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Land at Bell Farm - North Street - Barming - Maidstone - Kent

We have submitted a detailed planning application for 35 new 3 & 4 bedroom homes on land at Bell Farm, North Street, Barming.

Keep up to date

  • Overview

    We have submitted detailed plans for 35 new homes on land at Bell Farm in North Street, Barming, near Maidstone in Kent.

    As a responsible, considerate developer, we strive to ensure that local people are kept fully informed of proposals which affect their community – and to give them an opportunity to comment on our scheme so we can respond positively to local feedback.

    We held a public consultation event at Fant Community Hall on Friday 24th October 2014 to give local residents and other stakeholders the chance to find out more about our proposals.

    Further details of our emerging scheme are provided on this website, and you can view the information boards which were displayed at the consultation event by clicking here.

    The deadline for submitting your feedback has now passed. 

    You can view our planning application by visiting the planning pages of Maidstone Borough Council's website and entering the reference number 14/506419/FULL into the application search box.

  • The proposed development site

    The proposed development site is owned by Taylor Wimpey and comprises a strip of land fronting North Street in Barming. The site covers an area of approximately 1.06 hectares which comprises two sections of land either side of existing properties at 35-43 North Street.

    Planning background

    Maidstone Borough Council is currently producing a new Local Plan, which will include a number of housing allocations. The proposed development site is one such allocation within the draft Local Plan, which was recently subject to public consultation.

    Whilst the site is designated as ‘open countryside’ in the Maidstone Borough Wide Local Plan (2000), it should be noted that this document was adopted 14 years ago and it is not wholly consistent with the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework, which provides a national framework for the delivery of new homes.

    The site is included within the draft Local Plan for a total of 35 homes and our proposals seek to meet this emerging policy. The homes would be designed responding positively to the character and appearance of the local area, and would take into account listed buildings nearby. They would also meet level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes and provide 30% as affordable housing (these will be a mix of rental and shared ownership properties).

    In addition to complying with the existing policy, the council does not have a five-year supply of housing, which is required by the National Planning Policy Framework. We therefore see this site coming forward as both meeting an immediate need for housing, but also the longer-term strategic need.

    Taylor Wimpey also owns land at Bell Farm to the West of the proposed development site. However, there are no plans to bring forward a planning application to develop this site at present. Should any proposals come forward at a later date, these would be subject to the same form of consultation.

    Site considerations 

    Before we start designing a new scheme, we complete an assessment of the site and the surrounding area as they are at the moment. 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.


    Cons  Opps

    This plan shows how our proposed development considers the key features of the site and its surroundings.

    Flood risk and drainage

    The proposed development site is located in Flood Zone 1, which means it is at a low risk of flooding from rivers and other watercourses. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) will be used. This will include the use of private soakaways for domestic drainage with permeable paving for private drives. Public highways will be drained by adopted soakaways. These will ensure that surface water run-off from the development will be no greater than current greenfield (undeveloped land) rates and will not increase the risk of flooding on site or elsewhere.

    The site consists of the eastern ends of two fields of commercial arable land separated by closely trimmed Italian and grey alder shelterbelts, with narrow field margins. Overall, it is considered to be of low ecological value with no significant existing habitat. Protected species surveys were undertaken for birds, bats and the hedges and trees have been carefully assessed.

    Creation and enhancement of the habitats through additional native hedgerow planting and wildflower meadow pockets on the edges of the proposed development would increase the wildlife opportunities, benefiting widespread animal species such as small mammals, including hedgehogs, reptiles and birds. New trees will be incorporated where appropriate and where mature trees exist, they will be retained for their ecological and landscape value.

    Landscape and Visual Appraisal
    The site is closely related to the existing housing area along North Street and comprises a narrow strip of land alongside the existing edge of the settlement. In landscape terms it is extremely well contained in views from the wider countryside, by a combination of the vegetation at the site boundaries and the numerous shelter belts which are a feature of the adjoining landscape.

    There are a number of established hedgerow features which extend alongside the frontage with North Road. Where possible these can be retained within the layout, however there is an opportunity to remove some of these features to achieve an active frontage along the western side of the street. In the event that sections of hedgerow are lost, these can be replaced with new native hedgerows to provide an attractive and appropriate frontage.

    Site access

    Access Plan

    The proposed access to our development.

    Vehicle, cycle and pedestrian access to the development is proposed to be taken from North Street at a number of locations. The exact design of these access points are being explored with Kent County Council, as highway authority. However, in general these will take the form of simple priority junctions which will provide sufficient capacity for the proposed development. The two parcels of land to the north and south will be separately accessed.

    Options are being considered which would enhance the existing street by introducing more effective traffic calming and improve the pedestrian environment. The introduction of a shared space carriageway in the vicinity of Apple Tree Close and Bell Farm Gardens is being considered. All access points will go through a highway safety audit.

    Car parking
    The development will provide sufficient car parking to accommodate the demand anticipated to arise and to ensure that car parking will not ‘overspill’ on to surrounding streets. Garages are also proposed on a majority of the homes. Given the location and Kent County Council’s guidance on car parking, smaller houses (1 and 2 beds) will have a minimum of one space each,
    with larger houses generally having two spaces each. Additional parking will be designed to accommodate visitor demand, generally through formalised on-street provision.

    Traffic impact
    The traffic impact of the proposed development is being assessed using industry standard methodology. A development of around 35 homes is expected to generate around 20 to 22 two way vehicle trips during the peak hours of 8am to 9am, and again between 5pm and 6pm on weekdays.

    A Transport Assessment is being prepared to evaluate the impact of the development on the local transport network and will be submitted as part of the planning application. The scope of assessment has been agreed with Kent County Council and is to include capacity analysis and modelling of the junctions between North Street and Tonbridge Road and Heath Road.

    The proposed development site is in an accessible location, with good access to local schools and facilities, including local shops. Barming Primary School is less than a 750m-walk from the site, while secondary schools are located within 2km. Local convenience shopping is available both to the south in Tonbridge Road and to the east in Beverley Road.

    A bus service currently operates in North Street, providing sustainable access to destinations further afield. However, key high-frequency services can be accessed to the south, in Tonbridge Road.



  • About our proposals

    Barming Plan 

    Our proposed development layout. Click for a larger view.

    Our proposals provide a mix of housing types including three and four-bedroom houses available for private sale and two and three-bedroom houses available as affordable housing.

    Our proposed development layout (pictured right) has sought to establish an arrangement of perimeter blocks where the windows of the proposed dwellings will provide natural surveillance to North Street and streets within the development. The gardens of the proposed dwellings will be enclosed by the proposed buildings to further enhance the security of the new development.

    Two vehicular access points are proposed, each serving the separate development parcels. These access points should be considered as key ‘gateway’ spaces within the development where a special landscape treatment is required.

    The northern-most access point directs views towards the existing listed buildings and to provide an appropriate setting for the Oast House. The dwellings either side of the proposed access points should be considered as key buildings where a special architectural treatment should be considered.

    Careful consideration of the North Street frontage will be needed so as to complement the existing built frontages enclosing North Street. We are suggesting a ‘staggered’ building line to reflect neighbouring frontages.

    It is proposed that the hedgerow which occupies the western side of North Street opposite the pub is replaced by appropriate boundary planting.

    Our proposed home designs

    There is a wide range of attractive architectural styles found locally, and North Street itself features homes that are highly diverse in terms of age, materials, detailing and relationship with the street itself.

    For this development it is proposed that the architectural design takes inspiration from appropriate architectural examples. The street scene at the top of this board shows some of our initial suggested designs. They include larger double-fronted villas in prominent locations within the scheme that might feature bay windows, canopies and chimneys, all of which will add to the architectural interest and importance of these key proposed buildings.

    By contrast the scheme may also feature smaller terraced or semi-detached dwellings which are simpler in design, but still maintain interest through contrasting use of brick types and the use of opening surrounds.

    We propose using materials commonly found locally, including feature red/buff brick, vertical tile hanging, timber cladding and stone for heads and cills to reflect local vernacular.

    Barming 1

    An indicative illustration of the houses fronting North Street. 

    Barming 2


    An indicative illustration of the houses fronting North Street (2).


    TW Housetypes

    Existing Taylor Wimpey homes which show some of the materials we are considering.

  • News and updates

    September 2017 - anticipated sales launch

    Summer 2017 - anticipated site start works 

    December 2014 - planning application submitted to Maidstone Borough Council

    Friday 24th October 2014, 2.30pm to 7.30pm – public consultation.  Fant Community Hall, Fant Lane, Maidstone, ME16 8NN.