Kennett Garden Village, a pioneering solution to the shortage of affordable housing in East Cambridgeshire, has achieved a resolution to grant Outline Planning Approval.
The 500-home Garden Village designed by JTP, architects and masterplanners is a community-led initiative by the Kennett Community Land Trust (KCLT). It was commissioned by Palace Green Homes, an independent limited company owned by East Cambridgeshire Council, who already has a track record of successfully delivering smaller scale neighbourhoods through the Community Land Trust model.
Local people on low wages are forced to live far away from their families and their places of work which leads to a fragmentation of family and village life.
Lynne McCallum, representing KCLT at the Planning Committee
30% of the new homes will be affordable and 5% will be self-build. 60 low energy homes for rental and shared ownership will become the property of KCLT who will prioritise allocation to local families on low incomes.
JTP’s masterplan based on Garden City principles was developed using an inclusive participatory planning process. In addition to the new homes it has a business enterprise park, new premises for the existing primary school, housing for older people and a mixed-use local centre.
The existing village lacks a central focus. A new village green will promote integration between the existing residents and newcomers by providing a central green space for village events and recreation. Around the green there will be a cluster of facilities including the school, a shop, pub and health centre - all designed to bring people together. These facilities as well as new local jobs and an enhanced rail service from the Kennett station, will also decrease the need to use the private car.
The new homes are arranged in four neighbourhoods, each with different character. At the centre of each neighbourhood is a small central doorstep green including a mixed fruit tree orchard with a different dominant variety. The doorstep greens also have play space and different pieces of green gym equipment creating a circuit open to all. 12.5 ha of green space, over 31% of the 40 ha site, will be gifted to KCLT for all Kennett residents to enjoy in perpetuity. This includes the new village green, doorstep greens, a skate park, play areas, allotments, footpaths and cycle paths.
The land for the Garden Village is currently owned by a farming family with deep roots in the area who will continue to farm the surrounding land and who also run a successful farm shop and café just a mile away from the site. They are part of the local community and committed to creating a place everyone will feel proud of in decades to come.
Our collaborative planning process worked really well at Kennett. Villagers, landowners and Palace Green Homes actively participated in the masterplanning from day one. There was overwhelming consensus that ‘this must not be just another housing estate’ and that homes and spaces should have a distinctively rural character. To ensure this will be the case all parties have been actively involved in preparing a Design Code based on Garden City principles which details the character of spaces, built form and materials. The KCLT has taken their future management role very seriously and really drilled down into the detail of the design.
Clare San Martin, JTP masterplanner