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Plans Announced to Develop 750 New Homes in Kent

A charity that has offered to build a new hospice worth £7m wants the facility to be part of the largest housing development Canterbury has received in decades.

If its proposal is accepted, Pentland Properties Ltd intends to construct 750 new homes, a new 16-bed site for Canterbury’s Pilgrims Hospice, a 60-bed nursing home, a primary school, and community facilities. The scheme would also include a new road providing access to the A2 as well as a park and ride service to bring residents to and from the city.

The Pilgrims Hospice will be relocated from its current position on London Road with the existing building sold to help offset the construction costs, with any remainder going to Pilgrims for future operating expenses.

Now the Tory Family Foundation charity, which is based in Etchinghill, has publicly offered to finance the construction of a new hospice at the Thanington development.

Pilgrims Hospices chief executive Cate Russell confirmed that Pilgrims was completely dedicated to providing quality care for hospice residents at a new Canterbury location.

She added that the current building at London Road was unable to provide the levels of care and services that newer hospices deliver. In the interim, Pilgrims is facing the need to heavily refurbish or rebuild entirely.

The Thanington development has not yet been placed before the Canterbury city council’s planning committee. The proposed build site is Pentland-owned farmland behind the current Thanington housing estate.

Pentland will be working closely with developer Mark Quinn, from Kent-based Quinn Estates to design the project. Mr Quinn’s previous accomplishments include the Foundry Business Park in Faversham, which consists of 78 homes and 37 commercial units, and GAU University campus in Canterbury.

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Consortium spokesman Martin Hart said that the opportunity was an exciting one that addressed the need for family homes in Canterbury and provides the social and transport infrastructure needed for the future.

At present the UK needs to build 200,000 to 300,000 new homes a year in order to meet the housing needs of a growing populace. In March a report compiled for London Mayor Boris Johnson advised that overspill from London’s increasing population could be accommodated by 215,000 new properties constructed in Canterbury, Medway, Dover and Thanet.

Mr Hart said that the chance to provide a new hospice with the support of the Tory Family Foundation is a bonus that enables Pilgrims Hospices to upgrade its Canterbury location without any interruption in service delivery at the location on London Road.

The Thanington Park proposals will be exhibited to the public at the Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence, Old Dover Road on the weekend of June 13 and 14.

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