Broadwater Farm is a good example of a medium sized English fruit farm, with a long history of growing apples for supply to the country’s supermarkets. The farm extends to around 170 hectares (420 acres) and is bordered by Kings Hill, the A228 West Malling bypass and Well Street. It is bisected by Lavender Road, Broadwater Road and Pikey Lane, as well as numerous public rights of way. A number of heritage assets are either within or bordered by the farm, including the New Barns, Broadwater Farm and Well Street Conservation Areas.
Home builder Berkeley has agreed an option to purchase the farm from the owner James Vestey. It is in the process of preparing a planning application for up to 900 homes to be built on the site, as well as a two form entry primary school, six form entry secondary school and provision for a medical centre. The site earmarked for development is immediately to the north of Kings Hill and will extend as far as Pikey Lane.
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council has included the development of Broadwater Farm within its Local Plan and it is therefore an important component in meeting its annual house building target. Once adopted, the Local Plan will form part of TMBC’s Development Plan, which will have a time horizon up to 2031.
From information provided by Berkeley, the development site measures 72 hectares (177 acres) and the main point of access will be via an entrance road from the A228 Ashton Way at its junction with West Malling Railway Station. A secondary access road from the A228 near New Barns has also been proposed. At present no direct vehicular link with Kings Hill has been put forward, although negotiations are taking place between Berkely and the owners of Kings Hill, KCC and Liberty, to remedy the situation.
Although the northern most extent of the development is Pikey Lane, Berkeley has earmarked a significant area beyond this road as the site of the new school playing fields. To provide a single school site, the current proposal is to block off Pikey Lane.
In October 2020 Berkeley stated that it anticipated submitting an ‘outline’ planning application in Q4 2020, although at the time of writing (January 2021) this has not happened. It also stated that it expected construction to commence in Spring 2022.
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