Plans

In July this year, the team from GSE Group held a public exhibition on its plans for Waterbrook.

The aim is to submit a planning application for the delivery of a mixed-use scheme providing new homes and commercial property, as well as the expansion of the award-winning Ashford International Truckstop.

See the information from our exhibition and submit your views

Waterbrook planning application 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 hybrid planning application prepared on behalf of GSE Group who own the 130 acres of land, will now be considered by Ashford Borough Council.

At the heart of the 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.

There are two distinct elements of the hybrid planning application, including:

1. An application for full planning permission for:

  • The construction and operation of a 600-space truck stop and associated buildings;
  • Buildings providing 6,308sqm GIA of class B1, B2 and B8 floorspace for small and medium enterprises;
  • Associated access, parking and landscaping, including highway infrastructure works to Waterbrook Avenue.

2. An application for outline planning permission (with all matters reserved) for:

  • 22 acres of employment uses comprising uses falling within use classes B1, B2 and B8,
  • A class A1 foodstore of up to 2323sqm, drive-through restaurants (use classes A3/A5), a petrol filling station and ancillary convenience store, and car showrooms (sui generis);
  • Up to 400 residential homes, with class A1 neighbourhood retail uses, associated drainage, parking, landscaping and infrastructure.
Waterbrook Park plan

Employment space

The proposals include developing new commercial space on 45 acres of the site, alongside the existing Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency offices and planned Jaguar Land Rover dealership. When fully developed the commercial premises would provide approximately 750 jobs.

The design of the Small & Medium Enterprise units has been led by the need for maximum flexibility for future users and creating courtyards to integrate the different businesses and provide a new employment centre for Ashford.

 

Expanded Truckstop

Waterbrook is 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.

The existing truck stop is now turning away 600 trucks every week, which cannot be accommodated. Even with the pre-booking service in operation, the unsatisfied demand is leading to long queues at the truck stop.

The 600-space truck stop will incorporate a 2,612sqm service building providing 1,734sqm of ancillary truck stop service facilities (catering facilities, toilets, showers, gym); plus a control and check-in booth, and 878sqm of B1 offices and associated landscape screen.

The movement of the HGVs has been analysed and the layout of the exterior is designed to ensure that the larger vehicles are kept away from pedestrian traffic and the different parts of the building are accessed independently.

The other facilities, including the shop, offices and toilets are located off the main thoroughfare which leads to the quieter garden space on the west side of the building. The food preparation and bar are located to the rear ground floor with service yard directly behind and away from principal elevations.

Internally, the truck stop service building is made up of two distinctive elements. At Ground floor is a truck stop designed around the requirements of lorry drivers seeking refreshment and relaxation and, at first floor, modern offices providing a high quality workplace.

 

New homes

It’s proposed that up to 400 new homes would be developed and separated from the commercial property by a 13 acre linear park incorporating a natural lake. A further 25 acres will be left undeveloped with schemes put in place to enhance the local ecology.

 

Open space

A central area of open space within Waterbrook would be laid out as a Linear Park, with its proposed waterbodies and landscaped built out across Waterbrook Avenue.

This proposed area of open space for public access would signal the entrance into the residential zone, and importantly separate the new homes from the employment areas and truck stop.

 

The rationale

Darrell Healey, Managing Director of GSE Group, said: “These proposals will help Ashford and Kent secure the jobs, overnight 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 the borough is set for further economic growth and the outlook for the borough is positive.”

 

Local expertise

GSE Group has been working with local development experts including Clague Architects, DHA Planning, alongside Cannon Transport 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 the site.

Waterbrook Park plan
Waterbrook Park plan

Plans

In July this year, the team from GSE Group held a public exhibition on its plans for Waterbrook.

The aim is to submit a planning application for the delivery of a mixed-use scheme providing new homes and commercial property, as well as the expansion of the award-winning Ashford International Truckstop.

Waterbrook Park plan

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Waterbrook Park plan
Waterbrook Park plan