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Sweechbridge Road, Hillborough

Sweechbridge Road - Hillborough - Herne Bay - Kent

We are preparing proposals for a new mixed-use development on land to the west of Sweechbridge Road, Hillborough, Kent.

  • Land off Sweechbridge Road

    We are currently in the process of preparing plans for a new mixed-use development on land to the west of Sweechbridge Road, Hillborough, Herne Bay.

    The proposed development site has a draft allocation as a strategic housing location for up to 1,300 homes in Canterbury City Council’s draft Local Plan, which seeks to identify suitable sites for development to meet the local area’s housing needs up to 2031.

    The site is located to the west of Sweechbridge Road and north of the A299 Thanet Way, with railway line running through the centre of the site from east to west, as shown on the plan pictured right.

    In November 2015 we held an initial public consultation event to give local people the opportunity to view and comment on our emerging development plans for the site. Click here to view the November 2015 exhibition boards.

    We have now developed our plans in more detail, taking into consideration the feedback we received from the local community, elected representatives and key stakeholders as part of this process.

    Our latest proposals were displayed at a second public consultation event in Herne Bay on Wednesday 29 June. The information on display at this event can be viewed on the 'What's proposed' and 'Community benefits' tabs of this web page, or you can click here to download our exhibition boards.

    The second pre-application public consultation period for our proposed development has now ended. All comments received by Wednesday 13 July 2016 will be used to help us finalise our planning application, which we aim to submit to Canterbury City Council later this year.

  • The proposed development site

    The Canterbury City Council Local Plan

    Canterbury City Council is in the process of adopting a new Local Plan. Once adopted, the Local Plan will guide and manage the location and scale of new development across the district for the next 20 years.

    Local Plan Proposals Map

    Within the draft Local Plan the Council has identified 10 strategic sites to deliver new housing to meet local needs and new jobs to
    support the local economy. Land at Hillborough, Herne Bay is identified as one of those strategic sites (Site 3) (Local Plan Proposals
    Map extracted from Canterbury City Council Local Plan Publication Draft, 2014).

    Site Allocation Table

    In allocating the Hillborough site within the draft Local Plan, the Council has identified the amount and type of development for the
    land along with supporting services and infrastructure. This is included in Policy SP3 ‘Strategic Site Allocations’ (Site Allocation table
    extracted from Canterbury City Council Local Plan Publication Draft, 2014).

    Land Ownership 27_06

    Land ownership for the wider Hillborough strategic site.

    Hillborough Location Plan New

    The location of our proposed development is outlined in red in the context of the wider Hillborough strategic site.


    Site considerations

    Before we start designing a new scheme, we complete an assessment of the site and the surrounding area. We record those features we will need to take into account in our design. All of the relevant considerations, whether they fix the way our scheme will have to be designed or give us a real opportunity to make the most of a particular feature are shown here.

    Things to think about

    • A299 Thanet Way – our designs must respond to potential noise issues
    • Sewer easements and existing services – already connected within the site and running underground. These easements will need to be respected as the masterplan develops
    • Railway line – intersects the site creating Northern and Southern development parcels. Crossing points need to be factored into the design. Railway is set at a lower level to the site so not visually obtrusive, but potential noise issues.
    • Flood risk from surface water drainage – a series of existing drainage ditches throughout the site to link into a Sustainable Drainage System
    • Hillborough sewage treatment works – located near to the site. Potential odour offset has been assessed and development will avoid locating homes in the odour zone
    • Landscape character and ecological value – woodland, hedgerows and watercourses to be retained and enhanced where possible.New areas of public open space to be created
    • Kent County Council maintained highways within the site – alignment of existing highways to be considered in the layout of the road network
    • Public Rights of Way – footpaths to be retained and enhanced and new links created

    The Constraints and Opportunities Plan pictured below provides further detail on these issues, and sets out how development of the site could result in multiple and significant benefits. The constraints and opportunities have led to a series of structuring concepts, which underpin the masterplanning process.

    BOARD 4 Cons Opps FINAL

    The constraints and opportunities plan for the Hillborough site.

  • About our proposals

    Illustrative masterplan

    Pictured below is our latest illustrative masterplan for the Hillborough site, which shows how the proposed new homes, supporting facilities, highways infrastructure and green spaces could be arranged. This layout is not final and we will seek to incorporate the feedback we receive during our public consultation in preparing our planning application.

    Hillborough Masterplan Board 2

    Our illustrative masterplan for the Hillborough site, with the proposed first phase outlined in yellow. Key facts about the scheme are as follows:
    - Up to 955 new homes including a proportion of affordable housing to be agreed with Canterbury City Council
    - A community hub incorporating a mix of potential retail and community uses together with further employment land
    - Land for the Local Education Authority to provide a new two-form entry primary school
    - Public open space including green corridors, ecology enhancement, children's play areas, allotments, pocket parks, local squares and attenuation basins for drainage
    - Vehicular access from two locations in Sweechbridge Road and a third from Altira Business Park
    - Opportunity for integrated links with neighbouring development land within site allocation, plus improvements to westbound access to Thanet Way from Heart in Hand Road

    How our proposals have evolved

    In developing our latest proposals for the Hillborough site, we have taken into consideration all the comments we received during our last public consultation in November 2015. Shown below are the key changes which we have made to our development plans in response to feedback from the local community.

    The total application area remains the same as shown at our November 2015 consultation, but will now include a detailed element for a first phase of about 186 homes to ensure the earliest delivery of much-needed new homes in the area.

    Key Changes Plan Final

    Key changes (numbered descriptions correspond to the numbers shown on the plan):
    1) Design development of the location and anticipated arrangement of a two-form entry primary school in the context of a community hub, with on-site drop-off/collection facility and footpath/cycleway connections in all directions.
    2) Provision of vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access through to the new retail and business park to reduce traffic on Sweechbridge Road.
    3) Continued consideration of the potential for May Street railway bridge to provide vehicular access between the north and south of the site.
    4) Retention of the existing drainage ditch and maintenance access to it along the northern boundary of the site to ensure there is no increase in flood risk to existing adjacent properties.
    5) Development of an attractive and inter-connected green infrastructure parkland across the site, incorporating an integrated and landscaped stormwater attenuation design with ecology opportunities and a network of new public footpath linkages. 6) Space for the provision of new allotments with provision for both able and disabled users, together with car parking and access.
    7) Space for the provision of grassed sports pitches with a changing pavilion and parking.
    8) Two new equipped areas of pla have been appropriately located within the site, with potential for a central neighbourhood area of play and local area of play on the adjacent allocated land to the north-west.
    9) A transitional zone of employment uses (e.g. care home, nursery, sot play space or gym, etc) to provide a sensitive interface between residential and industrial elements.
    10) Space for a community building around the community hub, with local shopping facilities including scope for a convenience store.
    11) Design development of the vehicular accesses to Sweechbridge Road.
    12) Opportunities for improvements to the existing public highway to create improved pedestrian and cycle linkages via Bogshole Lane footbridge to Altira Business Park.
    13) The continuation and landscaping of an acoustic bund, respecting existing woodland on Thanet Way (A299).

    Green infrastructure and drainage masterplan

    Shown below is our green infrastructure masterplan for the proposed development, illustrating how the open spaces and recreation areas are likely to be arranged. The green infrastructure also includes proposals for managing flood risk and drainage within the site, ensuring that the risk of flooding to neighbouring areas is not increased by our development.

    Landscape Masterplan Board 4

    Our green infrastructure masterplan for the Hillborough site. Key elements are as follows:
    - Sculptural meadow gateway entrance spaces
    - Northern play area (LEAP)
    - Woodland glade
    - Meadows parkland
    - Local square and orchard
    - Local square and community green
    - Local green
    - Sports pitches
    - Allotments
    - Meadows parkland entrance
    - Southern play area and local square
    - Southern greenway
    - Internal pocket parks
    - Sustainable urban drainage systems to ensure flood risk does not increase
    - Attenuation ponds and retention and refurbishment of existing ditch system where necessary
    - Foul drainage to connect existing Southern Water system (adequate capacity confirmed)

    Landscape proposals for Phase 1

    Shown here are our detailed green infrastructure plans for Phase 1 of the development, including open spaces, recreation areas, landscaping and proposals for managing flood risk. Our Phase 1 proposals also include measures for the retention and management of the existing ditch at the northern edge of the site, adjacent to existing properties in Fulmar Way, Petrel Close and Puffin Road.

    Phase 1 Landscape Plan Board 4a

    Our landscaping proposals for Phase 1 at Hillborough.

    Drainage Sections 24_06

    Indicative sections illustrating our proposals to retain and enhance the existing ditch at the northern edge of the Phase 1 site. The location of each section diagram is indicated on the plan (bottom right).

    Access proposals

    Shown here are the main access proposals for our development. These proposals have sought to take into consideration the comments we received in relation to access and highways issues during our November 2015 public consultation.

    Access Plan Final

    Key facts about our access proposals (numbered descriptions correspond to numbers shown on the plan):
    1) There are three principal vehicular access points to our proposed development - two from Sweechbridge Road (one north of the railway and one south of the railway) and the third from Altira Business Park. The link to the business park will allow free movement of residential traffic but will restrict goods vehicles from entering the residential area.
    2) There is further scope to link vehicular access with the remaining development land to the north-west by way of connection and continuation of our proposed road network.
    3) There is potential for the remaining development land to link to the existing road network of Osborne Gardens and Churchill Avenue.
    4) The scheme maintains potential scope for public transport, cycles and pedestrian linkage to the north via Rosebery Avenue (subject to land control). 5) The scheme proposes enhanced pedestrian and cycle linkages via May Street railway bridge. There is also scope for vehicular access over May Street railway bridge, subject to ongoing discussions with Network Rail.
    6) It is proposed that May Street, between the site and Reculver Road, will be a footpath and cycleway link with no vehicular access allowed other than for emergency access and to private property at The Elms.
    7) The scheme proposes a new dedicated westbound access slip road on to Thanet Way (A299) and alteration of the existing slip road to an exit only.
    8) The scheme proposes enhanced pedestrian and cycle linkages via Bogshole Lane railway bridge.
    - Enhanced pedestrian and cycle links to and from the site via May Street, Altira Park, and Public Rights of Way to Osborne Gardens and Highfields Avenue to fully integrate the site with the existing community and facilities.
    - Sustainable links towards existing primary and secondary schools enhanced.
    - Diversion of bus routes from Sweechbridge Road with new turning facilities and high-quality waiting facilities.

    Neighbouring sites

    Our aim is to achieve a joined-up and collaborative approach for the delivery of Hillborough in accordance with the strategic allocation. We have shown proposals for the phases to the north-west of the Taylor Wimpey land ownership but these proposals are indicative only, and control of this land remains with the landowners, Kitewood and A&E. We are working with these other landowners to develop a comprehensive masterplan concept for the whole site.

    Neighbouring Sites Plan Board 6

    1) Land owned by A&E Estate Developers (indicative layout shown as part of emerging masterplan for entire site).
    2) Land owned by Kitewood (indicative layout shown as part of emerging masterplan for entire site).
    3) Altira Business Park.

    Our proposed layout for Hillborough Phase 1

    The image below shows our proposed layout for the first phase of development Hillborough. It is intended as a general guide to show how the properties, open space and internal roads could be arranged. As is the case with our overall masterplan design, this layout is not final and the feedback we receive during our consultation will be taken into consideration as we finalise the detailed element of our hybrid planning application.

    Phase 1 Layout 27_06

    An initial layout plan for our proposed Phase 1 development. Numbers 1 to 4 correspond with illustrative street scenes shown below. Key facts about Phase 1 are as follows:
    - 186 new homes including up to 30% affordable housing.
    - A mix of property types to include 1 and 2-bedroom apartments, and 2, 3 and 4-bedroom houses to suit a range of needs.
    - Predominantly 2-storey buildings with some 3-storey homes along the central avenue and on focal corners.
    - A mix of terraced, semi-detached and detached homes, all with parking.
    - Vehicular access from Sweechbridge Road via a new T-junction.
    - Landscaping and public open space to include an equipped play area, plus green links through the development.
    - Pedestrian and cycle links to the surrounding area via May Street.

    Our proposed designs for Hillborough Phase 1

    Our proposed scheme seeks to create a high-quality development that can fulfil the local need for market and affordable housing while respecting the character and heritage of the surrounding area. The images below illustrate how our proposed new homes could look, showing examples of some of the architectural styles, features and building materials we are proposing to use. The numbered view correspond to the locations shown on the plan above.

    View 1

    VIEW 1: Street scene of dwellings forming 'The Gables' at the entrance to the site.

    View 2

    VIEW 2: Street scene of dwellings along The Avenue (North) at the entrance to the site.

    View 3

    VIEW 3: Street scene of dwellings forming the green edge around the Meadow Parkland.

    View 4

    VIEW 4: Street scene of dwellings in the core housing areas.

  • Community facilities

    We understand the need to ensure our new development can successfully integrate with the local community, positively contributing towards its sustainable growth while ensuring the impact on existing local facilities and infrastructure is managed carefully. Shown below are the measures we are proposing to achieve this.

    We have consulted with the Council, NHS England and Canterbury & Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (the NHS body responsible for managing healthcare services in the community) and have been advised that it is their preference for teh existing surgery facility at Reculver to be extended to accommodate additional capacity (as opposed to a new surgery being provided on our development site). We will therefore be providing a contribution to facilitate this extension as part of our proposals.

    Social Infrastructure Plan Board 7

    Our community facilities proposals for the Hillborough site (numbered descriptions correspond to the numbers shown on the plan).
    1) Provision of land for the Local Education Authority (LEA) to provide a new two-form entry primary school, including on-site drop-off and collection facility. The LEA considers that expansion of Herne Bay High School (approximately 3 miles from the centre of the site) is the preferred means of provision additional secondary school places.
    2) Creation of a new community hub to include opportunity for up to three local shops, and potential for a convenience store and a free-standing community centre with meeting rooms and parking.
    3) Provision of grassed sports pitches with a changing pavilion and parking.
    4) Provision of new allotments with car parking and access.
    5) Potential employment uses to include creche/day nursery, car home and gym in transitional area.

  • Application timeline

    • November 2015 - initial public consultation
    • June 2016 - second public consultation
    • Summer 2016 - hybrid planning application to be submitted