Involving existing communities in the development of Otterpool Park is extremely important to us and has influenced our plans.
Members of the public, local organisations and stakeholders have all been consulted as the project has developed over three years. There will be opportunities for these communities to contribute throughout the lifespan of the project.
Public engagement events
Hundreds of people gave their views at a series of consultations in 2016, 2017 and 2018. These were aimed at reaching as wide a demographic as possible – young and old, the working population and those living further afield.
The time between each stage was used for further development of the draft masterplan proposals, as well as other site survey work and specialist research. The first two stages were about wider engagement during the early stages of the project and to encourage debate around emerging ideas; the third was a consultation on the draft masterplan.
The following adaptations to plans were made as a direct result of public feedback:
- Reducing the number of homes from 12,000 homes to 10,000. The outline planning application is for the first phase of 8,500 homes
- Otterpool Park will provide a wide range of different homes
- The site has been extended to approximately 765 hectares of land, reducing the density of the development
- Stronger walking and cycling links
- Extending green buffers around existing villages
- Realigning the A20 to relieve pressure on Newingreen and Lympne
- Work to accommodate the discovery of the remains of a Roman villa.
Two public exhibitions took place in May 2019 to further inform and educate about the detail of the planning application. Members of the Otterpool Park team were also available to answer questions and attendees were made aware of how they could formally feedback to the planning authority.
Around 300 people, including local residents and businesses, attended the exhibitions at Westenhanger Castle and at the Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone.
All of the information displayed at the exhibitions is available on our Documents & Downloads page.
Involving schools and local organisations
Our aspiration is to involve as many people as possible in the development of Otterpool Park, to help connect the emerging new community with the existing communities around it.
Our engagement work considers that local students from schools and colleges in the surrounding area will be potential future Otterpool Park residents. In 2018 we worked with Folkestone College to commission a film about Otterpool Park by students from the EDGE School of Creative and Business.
Watch the short film made by Folkestone College students below:
From an early stage in the evolution of Otterpool Park, we also met regularly with a range of local stakeholders, including the Kent County Council, parish and town councils, the MP, the Local Enterprise Partnership and other interested parties.
We will continue to talk to these groups to seek their input and feedback as Otterpool Park takes shape.