Water Colour Drawing of shop fronts
Pencil drawing of proposed Faversham Development
Small square surrounded by houses at Hamslade Green, Poundbury

Homes & Jobs

In accordance with the Swale Local Plan Review 2021 allocation, the Duchy of Cornwall has been working with local people to draw up plans for a mixed income, mixed use sustainable community of 2,500 homes and 2,500 jobs.

The proposals build on the lessons the Duchy of Cornwall has learnt from the thriving sustainable communities of Poundbury and Nansledan. Particular emphasis is placed on meeting local housing needs and the quality of landscape and urban design, including the selection of natural materials and local styles of architecture.

To this end, South East Faversham will be an attractive, modern and enjoyable place in which people can live, work, shop and relax. It will be guided by local needs and inspired by the character of Faversham.

Homes that meet local housing needs

Simple elegant, affordable housing on Bridport Road, Poundbury
Swallow feeding its young in an integrated bird box, Nansledan

South East Faversham is being designed to meet local housing needs in terms of the size, type and tenure of homes. This means a wide variety of house types will be provided, from starter homes and apartments all the way up to larger family homes. The overall percentage of house types will be determined in accordance with local housing needs, which means the largest proportion will be 2 and 3 bed homes for the people of Faversham.

The Duchy will deliver 30% affordable homes in accordance with the local housing policy, with homes for rent, shared ownership and discounted sale. In the early 1990’s HRH The Prince of Wales pioneered the integration of private and affordable homes in Poundbury, to encourage vibrant and diverse communities where everyone walked down the same streets. South East Faversham will follow the same principle with all affordable homes designed and built to the same high-quality standards, indistinguishable from market homes. A well balanced, mixed income community helps social cohesion by ensuring everyone has an equal stake in their community, with access to opportunities that are not always available to those growing up in estates designated for ‘social housing’.

South East Faversham will be built by carefully selected private Kent based SME housebuilders with a track record in quality design, development and environmental standards, inspired by the existing character and identity of Faversham and the surrounding area.

The Duchy will work with these private local housebuilders and housing associations to design homes that are both nature friendly (for example, with integrated bird boxes and bee bricks pioneered with the RSPB and Green and Blue) and built to the highest environmental standards. Homes will surpass RIBA 2030 and LETI 2030 standards of low carbon construction methods and materials, and will do so by using natural local materials wherever practicable.

Jobs in a mix of uses throughout a walkable community

Working with local people, the plans are being designed so that homes are integrated with community facilities and places to work. By integrating residential, retail and business uses with community facilities and green spaces, people are able to live, work and play without the reliance on motor vehicles. Mixing uses means people will be able meet many of their daily needs within a short distance of their homes and jobs rather than having to use a car. 

This will be achieved by integrating small workshop and retail spaces into larger blocks to cater for small independent, artisan businesses to establish and then thrive, alongside professional services and community uses.

These plans include provision for a range of food stores and independent retailers, craftmakers and producers. There will also be space for restaurants, cafes and flexible office spaces on the new local high street, with smaller local centres dotted through the development for convenience.

There will be a new primary school and options are being explored for a care home and potentially a range of health related facilities. A new employment area is also being allocated on the eastern part of the site, with light industrial and distribution businesses encouraged to relocate nearer junction 7 of the M2.

All these proposals combined mean the Duchy expects to be able to achieve its goal of one job per household as it has managed at Poundbury and track to achieve in Nansledan.

Late-night shopping event at Teylu Trading, Nansledan
Shiva Yoga Studio and Café, Nansledan

A walkable community with permeable streets

Mixed use buildings down Peverell Avenue West, Poundbury
Row of cottages along an historic farm track that forms part of the continuous quiet walking routes around Nansledan.

South East Faversham is being designed as a series of walkable neighbourhoods where most of your daily needs can be met on foot or cycle. To this end the masterplan has been designed to encourage walking and cycling through a network of permeable streets and the designs have been tested and guided by Space Syntax to credibly verify and influence their true ‘walkability’.

There will still be ample provision for car parking but the plan is to not give people a reason to use their car very often.  Parking is generally provided in landscaped courtyards at the rear of properties which also incorporate housing and coach houses with ancillary spaces for playrooms and workshops above garages. Provision for these extra spaces provides for more flexible living arrangements for example by enabling people to work from home without feeling like they are living at work.

Space Syntax scored South East Faversham even more highly than Poundbury in its walkability index, and a summary of these findings is included below.

What makes places walkable?

The location of everyday land uses – shops, offices, schools and healthcare facilities – has important effects on our movement choices: whether we reach them by walking or cycling, catching a bus or going by private car. Low density, monofunctional housing estates create car dependence. Relatively denser, mixed use and connected developments create walkability.

Why is walkability important?

Walkability has multiple benefits:

  • to the environment, in terms of the reductions in carbon dioxide and other emissions that occur when people walk instead of drive
  • to physical health, especially in reducing the risk of obesity and its associated diseases
  • to mental health, more walkable environments engendering lower levels of loneliness
  • to local economies, with more jobs being located closer to where people live.

How do you know if somewhere is walkable?

Space Syntax’s Walkability Index database covers every building in Great Britain. It allows existing places to be ‘footprinted’ so that new proposals can be objectively tested in terms of whether they will deliver car-dependence – with its associated problems – or walkability – and the social, economic and environmental values that walkable places create. The Walkability Index rates locations on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), presenting this score on a ‘rainbow’ colour scale from blue (low) to red (high).

How walkable are the proposals for South East Faversham?

The masterplan proposals for South East Faversham have been assessed by Space Syntax in terms of their walkability and found to be highly walkable with an overall score of 9.6, which is comparable with the most walkable town centres in Great Britain.

Furthermore, the assessment indicates that the overall walkability of Faversham’s existing street network increases from 5.9 to 6.4, with the overall score – including South East Faversham – rising to 8.6. This increase results from the fact that the South East Faversham development will provide new, everyday destinations for existing residents in the form of shops, businesses and other facilities, which are within walking distance from existing houses.