An ambitious scheme to build more than 70 homes on a derelict site in Folkestone has been boosted with a £1.15 million government grant.
The development of Biggins Wood received a share of the Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
The funding has enabled remediation work on the former brickworks site. This included ecological surveys to identify wildlife living on the site and resulted in slow worms, common lizards and smooth newts being safely relocated to newly created habitats nearby. Fly-tipped rubbish and invasive plants and weeds were also removed.
Work on an access road to the 10-acre site and associated utilities work began in January 2023. This will open up the land for developers to move onto the site to begin building the new housing and commercial units.
Back on track
Following the purchase of the site in 2016, it was agreed by our Cabinet in July 2019 that a scheme would be taken forward to create 77 homes - 23 of which will be for affordable rent - and 5,600 square metres of commercial space. The pandemic stalled the plans to develop the site so the award of this grant will get the project back on track.
A specialist contractor, John F Hunt Regeneration Ltd was appointed and to carry out the remediation works.
There are 23 affordable homes (14 Affordable Rent, 9 Shared Ownership). The rented homes will be available to people on the housing waiting list, and the shared ownership homes are for newly forming households in the Folkestone and Hythe area.
For more about the Brownfield Land Release Fund, visit gov.uk/government/publications/further-of-new-homes-to-be-built-and-derelict-land-transformed
Previous history of the site
The council announces it bought the 10-acre site for £1.5m. It already has planning permission for development and the council intends to start on site in 2017. It has permission for 77 homes, including 23 affordable homes, along with high quality, modern workspace.
Council takes decision under urgency procedures to buy land at Biggins Wood, Caesars Way, Cheriton, Folkestone.
Planning permission granted for the erection of 77 dwelling houses, construction of estate road and provision of open space, landscaping and parking being pursuant to outline planning permission Y13/0024/SH.
Y16/0403/SH- Land Rear of Church and Dwight Caesars Way Folkestone Kent
Outline planning permission granted for a mixed use development of commercial/office (660sq.m.) and industrial/storage units (5142 sq.m.) (Class B1 B8) as well as 77 residential dwellings together with associated car parking, open space, landscaping, pedestrian link and reconfiguration of vehicular access off Caesars Way.
Y13/0024/SH - Land Rear of Church and Dwight Caesars Way Folkestone Kent
You can find a press release issued about the project before 2022 in our development project press release archive.