Frequently Asked Questions

About the development

Who is developing Orchard Farm?

The developer of Orchard Farm is Orchard Farm Kent Ltd (OFKL). OFKL is a partnership between the specialist Dutch self-build experts, Steenvlinder BV and local architect-led Kent developer, Urbanise Ltd.

What is the development plan for Orchard Farm?

OFKL’s aim is to create a self-build community where people will build their own home, with an architect and builder, or by themselves.

How many plots will be available?

Around 113 plots are planned for Orchard Farm.

What types of homes will be on the site?

10% will be affordable rental properties;

20% will be affordable shared ownership housing;

70% will be private housing.

How much will it cost to build a house at Orchard Farm?

Prices per square metre will vary according to the building method, building materials and which third parties are being contracted. Including buying the land, it will cost roughly the same as buying a new house in Kennington from a large developer but you get the layout you want.

What are the stages of the development?

OFKL are preparing a masterplan including the detail for all the public places. We will build the road infrastructure, mains services up to each plot, public area landscaping and all other communal areas and facilities. 

Customers will purchase a serviced plot. The package will include a Plot Passport, which will define conditions on the volume and height of the building and where you can build on the plot as well as the architecture, referring to a site-wide Design Code.

The Plot Passport and Design Code will have already been approved by Ashford Borough Council. This will enable customers, who submit compliant proposals to be quickly granted Full Planning Permission.

After purchasing the serviced plot, the customer will take responsibility for ensuring their house is built, usually by employing an architect and a builder.

What are the plot sizes?

Our masterplan includes a range of different size plots to allow for different size houses.  It is envisaged that the smallest house will be a terraced two-bedroom house and that the house sizes will range from 80 to 350 square metres. 

The confirmed details of the plot sizes and prices will be provided when the plots go up for sale in early 2023.  

What will be the height of the houses?
Most of the houses will be one or two storeys with possibly three storey houses in key locations e.g., on a corner site.
What kind of external finishes will be allowed?

We want the development to reflect its location, so the Design Code will include a palette of external materials that are indigenous to this part of East Kent, such as red bricks, black or white painted timber weatherboard, profiled metal sheet, plain clay tiles and half-timbering. 

What will be the size of the gardens?

There will be a variety of garden types and sizes.  

Plots in the Lanes in the centre of the site will have small private front gardens (1 to 2m) with good sized private rear gardens (min 10m).  

Plots in the Courtyards in the centre of the site will have no private front garden but will share the Courtyard with their neighbours.  They will have good sized private rear gardens (min 10m).  

Plots next to the Lanes on the south and east edge of the site will have small private front gardens (1 to 2m) and small private rear gardens (4m) with a communal Meadow beyond a 1.2-metre-high hedge. 

Plots in the Courtyards backing onto the Meadow will have communal front gardens and a short private rear garden (4m) with communal Meadow beyond a 1.2-metre-high hedge. 

Plots fronting the Orchard will have a small private front garden (1-2 m) opening directly to the Orchard and standard private rear garden (min 10 m). 

The Patio/Tiny house type in north east corner of site will have no front garden and small patio rear garden.     

NB. All gardens fronting communal areas would have a low hedge on the boundary growing on the communal land.

What parking will be available?
We aim to make the development pedestrian and cyclist friendly and they will take priority however there will be parking from 1 to 3 spaces per house, meeting the standard required in the Ashford Borough Council Local Plan.
How will you incorporate sustainability?

The plans under consideration include a community orchard, community meadows and drainage systems that improve water quality. In addition, to reduce the community’s carbon footprint there will be no gas and the use of heat pumps, onsite electricity generation and possibly community heating will be actively encouraged. OFKL will welcome other sustainable initiatives  suggested by the self-builders.  

OFLK will also encourage cycling and walking by giving priority to those means of transport and by ensuring we connect to the existing cycling infrastructure around the site. The cycling distance to the centre of Ashford is currently only fifteen minutes from Orchard Farm.

What will be the increase in the traffic in Canterbury Road?

Kent Highways have estimated that there will be 37 extra cars in the peak hour for the new development. Currently there are 1300 cars passing the entrance to Orchard Farm in the peak hour.

How are you dealing with the Stodmarsh Lakes issue?

OFKL’s hydrology consultants are producing solutions to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that will end up in the River Stour from Orchard Farm and ensure that the development is ‘nutrient neutral’.  The solution will be set out in detail as part of our planning application for assessment and approval by Ashford Borough Council in consultation with other key stakeholders including Natural England.  

What will be the impact of the Orchard Farm development on the community infrastructure?

We will be creating new community facilities on the site as well as new public spaces and public footpaths and bridleways linking across our development to the adjacent development and beyond to Conningbrook Lakes Country Park. We will be paying for works to Canterbury Road to make it more pedestrian friendly, including reducing the speed limit to 30mph, installing a new pavement on the east side of the road and constructing a signalised pedestrian crossing.

We will also be contributing a total of around £1.4million towards;

  • Adult Social Care
  • Allotments
  • Children’s play space
  • Community Learning
  • Health Care
  • Natural Green Space
  • Libraries
  • Outdoor sports spaces
  • Primary Schools (contribution to land and building of a brand new, two form entry school on the adjacent development)
  • Secondary Schools
  • Strategic parks
  • Youth services
When can I buy a plot?

We are planning to offer plots for sale in Phase 1 in early 2023.

How can I finance a self-build home? 

We will be providing more information on how you can finance a self-build home when we launch the plots for sale. In the meantime, this is a useful article that explains more about self-build mortgages    

How can I make sure I can secure a plot?
Register your interest now and be involved in helping us shape the new community.
How long does it take to build a house?
About 12 months depending how complicated and large your house is.

Self-build at Orchard Farm

What is self-build?
Self-build enables you to be a housebuilder.  You buy a plot of land and work with your own architect and builder to build your house, or you can build the house yourself. The result is a house designed and built for you; around the way you want to live your life.  
Why should I consider self-build?

If you want to live in a home designed around the way you live, in a neighbourhood where you can participate to make it a safe, lively and vibrant community, then self-build might be for you.

OFKL are making self-build a simple route to designing, building and owning a home that fits the way you want to lead your life.

OFKL’s development partner, Steenvlinder BV, has been delivering plots for self-builders in the Netherlands for over six years and their process is simple, effective and easy to understand.  At Orchard Farm you can build your own ‘Grand Design’ home, or something more straight-forward. You’ll have an OFKL coach to hold your hand throughout the process, helping you to avoid the headaches and successfully build your house.

Why should I self-build rather than buy from a large developer?

Large developers build houses to a limited set of standard patterns, with very little scope for customers to alter the design of their house or its environment to more closely fit their needs.

When you choose self-build, you define your budget with your architect and then design and build your house, so that it will meet your needs and will closely fit the way you want to live your life.

The location

Where is Orchard Farm situated?

Orchard Farm is located in the heart of Kent in Kennington (TN25 4DU), a village approximately 3 miles to the north of Ashford in south east England. The site is just over 2 miles from Ashford International station where high speed trains offer a journey time of 38 minutes to London (with an easy connection to Kings Cross station and important destinations in the rest of UK).

There are also excellent road links from Ashford to London and Europe . It’s just seventeen minutes' drive to Eurotunnel in Folkestone on the M20 motorway and thirty minutes to the Port of Dover on the M20 and A20.

London’s two main airports are within easy reach. By car, Gatwick is an hour away with Heathrow only a further 30 minutes around the M25. 

Bus stops next to Orchard Farm offer services to the centre of Ashford and Canterbury and there are many cycle routes, providing the opportunity to choose a healthier way to travel to work or school or to get out and about to enjoy the surrounding countryside.

What makes Orchard Farm a great place to live?

Orchard Farm is surrounded by countryside to the north and is only one mile from the North Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, one of the most attractive parts of Kent.  Meanwhile just a short cycle ride to the south is the bustling town of Ashford with the bonus of fast links to London from Ashford International station.

This part of Kent has also become renowned for its foodie offer, with several highly regarded restaurants and a host of independent food producers and retailers.

Where can I shop near to Orchard Farm?

For grocery shopping, it’s a short, fifteen minute walk to the Co-op or a larger Sainsbury’s supermarket is 2 miles away.

County Square Shopping Centre in Ashford town centre has over fifty stores including well known brands whilst across the road at Elwick Place you’ll find Macknade, a café with a deli attached stocked with delicious goodies from Kent & further afield.

The Ashford Designer outlet 3.5 miles from Orchard Farm offers over seventy stores including many well known fashion brands and a variety of restaurants.

Where can I eat out near to Orchard Farm?

Stubbs restaurant is just a few minutes’ walk away from Orchard Farm. Another five minutes along Canterbury Road towards Ashford, the Conningbrook Hotel is open to non-residents for food and drink.

In the other direction along Canterbury Road, The Old Mill pub is six minutes’ walk from Orchard Farm and, on Faversham road, you’ll find Williams and Thomas Tearoom just 15 minutes walk away.

Marino’s Fish Baris also a 15 minute walk from Orchard Farm and Bybrook Barn Harvester is a three minute drive.

Three miles away, Champneys Eastwell Manor Hotel and Spa not only offers afternoon tea, healthy lunches and fine dining but also the Champneys Health Spa.

Near Ashford International station, The Coachworks sells a range of street food and drinks sourced from local suppliers outside in The Yard and The Hothouse is a venue for live music and DJs plus food markets and exhibitions. 

What are the schools like?

Orchard Farm is close to excellent primary and secondary schools including;

Downs View Infant School
Ball Lane
Kennington TN25 4PJ

Kennington Academy
Upper Vicarage Road
Kennington TN24 9AG

Towers School and Sixth Form Centre
Faversham Road TN24 9AL

Ashford Senior School 
East Hill, Ashford, TN24 8PB

A new primary school will be built on the housing site adjoining Orchard Farm in the next two to three years.

Find our more about all the schools and colleges in Ashford

What are the opportunities for sports and fitness?

Cricket
Kennington Cricket Club

Dance

Jasmin Vardimon
In summer 2022, the company will move into its new creative home in Javelin Way.

Football
Kennington Football Club

Rugby

Ashford Rugby Club 

Gym

The Gym Group Ashford

Snap Fitness

Hockey
Ashford Hockey Club

Leisure Centres, Swimmimg Pools, Health Clubs and Spas

Bannatyne Health Club and Spa

The Park Club

The Stour Centre

Attractions

Ashford Museum

Conningbrook Lakes Nature Reserve
0.9 mile/20 minute walk

The Hawking Centre Falconry
2.8 miles/8 minute drive

Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve
21 minute drive

Rare Breeds Centre
12 miles/ 20 min drive

Canterbury Cathedral
12 miles/20 minutes drive

Revelation Ashford

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