Cabinet members agreed on 22 February 2023 that due to current market conditions the Highview project to develop housing with the aim of being zero carbon in use should be paused.
During this pause officers will explore selling the site to another developer with the benefit of planning permission and with demolition and ecology works completed.
Background to project
Thirty homes were being planned for the former Highview school site in Moat Farm Road. Of these, 25 were for affordable rent and five for shared ownership.
The zero carbon ambition was due to be achieved by the low-energy design and other initiatives. These included high levels of insulation, mechanical ventilation with heat-recovery systems, solar panels and air-source heat pumps (instead of gas boilers).
The in-house design team had been joined by three existing tenants as Tenant Champions, who helped to look at different ways of ensuring the homes met today's living expectations while substantially reducing carbon emissions. The champions also looked at accessibility and place-making.
You can find press releases issued about the project before 2022 in our development project press release archive.
There has been a high level of interest in the Highview development. Here, we answer the most frequently-asked questions by residents. This page will be updated as the development progresses.
How do we get on the shared ownership list?
The units will be marketed by our leasehold team, with priority for people with a local connection to the Folkestone & Hythe district. A local connection is where people either live or work in the district, or have a strong family connection with the area.
Can you define affordable rent and who this affordable bracket is aimed at?
The new homes will be let at affordable rents, which are linked to the local housing allowance rates set by central government. This ensures that the rents charged can be fully covered by housing benefit in the case of tenant households who are on low incomes and in receipt of housing benefit.
How are 24 houses and six flats going to fit into that amount of space?
Highview has been designed by our in-house team, taking into account the amount of space available. The houses and flats are various sizes, but none are too small or cramped. As well as the living space, they all have generous gardens and there is green shared space, with wildlife space included.
Are any of the properties for people on the council list, or are they all for private rental?
They will all be let through our housing waiting list.
Do the wheelchair-compliant units have adapted wet rooms and ground-floor sleeping?
Yes, they are fully wheelchair friendly, with adapted kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms, which are on the same level. One of our Tenant Champions is a wheelchair user and has approved the design.
The units are built larger than those offered for sale by developers as we have designed adaptable homes which can cater for changing lives. This includes larger door openings and more space to move around.