New homes set for Kingsmead Field

Work to build new homes on part of Kingsmead Field is due to start later this year.

The news comes after Canterbury City Council announced the appointment of Canterbury-based builders Coombs to carry out the project, which gained planning permission this time last year.

The scheme will see 16 homes built in a mix of sizes and types of accommodation with five of them being affordable and destined for families from the council’s housing waiting list. The remaining 11 will be sold on the open market.

Chairman of the council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Rachel Carnac, said: “It will be fantastic to see workers on the ground ready to build homes that will make a real difference to families on our waiting list.

“This scheme heralds a new way of doing things for the council – building homes ourselves rather than handing the land over to a developer.

“We hope it will be a real success and one we can repeat elsewhere.”

The new homes will be built on a section of Kingsmead Field close to the existing Kingsbrook Park development. Originally, the council had plans to build on the whole field, which led to a campaign by residents to prevent any development at all.

But following discussions with the Friends of Kingsmead Field group, a compromise was reached that sees only 20 per cent built on, with the council seeking to have the remaining 80 per cent of the field classified a Village Green.

Village Green status protects the land from being developed and is one of the highest protections available in the country. An application has been made to Kent County Council.

Cllr Carnac said: “We really appreciate the support of the Friends of Kingsmead Field with this project and thank them for all the hard work they put in to make this corner of the city an oasis of natural beauty.”

Coombs has been operating in the southeast for more than 40 years and prides itself on the amount of repeat business it wins.

Managing Director, John Healey, said: “We are really looking forward to working with the council on such an exciting project, which will create a blueprint for the delivery of housing in the district going into the future.

“As a Canterbury-based company, our local staff are excited to build yet another high-quality project for their community.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the team at Canterbury City Council and our architect Clague, as we bring this high-quality development to life.”