I welcome that Shepway Council has accepted my proposal from March of last year that around Sellinge in Kent was an excellent location for a Garden City
The leader of Shepway District Council, David Monk, has said that the council intends to bid for a garden town in the area surrounding Otterpool Manor Farm, which sits less than 10 miles to the west of Folkestone. The likely value of the land with consent – over 1 billion pounds.
The council said in statement that it has developed a set of draft principles that, if approved by cabinet in June, will form a part of an expression of interest to the government this summer.
It added that Otterpool Park Garden Town could see up to 12,000 new homes being built over the next 30 years “within easy reach of nearby villages, towns and the countryside, but with its own businesses, schools and parks”.
Monk said: “Otterpool Park gives us an unmissable opportunity: it will deliver the homes and jobs we need, in a great setting that’s already well-connected.
“It would be difficult to find an area for development with more potential; it already has a motorway and other roads. There’s a train station – high speed trains are bringing new life to this area, just as the trains did for Folkestone all those years ago. Then there’s easy access to the rest of Europe via Eurotunnel.”
Shepway really grasp the principle of land value uplift as they bought it at agricultural value in January Folkestone Herald which must make the original farmer the stupidest man in Britain.
Shepway District Council has agreed to buy a 357 acre plot of land in Sellindge in a battle to be “self-sustaining.”
On Wednesday night, it was decided to proceed with the purchase of land at Otterpool Lane for a reported £5.2million as part of the authority’s new approach to finances.
The site will not be developed, as previous rumours suggested, but will be made available to rent.
An SDC spokesman said: “The council has a duty to secure its long-term financial future in the face of continuing reductions in grants from central government.
“In a planned move towards self-sustaining finances, we are constantly looking for revenue-earning opportunities that our consistent with our duties and responsibilities as a council.
“When the land at Otterpool Manor Farm became available, the council investigated if acquisition could be part of our plans to secure the long-term financial future of the council.
“The land is designated as agricultural land and will be tenanted and managed to give the council an income.”
It is a shame though that the principle that the uplift be used to fund services in the Garden City will instead be used to plug the black hole in Shepways finances.
Perhaps other authorities in dire straights might consider the other locations in my article.