Our Proposals

This page provides a summary of our proposals for new housing at St Martin’s West.


Thumbnail images of the public exhibition banners

View a summary of our proposals below,
or click here to access a PDF of the public exhibition display material, which includes more information, images and plans

The Masterplan

Illustrative masterplan

1. New homes

  • Up to 200 new affordable and market homes to help meet local housing demand.
  • A range of sizes and types of homes.
  • Making good use of a site that is no longer required for hospital use.

2. Walk and play

  • Creation of new and enhanced pedestrian/cycle connections to the south-west and to the north to connect the new community to the surrounding areas and facilities.
  • Creation of new formal play area and natural public open space to benefit new and existing communities.

3. Circular exercise route

  • Opportunity to create circular exercise route around the site to encourage healthy living

4. Central productive landscape spine

  • Creation of a central green spine through the development as a focal point and amenity for all.

5. Parkland landscape

  • Retaining and enhancing the existing parkland setting, a key characteristic of the Conservation Area in the southern part of the site.

6. New habitat

  • Opportunity to enhance tree planting and create new habitats in the southern and eastern parts of the site.

7. Retained historic buildings

  • The key southern former hospital wings are to be retained and converted, ensuring the preservation of these important buildings that front onto the southern parkland.

8. Reimagined historic buildings

  • Retaining the symmetry and form of the hospital buildings by creating new homes within the same footprint. These will be high quality energy efficient homes that are future proofed.

Financial contributions

  • Financial contributions towards local infrastructure and facilities.

Economic benefits

  • Benefits associated with supporting new jobs in construction and additional income from residents being spent in the local economy.

Our vision is a distinctive sustainable new community that complements 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 setting of parkland, orchards and green spaces.

Key themes that have informed the vison are:


  • Drawing on the site’s history to give it a sense of place and clear identity
  • Connections to the history of the site through some retained buildings, road layout and form of development
  • Retaining the symmetrical pattern of existing buildings
  • Retaining the original Stone House parkland feel of the site

Connected community

  • Streets following historic routes
  • Integration with existing and newer residential areas with clear connections to them
  • Pedestrian and cycle connections through the site to facilities in the wider area and city centre

New homes among the trees

  • New homes of all tenures and types, including affordable homes
  • Different types of new open space creating a healthy, safe, relaxed and well connected environment
  • Central green spine with homes overlooking community open spaces
  • New play area connected to the wider community to the south west

Active healthy living

  • Nature at the heart of the development
  • Enhanced natural assets – parkland, green spine, play
  • Opportunities for productive planting
  • Energy efficient buildings

Government monitoring identifies that Canterbury City Council has only managed to deliver 65% of the new homes it needs to deliver in recent years resulting in significant need for new homes, including affordable homes to be built.

Redevelopment of the St Martin’s West site will play a key role in assisting the Council to meet its housing needs on a sustainable, previously developed site, offering opportunities for local people to have access to affordable and market housing.

The land to the north of the site (north of Littlebourne Road) is currently being developed for new housing. There is existing residential development to the west/south west of the site where there is a Public Right of Way. To the south east is the Caravanning and Camping Club, and to the south is woodland and land designated by the Council as an Area of High Landscape Value (AHLV). The site slopes gently from north to south.

The site is in a sustainable location with a range of local amenities and services nearby within easy walking/cycling distances. There are bus stops on Littlebourne Road and several pedestrian and cycle connections to the city centre.

Our initial work has identified the following opportunities:

  • Use existing southern and eastern parkland setting for the benefit of the new residents
  • Use existing mature trees to create an attractive landscape setting
  • Maintain the road alignment of the existing access road as a key feature
  • Retain the most important two ward wings that define the site and its relationship to the parkland
  • Replace some buildings within the same footprint, to maintain the symmetry of the site and the memory of the former buildings, whilst replacing them with quality new homes.
  • Improve and enhance the parkland landscape setting
  • Connect the site to the Public Right of Way to the south west
  • Provide new play facilities for new and existing residents
  • Make the most of a derelict unused site to provide new affordable and market homes
  • Provide a range of sizes and types/tenures of new homes

Furthermore, we have identified the following constraints:

  • Landform in parts of site
  • Location of surface water drainage outfalls
  • Proximity of trees to some buildings
  • Ground conditions
  • Need to move reptiles (common lizards and grass snakes) from western part of site to southern part of site

Landform and landscape character

The parkland setting is a key characteristic of the site and its Conservation Area designation. It consists of:

  • Trees on the eastern boundary
  • Pond in the south eastern part of the site
  • Retention of open lawned areas reflecting the open parkland setting
  • Trees that are part of a more formal setting
  • The slope from north to south which is cut by the terraced platform on which the buildings sit


A number of environmental surveys are being undertaken to inform the emerging proposals including:

  • Tree Survey and Impact Assessment
  • Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
  • Heritage Analysis

These survey findings have been used to identify the key features of the site to be retained within the emerging proposals, identifying the key Category A trees, the key views and key heritage features that need to be retained and enhanced.

The emerging proposals for the site seek to retain all of the Category A (most important) trees within the site along with the Category B trees within the southern and eastern parkland areas, and along the main route into the site.


An Ecological Survey of the site has been undertaken along with specific habitat and species surveys relating to Great Crested Newts, common lizards and grass snakes, dormouse and bats. These surveys have identified that as part of the development, it is likely that there will be a need to move common lizards and grass snakes from the western part of the site to the southern parkland area.

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

Public transport, pedestrian and cycle links

The site is well located in relation to bus stops and there are four bus stops situated within 300m of the site, on Littlebourne Road and on Warwick Road. There are frequent services to amenities in the city centre.

There is a footway on the Littlebourne Road in the vicinity of the site and a number of Public Rights of Way (PRoW) nearby, facilitating access to Canterbury to the west and more rural areas elsewhere.

Kent County Council is proposing a scheme for the provision of a new pedestrian crossing on Littlebourne Road to the north of the site that will provide a safe link to the bus stop on the northern side of Littlebourne Road and will also provide access to the new facilities proposed within the former Howe Barracks site to the north.

Another key link will be made from the site to the PRoW to the south west to provide links to local shops and facilities to the south west.

There are two National Cycle Routes within the vicinity of the site.

The closest rail station to the Site is Canterbury East located approximately 2.2km (1.4 miles) west of the site. Canterbury East is situated on the London Victoria-Dover main line, providing services to locations further away.

As part of the planning application, an outline Travel Plan will be prepared that will seek to promote the use of sustainable transport and reduce reliance on car travel.

Site access

The proposed site access will utilise the existing western hospital access on Littlebourne Road, being upgraded to meet KCC Design Guide standards (major access road). This is formed of a priority T-junction with footways on either side of the carriageway linking to existing footway provision on the Littlebourne Road. The access will be widened to ensure the site access road meets the minimum kerb radii of 6m.

Car parking

The emerging scheme is being designed to meet the Council’s parking standards for residents and visitors, and the detailed location of parking spaces will be agreed at the next planning stage, at Reserved Matters stage. Electric Vehicle Charging Points will be provided on site.

Highway impact

A Transport Assessment is being undertaken which will consider safety issues and the impact of the proposed development on the local highway network. The scope of this has been agreed with Kent County Council Highways.

The initial findings of our work suggest that no off-site mitigation is required based on a reduction in trips to account for the former hospital traffic that was using the site.

Financial contributions towards pedestrian and cycle improvements in the area have been discussed with Kent County Council.


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. Sustainable drainage systems or dry ponds are an integral part of an attractive infrastructure network, creating opportunities for wildlife habitats as well as managing surface water in the southern part of the site.

Work is being undertaken on site and discussions are taking place with Southern Water to identify suitable connection points for surface and foul 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.

Land quality

A full intrusive investigation of the site will be undertaken to further investigate any ground conditions or contamination that needs to be dealt with prior to development to ensure that the site is safe to be developed for new housing.


Discussions are taking place with utility providers to ensure that there is sufficient capacity in the existing networks to serve the needs of the site. Where necessary, upgrades will be made to the surrounding network.

Air quality and noise

Technical work is also being undertaken to establish the impact of any air quality and noise issues in the area on the development of the site. This will impact the proximity of housing to Littlebourne Road, being set back to ensure that there is an acceptable noise environment for new residents.

We welcome your views and invite you to provide feedback