Quinn Estates targets site across the estuary

Plans for North Weald Park were submitted to the local authority in June (pic Quinn Estates)

Many communities across Kent are experiencing the activities of Quinn Estates, so it might be of interest to highlight a scheme the developer is promoting across the estuary in Essex.
A decision is anticipated this spring on proposals for a ‘garden village’ development at the former North Weald Golf Club.
Quinn Estates and Redrow Homes submitted the plans to Epping Forest District Council that include 555 homes, a 70-bed retirement complex and 70-bed nursing care accommodation, as well as sports facilities and schools.
The developer’s brochure describes the scheme, entitled North Weald Park, as:
“A once in a generation opportunity to create a mixed use development with an incredible sporting and education legacy for Essex and Epping Forest District.
“Embodying garden village principles, the development will combine high quality housing with exceptional community, social and economic infrastructure.
“The proposals incorporate the creation of up to 690 new homes with 40% affordable provision and a new business community from a developer with a very strong track record for the delivery of commercial space.
“Through working with Epping Youth Football Club, UKA Karate Club and the Scouts, the development can deliver a legacy of enhanced sporting facilities for the people of Essex.”
The 165-acre scheme also includes a business park, park-and-ride to Epping station, Scouts facility and medical centre, together with “£5m-£10m” improvements to junction of the M11 at Hastingwood.
The planning application was submitted to the local authority in June and it is hoped it will be determined in May.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Relief and delight as massive scheme for Kent Downs AONB is turned down

No mistaking the message! (pic Barham Downs Action Group)

Planners’ rejection of plans for a huge development in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been warmly welcomed by CPRE Kent.
The proposals, put forward by developer Quinn Estates and landowner Highland Investment Company, targeted 300 acres of protected countryside at Highland Court Farm near Bridge.
They entailed 175 holiday homes, a stadium for Canterbury City Football Club, six rugby pitches, a business park extension, “innovation centre”, food and drink units and a “leisure hub”.
Last night (Tuesday, February 5) Canterbury City Council planning committee chose unanimously to decline planning permission for the scheme, which had already been recommended for refusal in a planning officer’s report listing 12 grounds as to why it should be turned down.
The project had been opposed by CPRE Kent, Natural England, Kent Wildlife Trust, Dover District Council, Barham Downs Action Group and several parish councils.
Hilary Newport, CPRE Kent director, said the decision was unquestionably the correct one: “We’re surprised that anyone could believe such an appalling scheme in an AONB [Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty] might ever be considered acceptable.
“We’re thrilled that Canterbury City Council’s planning committee rejected the plans so decisively and so comprehensively.”
Barrie Gore is chairman of CPRE Kent’s Canterbury committee. “It’s wonderful that a beautiful part of the countryside has been preserved, hopefully forever,” he said.
“The scheme was refused on grounds that I would have thought unassailable. So many who worked so hard to save this lovely part of the AONB, Highland Court House and the Highland Court Conservation Area from further development have had their efforts rewarded.
“The planning officer’s report was a very good one and summed up both sides of the debate extremely well.
“It was interesting that one of the councillors had calculated that only 14 per cent of the site comprised sporting facilities – much of the rest was simply for high-end holiday homes.”
CPRE Kent had opposed the project since its announcement. Speaking on KMTV in October 2017, vice-president Richard Knox-Johnston highlighted national planning strategy going back to the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 designating areas of land not available for development.
“So this land is not available for any development on it,” he had said. “If we don’t protect these AONBs, in due course we won’t have any left. There have to be very special reasons as to why you would want to do any building on that sort of site.”
He stressed the value and attractiveness of Highland Court Farm, noting how the North Downs Way, public footpaths, a cycle path and bridleway all passed through the site.
He was scathing about the developer’s claim that the project would bring tourists into the county: “That’s a supposition that he makes. There’s no financial plan or structure to support this, and any business would have done that properly beforehand to show how it can be done.”

  • For more on this story (and a link to Mr Knox-Johnston discussing the project on KMTV), see here

Wednesday, February 6, 2019