The emerging masterplan is designed around the principle of building local communities and enabling heathy and sustainable travel. The first step is to reduce the need to travel in the first place. This can be achieved by providing a good mix of uses and by creating good quality routes and services between the new and established communities and facilities.
The second step is to enable travel further afield by bus and rail. In Faversham, there is a huge opportunity to capitalise on the excellent access to London via the High Speed 1 rail service which many residents already make use of. The third step is then to develop a highway strategy which facilitates movement by car for other journeys. Key to this is understanding the demand for car travel and then assessing how that can be accommodated on the existing network and what changes might need to be made.
Connecting into Faversham
The site is within easy walking and cycling distance to Faversham town centre and its community facilities as well as the railway station. Some of the routes to these facilities will be improved to enhance connectivity while making them feel safer and more welcoming to use.
Calming the A2 Canterbury Road
The A2 Canterbury Road on the northern edge of the site creates a barrier for pedestrians and cyclists due to the high traffic speeds. The Duchy will work closely with Kent County Council, Highways England and others on proposals to ‘upgrade’ this road to create a high-quality street that connects Faversham to the land to the south of the town, slows traffic and allows people to cross on foot and by cycle.
The need for an improvement scheme at M2 Brenley Corner (junction 7) is well established and is an important consideration for any future growth in Swale, north Kent more generally, and for access to the Port of Dover. The Duchy is already engaging with Kent County Council and Highways England and is committed to working closely with them in future to understand how and when a scheme to resolve nationally significant issues will be delivered.
A mixed use walkable community
The emerging masterplan has been structured around the principles of the walkable neighbourhood whereby local facilities are centred about a 5-minute walk distance (around 400 metres) to encourage people to walk and cycle rather than to drive.
Along with the proposal for a truly mixed-use development with one job proposed per home, this will create a vibrant community with a greater internalisation of journeys as opposed to predominantly residential development where many trips have no choice but to be undertaken by car.
Sustainable forms of transport
The emerging masterplan allows for a bus route that could circulate through the development and connect to the main areas such as the proposed primary school and local centre.
The connected network of streets will allow for a series of cycling routes for all users, from children who may use the green streets and lightly traffic lanes and mews to routes for more confident users along the new streets and adjacent to the A2 Canterbury Road where some dedicated facilities may be required.
Process and Next Steps
Kent County Council is undertaking area wide strategic traffic modelling of Swale. We will continue to work with Kent and with Highways England to develop further modelling and through working with these and other stakeholders, a thorough and extensive assessment of local transport infrastructure will be brought forwards to support a future planning application.