We have prepared responses to anticipated questions below, and will update these as the project progresses


General FAQs

The proposed St Martin’s West development is a residential development of up to 200 high quality energy efficient homes, including a range of private and affordable homes. There will be a range of house types, sizes and tenures. Some of the existing buildings will be converted while others will be demolished and replaced with new housing. This will be a sustainable new community that is well integrated with surrounding communities, creating a vibrant and healthy place to live. The development will be set within a rich setting of parkland, with orchards and green spaces. The land adjacent to the east of the site is still in hospital use.

Homes England owns the site that was bought from the NHS in 2019. Homes England is planning on submitting an outline planning application for the proposed development to Canterbury City Council in summer 2022.

Homes England is the government’s housing accelerator and we work with our partners to unlock public and private land to provide new homes.

Government has set out ambitious housing targets to meet the needs of the growing population and requires all local planning authorities to provide a Local Plan to meet the housing obligations that have been placed on it.

The site is allocated  in the Adopted Local Plan as being suitable for up to 200 new homes.  It forms part of the Council’s housing requirements. In recent years the Council has only built 65% of the new homes it needs to build, resulting in a significant need for housing.

A distinctive sustainable new community that compliments the diverse and interesting form of East Canterbury.  New affordable and private homes that are well integrated with surrounding communities.  A vibrant and healthy place to live, within a rich parkland, orcchards and greenspaces

It is anticipated that outline permission would be granted for the site in winter 2022, with reserved matters application for the detail being submitted in 2023.  It is then anticipated that demolition of some buildings would start in 2024 and the homes will be built over a 4 year period.

There will be a mix of private housing and affordable homes. These will be a mix of sizes ranging from one bedroom flats up to four bedroom houses, including a range of tenures.

The level of affordable housing provided at the site will be compliant with that set out in the adopted Local Plan policy, currently 30% of the total number of homes.

Homes England does not build houses itself, but will work with a Development Partner who will build the houses, working to standards set by Homes England.

The development will create more homes, including much needed affordable homes along with new play facilities, enhanced parkland landscape, pedestrian and cycle connections through the site and to facilities in the wider area.

Any demolition on site would be carefully managed to protect the amenity of local residents and ensure that any impacts from dust and noise are restricted.

Summer 2022

The application will be for up to 200 new homes including conversion of some buildings and demolition of others.  It will include new green spaces, pedestrian and cycle links, improved vehicular access, sustainable drainage and associated infrastructure.

Once the outline application is submitted, the application documents will be available for everyone to view on Canterbury City Council’s website and there will be an opportunity for key consultees and the local community to comment on the planning application.  Canterbury City Council will then review the comments and application documents before it is determined.

Key buildings are proposed for retention along with the existing main entrance into the site.  The form of development and symmetry of buildings will be retained through retention of existing buildings and replacement of others.   This approach ensures that the key buildings are retained but that others are replaced with homes that are energy efficient and future proofed rather than trying to convert buildings that are not as well suited to residential use.  The parkland setting will be retained and enhanced.

Environment FAQs

As part of preparation of the application, an Ecological Survey of the site has been undertaken along with specific habitat and species surveys relating to Great Crested Newts, reptiles, dormouse and bats. The outcome of these surveys and any mitigation required is being discussed with Kent County Council’s Ecologist.

There are many opportunities through development of the site to achieve a gain in biodiversity through creating new habitats and new planting.

The site is a previously developed, brownfield site. The majority of the site is occupied by buildings that formed part of St Martin’s Hospital. These buildings are no longer in hospital use.

The southern part of the site is proposed to be retained and enhanced as parkland, and there will be new planting within the site. Different types of green space is proposed, including play areas and orchards.

The majority of trees within the site will be retained.

Transport FAQs

A Transport Assessment is being prepared for the application. This considers safety issues and the impact of the proposed development on the local highway network.  The work to-date had identified that no anticipated off-site improvements required to accommodate the proposed development.

A series of footpath and cycleway links are proposed to connect the site to surrounding facilities, including a new link to the south west of the site and to the new crossing on Littlebourne Road, providing access to the bus stop to the northern side of the road.

There will be new pedestrian and cycling connections made through the site and access to nearby bus stops on Littlebourne Road and Warwick Road. There are frequent bus services from these bus stops to amenities in the town centre.

The Transport Assessment will consider this and the work to-date has identified that there are no anticipated off-site improvements required to the highway network.  We anticipate there will be some improvements to the site access junction, although its location will not change.  This access was used as the hospital access for a number of years.

Water Management FAQs

The site is not in an area at risk of flooding.  The drainage strategy will manage water on site so that runoff does not affect surrounding land or make flooding worse elsewhere.  The Project Team is liaising with Southern Water to agree connections points for surface water.

Homes England is very aware of the water quality issues relating to waste water treatment works that discharge into the Stour Valley and the restrictions that this is placing on development in the area. Canterbury City Council is undertaking work to identify a district wide solution to this issue.  Homes England is following Natural England advice and will work with the City Council and Natural England once the Council has identified solutions to ensure that there is no harmful impact from development on water quality.

Stakeholder Engagement FAQs

Local communities and other stakeholders with an interest in the proposals are welcome to provide feedback on the proposals. All comments received will be analysed and used to refine the proposals as appropriate, ensuring that the new development is well integrated with the local community.

Stakeholders can submit their feedback by filling in the online questionnaire or emailing stmartinsfeedback@woodplc.com. Stakeholders who do not have access to the internet or are unable to submit a response due to medical reasons can call 0800 3166887 to request a paper copy of the questionnaire and Freepost envelope or talk to someone about their concerns.

There will be a statutory consultation after submission of the application in summer 2022 to provide comments on the proposals to the Local Planning Authority (Canterbury City Council).