public about two proposed extensions to Peters Village, site developer Trenport has returned with a more modest plan (see draft site layout above).

Trenport Director Chris Hall explained: “Our original idea was to apply for planning permission to add a further 110 new homes on two parcels of land to the north and south of the existing Peters Village footprint, where just over 1,000 properties are already due for completion by 2024/5

“In the light of comments from the public and valued local contacts though, we have significantly amended our development proposals: the application now comprises the southern extension site only – hugging a bend on the east bank of the River Medway – and a maximum of just 60 new homes, instead of 85 proposed originally.

“By reducing the amount of housing, we can create more landscaped open space to benefit both wildlife and residents on the extension and the south end of Peters Village itself. We are still proposing 25 per cent affordable housing, in line with the rest of Peters Village.”

The application will form a natural extension to Peters Village and like that site the proposed extension was originally home to a former Victorian lime and cement works, rather unusually known by two names, West Kent Cement Works and Margetts Cement Works.

Mr Hall added that the application documents now before Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council cover the proposal’s effect on a wide range of subjects including traffic, ecology, archaeology and flood risk:

“We are particularly aware that residents may fear more housing could cause local traffic issues, so the Transport Assessment submitted to the Council provides current traffic surveys and considers what is likely to be generated when Peters Village is fully developed as currently permitted, and then with the traffic from the additional extension housing now proposed.

“The new homes will also be protected from river flooding by a new retaining wall 15 metres back from the existing river wall. This will allow a public footpath to be laid to connect with the promenade at Peters Village, enhancing the Medway Valley Walk with a longer public access route alongside this stretch of the river.

He added that ground levels behind this wall will be raised using material stockpiled near what would have been the northern extension; this material has been generated by works to re profile the old Peters Pit quarry slopes and better fit plans by Bovis, the latest housebuilder to arrive at Peters Village. Bovis will start a new 119-home phase shortly, which includes 24 affordable rented units.

“In applying for permission to re-shape the quarry slopes, we committed to keeping the surplus material onsite for later re-use, minimising heavy truck movements on and off Peters Village and the extension,” said Trenport’s Chris Hall. “This was the most sustainable and environmentally friendly thing to do, otherwise the surplus material would have had to leave the sites in trucks to be deposited in a landfill (waste disposal) site.

“The extension will be reached from New Court Road via an existing site access which will be improved.

“And the new project will not affect the Peters Pit SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The extension does include one of the ‘newt corridors’ we installed to prevent these rare amphibians wandering into harm’s way, but this will be retained: we are proud to have an asset like the SSSI within the overall Peters Village community.” 

The relevant application reference number is 19/02199/OAEA