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NEW BUSINESS PARK: Woodcut Farm 'to create 1,000 jobs'

Thursday 26th November 2020

THIS is the first image of how the new business park to be built at Woodcut Farm is likely to look.

The scheme, near junction eight of the M20, is designed to attract hundreds of jobs to the site when it is finished.

Outline planning permission for the development was granted in 2018 and a revised masterplan prepared by the applicant, Maidstone Investment Holding Limited (MIHL), was then approved by Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) earlier this year.

This sets out details for the layout and appearance for the first phase of development, incorporating substantial landscaping for the whole site.

An MIHL statement said that some slightly larger buildings (1,400 -2,800 sqm) have been requested, adding it bridges the gap between the smaller and larger units currently permitted.

It diversifies “options available to the market but also enabling successful smaller businesses to stay and grow their business on-site, rather than being forced to relocate elsewhere”.

Development manager Nick Berry said: “We’re delighted the masterplan has been approved and we can now bring forward these applications for consideration. We look forward to continuing to work with all interested parties to bring forward a first class, sustainable employment location for the borough.”

Critics of the controversial scheme said it was in the wrong place and would cause traffic issues on the already busy A20. They doubt whether it will attract local jobs.

 

What the developers say it will achieve:

o High quality commercial units with footprint sizes ranging from circa 440 sqm – 4,950 sqm, targeting small to medium businesses;

o The buildings are set into a landscape with extensive planting of native woodland, new ponds and uses locally prominent materials, such as ragstone, on walls and feature points throughout the site to create a sense of place and identity;

 o Sustainability is central to the scheme, with water capture and photovoltaic panels on the larger buildings and green roofs on the smaller buildings, feeding into rapid electric charging points for cars and commercial vehicles across the site;

o Once completed the Park is expected to create in the region of 725 -1,250 jobs for the borough.

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