Dover District Council gives 5,750-home masterplan the thumbs up
A masterplan for 5,750 new houses with shops, schools and community facilities has just been passed for development by Dover District Council. The plan is a radical approach to the major expansion of a village and was the outcome of close cooperation with the local community and a private planning initiative.
ADAM Urbanism, acting as masterplanners, worked closely with a team led by planning firm Barton Wilmore and included Barton Wilmore’s own landscape architects together with strategic landscape consultant Duncan Thomas, Peter Brett Associates working on highways, infrastructure and sustainability, Aspect Ecology and WSP advising on traffic modelling.
The plan followed the controversial allocation of housing around the small village of Whitfield separated by the A2 but on the northern edge of Dover. The allocation, originally opposed by local people, threatened to destroy the character of the village and swamp the existing community with higher density housing. In a series of workshops, attended by the local authorities, village representatives and representatives of other landowners, a solution to the problem emerged.
A chain of six distinct neighbourhoods or villages, separated by landscape, were clustered around the existing village. Guided by detailed landscape studies, the neighbourhoods or villages would each have their own identity and be developed one after another. The low density village of Whitfield would retain its distinct character and boundaries but would benefit from the new infrastructure and facilities made possible by the numbers of new residents.
The idea of a cluster of villages remained as the guiding vision as it was tested with a series of in-depth studies of community facilities, energy conservation, highways, services, infrastructure, education, ecology, landscape, built form and development phasing. The successful realisation of the vision in only 15 months was achieved by a remarkable working dynamic that developed with all the stakeholders, local authorities and private consultants.