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Latest news: Waterbrook plans approved

Plans to develop Waterbrook, the 140 acre site near junction 10 of the M20 at Ashford, have been given the unanimous go-ahead.

The plans see the doubling of HGV parking capacity at the Ashford International Truckstop, as well as new commercial property expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs, plus retail space, 400 homes and parkland.

The proposals for Waterbrook, the land owned by Ashford-based GSE Group, were unanimously approved by Ashford Borough Council on Wednesday 19 July.

Darrell Healey, Managing Director of GSE Group, said: “This is great news for Ashford and Kent and is the combined efforts of our team working closely with the council’s planners. It will create a new business space and new homes for Ashford, as well as securing much-needed parking for lorries and new homes.

“Across Kent there is a growing shortage of high quality commercial property. Waterbrook will help sustain Ashford by supporting the growth of existing local businesses and help attract new ones, creating jobs for the growing population.”

GSE Group is expected to start work in September on the new, larger Ashford International Truckstop. When completed it will provide secure daytime and overnight parking for 600 HGVs.

During the construction programme, the existing truckstop will remain operational, helping minimise unlawful HGV parking in and around Ashford.

Forty five acres of Waterbrook will be developed for 70,000ft2 of new commercial space, alongside the existing Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency offices and planned Jaguar Land Rover dealership. When fully developed the commercial premises will provide employment for around 950 people.

To meet Ashford’s growing population, Waterbrook will include 400 new homes, which will be separated from the commercial property by a 13 acre linear park incorporating a small natural lake. A further 25 acres will be left undeveloped and schemes put in place to enhance the local ecology.

Recognising the need for local retail space, Ashford Borough Council has approved plans to develop a foodstore, as well as drive-through restaurants, plus a petrol filling station.

The proposed retail development will be convenient for residents and businesses at Waterbrook and nearby Finberry residents, providing day-to-day retailing, with a new link road and bridge over the River Stour.

The Maidstone office of DHA Planning took the lead on the planning application, environmental impact assessment and outline masterplanning for the site.

Jonathan Buckwell, director of DHA Planning, said: “This is a fantastic result for our client and for the people of Ashford who are currently suffering from the problem of illegal lorry parking.

“The committee’s unanimous vote demonstrates the value of putting together a high quality, comprehensive application package, supported by a robust Environmental Impact Assessment.

“The team assembled by DHA has worked tirelessly over several months to collate an application which made a compelling case for the development and addressed a number of challenges along the way.”

The detailed designs for the truckstop and commercial buildings at Waterbrook was developed by Canterbury-based Clague Architects,

Karl Elliott, partner at Clague, said: “Working closely with GSE Group and the team at the truckstop we were able to bring forward designs which will meet the needs of the business but also their customers by building in enhanced facilities and improved environmental performance.

“The new truckstop also brings with it community benefits for Ashford by providing an alternative place for HGV to park safely and not on local laybys or trading estates.

“The new commercial property will also provide much-needed places for local businesses to grow, employ more people and support Ashford’s future.”

To help attract the new businesses GSE Group has appointed property agents Sibley Pares and Knight Frank. GSE Group also worked with Cannon Consulting Engineers, Corylus Ecology, PJC Consultancy and Grant Acoustics on the plans for Waterbrook.

For further information please contact:

Andrew Metcalf, Maxim

Tel: 01892 513033 Email: Andrew@maxim-pr.co.uk

Waterbrook master plan submitted

A new master plan for Waterbrook has been unveiled and a planning application to bring forward new commercial and residential development, near Junction 10 of the M20 in Ashford, has been submitted.

The planning application, submitted by GSE Group who jointly own the land, will now be considered by Ashford Borough Council.

At the heart of the Waterbrook proposals is the recognition that there is a need to create new places for people to work, as well as new homes, in order to sustain Ashford’s economy.

The application also includes plans to develop new commercial space on 45 acres of the 140 acre site, alongside the existing Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency offices and planned Jaguar Land Rover dealership. When fully developed the commercial premises would provide employment for approximately 750 people.

Waterbrook is currently home to the award-winning Ashford International Truckstop, and the proposal is to increase it in size to securely park 600 lorries an evening, helping to reduce the impact of unlawful overnight parking on the local community.

To help Ashford meet the needs of its growing population, the Waterbrook proposals also include plans to develop 400 new homes, separated from the commercial property by a 13 acre linear park incorporating a small natural lake. A further 25 acres of Waterbrook will be left undeveloped and schemes put in place to enhance the local ecology.

Darrell Healey, Managing Director of GSE Group, said: “These proposals will help Ashford, and Kent, secure the jobs, secure parking for HGVs and houses that it needs.

“Across Kent there is a growing shortage of high quality commercial property. Waterbrook will deliver for Ashford by supporting the growth of existing local businesses and helping attract new ones.

“Ashford’s connectivity, thanks to high-speed rail and Eurostar, and the new junction 10a on the M20, will mean that Ashford is set for further economic growth and the outlook for the borough is positive.”

GSE Group has been working with local development experts including Clague Architects, DHA Planning, alongside Cannon Consulting Engineers, Corylus Ecology, PJC Consultancy and Grant Acoustics to finalise the plans for Waterbrook.

GSE Group has also appointed property agents Sibley Pares and Knight Frank to promote Waterbrook.

For further information please contact:

Andrew Metcalf, Maxim

Tel: 01892 513033 Email: Andrew@maxim-pr.co.uk

Ashford International Truckstop

Plans to extend Ashford International Truckstop have made the news after the Government announced a crackdown on foreign lorry drivers sleeping in their cabins by the roadside and the prospect of increasing the fines from £300 to £3,000.

Find out more here

Waterbrook plans presented to public

Visitors to the public exhibition examine the Waterbrook plansVisitors to the public exhibition examine the Waterbrook plansPlans for the creation of Waterbrook were shown to local councillors and residents at a public exhibition held at the offices of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce at Sevington on Thursday, July 27.

There was particular interest and positive feedback for the proposed new Ashford International Truckstop, which will almost double the capacity of the existing facility to 600 spaces and help cut down on the illegal parking of HGVs on residential roads in Ashford.

Plans to build up to 400 homes on the site will help Ashford Borough Council reach its target of 13,250 new houses by 2030, a figure that has recently been increased from 12,000.

The team working on the scheme will consider comments received from visitors to the exhibition as they prepare a planning application for the site, which will be submitted in the next few weeks.

The hybrid application will seek full planning permission for the new larger Ashford International Truckstop and outline permission for the remainder of the site.

Jaguar Land Rover chooses Waterbrook Park as its new Ashford home

Waterbrook Park, the business park near Junction 10 of the M20 in Ashford, is to be home to a £9m state-of-the-art Jaguar Land Rover retailer after a deal was struck with Barretts Motor Group.

The agreement with GSE Group, the Ashford-based company developing Waterbrook Park, involves the purchase of a five acre site and development of a 3,600m2 new car sales and service centre.

The new Jaguar Land Rover dealership is due to be operational in late 2018/early 2019, with the staff at the existing Orbital Park dealership relocating and the prospect of 20 new jobs.

Darrell Healey, Managing Director of GSE Group, said: “Jaguar Land Rover is synonymous with quality, design and British engineering. We’re delighted that Waterbrook Park will soon play its part in supporting the ongoing success of the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer.”

Paul Barrett, Managing Director of Barretts Motor Group, said: “We have seen a significant rise in sales of both Jaguar and Land Rover as new and exciting models have come to the market, most recently the Jaguar F-PACE, and the all new Land Rover Discovery and the forthcoming all-electric I-PACE.

“From under this one new roof in Ashford we will be able to showcase the full range of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, and also have the latest high-spec servicing facilities. We have outgrown our current local dealership, but still wanted easy access to the M20 and rest of Ashford.

Barretts Motor Group, which can trace it automotive roots in Kent back more than 115 years, joins Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (formerly VOSA), the vehicle inspection organisation, sponsored by the Department of Transport, at Waterbrook Park.

Waterbrook Park is also home to the award-winning Ashford International Truckstop, which owners GSE Group has plans to extend in size to meet growing demand and help remove unwelcome trucks from parking overnight in and around Ashford.

Visitors to the public exhibition examine the Waterbrook plans

Visitors to the public exhibition examine the Waterbrook plans

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Visitors to the public exhibition examine the Waterbrook plans

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