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Sweechbridge Road, Hillborough

Sweechbridge Road - Hillborough - Herne Bay - Kent

We have now submitted a planning application for a new mixed-use development on land to the west of Sweechbridge Road, Hillborough, Herne Bay.

Keep up to date

  • Overview

    Land off Sweechbridge Road

    We have now submitted a planning application for a new mixed-use development on land to the west of Sweechbridge Road, Hillborough, Herne Bay.

    The proposed development site is allocated as a strategic housing location for up to 1,300 homes in Canterbury District Council’s 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 a 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 then 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, leading to a second public consultation in June 2016. Click here to view the June 2016 exhibition boards.

    About our application

    The application that we have made is known as a ‘hybrid’ planning application. This includes both an outline application for the overall Taylor Wimpey site (seeking to establish the general principle of development with up to 955 dwellings, associated infrastructure and access) and a detailed application for the first phase of 194 dwellings.

    If our hybrid application is approved, we will be able to begin work on the first phase of development and then further phases will be prepared as separate applications, in line with the outline approval.

  • About the site

    The proposed development site

    The Canterbury District Local Plan

    Canterbury District Council has recently adopted a new Local Plan, the purpose of which is to guide and manage the location and scale of new development across the district for the next 20 years. Within the Local Plan the council has identified 12 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).

    In allocating the Hillborough site within the 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 is extracted from Canterbury City Council Local Plan, 2017).


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

    LON024224P Site Location Plan1

    Site considerations

    Before we started designing the new scheme, we completed an assessment of the site and the surrounding area. We recorded those features we would need to take into account in our design. All of the relevant considerations, whether they fixed the way our scheme would have to be designed or gave us a real opportunity to make the most of a particular feature, are shown here.

    What we thought about

    • A299 Thanet Way – how our designs must respond to potential noise issues
    • Sewer easements and existing services – already connected within the site and running underground. These easements would need to be respected as the masterplan develops
    • Railway line – intersects the site creating Northern and Southern development parcels. Existing 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 needed to be considered
    • Flood risk from surface water drainage – a series of existing drainage ditches throughout the site to link into a Sustainable Drainage System and had to be accommodated and developed
    • Hillborough sewage treatment works – located near to the site. Potential odour offset had to be assessed and the development configured to 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 produced further detail on these issues, and sets out how development of the site could result in multiple and significant benefits. The constraints and opportunities 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.

  • What's proposed

    About our proposals

    Illustrative masterplan

    Pictured below is our illustrative masterplan for the Hillborough site, which shows how the proposed new homes, supporting facilities, highways infrastructure and green spaces are arranged.


    Key facts about the scheme are as follows:

    • Up to 955 new homes including a proportion of affordable housing
    • A community hub incorporating community uses including land for the Local Education Authority to provide a two-form entry primary school, community hall and changing facilities
    • A retail hub adjacent to Sweechbridge Road providing opportunity for a convenience store and other retail uses
    • Further employment land to extend from the existing Altira Business Park
    • 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
    • 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 public consultation and other stakeholder events. Shown below are the key changes which we have made to our development plans in response to feedback from the local community.


    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. Opportunity for vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access through to the new retail and business park.
    3. Continued consideration of the potential for May Street railway bridge to provide linkage 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, community centre and parking.
    8. Two new equipped areas of play 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, soft play space or gym, etc) to provide a sensitive interface between residential and industrial elements.
    10. Space for local shopping facilities including scope for a convenience store adjacent to Sweechbridge Road.
    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.

    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 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.

    LON024239E Landscape Masterplan LR1

    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 (LEAP)
    • 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)

    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 public and stakeholder consultations.


    Key facts about our access proposals (numbered descriptions correspond to numbers shown on the plan):

    1. There are two principal vehicular access points to our proposed development from Sweechbridge Road (one north of the railway and one south of the railway) and opportunity for extension from Altira Business Park. The link to the business park would allow free movement of residential traffic but would 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 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.
    6. It is proposed that May Street, within the site, 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 with opportunities to connect to Altira Park, and the existing 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 (Developers). We have worked with these other landowners to develop a comprehensive masterplan concept for the whole site.

    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.

    The Phase 1 Layout

    The image below shows the layout for the first phase of development Hillborough and how the properties, open space and internal roads will be arranged.

    LON070901Q Phase 1 Site Layout1

    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:

    • 194 new homes including affordable housing.
    • A mix of property types to include 2, 3 and 4-bedroom houses to suit a range of needs.
    • Predominantly 2-storey buildings with some 2.5 and 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 entrance 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.

    The 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.

    LON070908B2 Street Scenes1
    LON070908B1 Street Scenes1

    Street scenes showing the proposed design of the new homes.

    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.

    Our landscaping proposals for Phase 1 at Hillborough.

    LON070911A Phase 1 Detailed POS Landscape Proposals1
    LON024220D Sections1

    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).

  • Community

    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 the existing surgery facility at Reculver to be extended to accommodate additional capacity rather than a new surgery being provided on our development site. We will therefore be providing a financial contribution to facilitate this extension as part of our proposals.

    LON0242704BDisplayPlan04  community facilities

    Our community facilities proposals for the Hillborough site (numbered descriptions correspond to the numbers shown on the plan).

    1. Creation of a new community hub to include land for the Local Education Authority (LEA) to provide a new two-form entry primary school, including an on-site drop off and collection facility and a free standing community centre with meeting rooms and parking.
    2. Opportunity for a convenience store and up to three local shops adjacent to Sweechbridge Road.
    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.
  • Updates

    Application timeline projection

    • August 2017 - Hybrid planning application submitted
    • 2019 - Decision expected from Canterbury District Council
    • 2020- Anticipated start of works on site 
    • 2021 -  Anticipated first occupations