02 JUN 2018

Dovorians to get 'first pick' on Farthingloe homes

Dovorians will be given 'first pick' on scores of affordable homes for young people at Farthingloe, according to the man behind the project. More than 500 new houses and flats are proposed to be built on the brownfield site – where temporary housing for Channel Tunnel workers once stood.

I recently met CGI operations director Rob Prince at Farthingloe, off the B2011. I asked Mr Prince for assurances that young people and renters looking to get on the housing ladder would benefit from the plans.

Mr Prince said he wants to give priority to Dovorians who want to get on the housing ladder. He said he cares about Dover being a town on the up and giving young people a chance to buy their first home, and that there will be affordable housing. 

The ambitious project – which includes £5 million of investment in the historic Drop Redoubt – was previously given planning permission by Dover District Council in April 2015. But following a lengthy court battle over a planning technicality raised by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the proposals are now being resubmitted – with a few enhancements.

There will be fewer residential units proposed at the Western Heights – from 94 to 40. Less land is being developed at Farthingloe, increasing green space. The height of buildings in the south west corner is also being reduced. Mr Prince's draft plans include: 66 one-bed flats, 43 two-bed flats, three three-bed flats, 14 one-bed houses, 180 two-bed houses, 170 three-bed houses and 45 four-bed houses.

I asked how much these homes would cost. Mr Prince said if they were to go on sale in today's market, a two-bed house would be on sale for around £200,000 and a three-bed house would be around £250,000. The prices for flats would probably start at £100,000.

The project also includes repairs and restoration work to historic structures at the Western Heights, including St Martin's Battery the Guard Room and Officer and Soldiers' Quarters. The Drop Redoubt will be converted into a museum / visitor centre to attract more tourists to Dover. There will be improvements to the landscaping around the Grand Shaft pedestrian connections with the Drop Redoubt – including a reinstated swing bridge to create a safe visitor entrance. A 130-bed hotel is also proposed.

Everyone knows we need to build more homes so young people and renters have a chance to get on the housing ladder. We all want Dover and Deal to be a place where you can get a job, have a home to call your own and raise a family. So I'm delighted with these ambitious plans to build affordable homes for Dovorians on the brownfield site at Farthingloe. Let's get on with building the homes we need.

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Charlie Elphicke

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