Local residents may get the first opportunity to buy some of the 43 park homes that developers want to put on a site at Colesbrook, Gillingham.
Roger Till, the land director at Serenity Parks who aim to develop the plot off the B3092, said that restricting the purchase of the homes just to local people was ‘not a viable option’.
But he added: ‘It may be possible to offer a period of time where the units are offered for sale to local residents only.’
Mr Till was speaking at a meeting between the developers and Gillingham Town Council’s developer engagement advisory panel. Made up of councillors – but not those on the planning committee – council staff and local residents, the panel meets developers who are looking to submit an application, in order to exchange information.
At the meeting last week the panel raised questions about how the plans would benefit local people and also how the development for the over-55s would avoid spoiling the look of a site that lies between two conservation areas, at Colesbrook and Milton-on-Stour.
‘Designers are aware of the conservation areas,’ said Mr Till. ‘Heritage and landscape work will be carried out to mitigate against any concerns.’
He said that the low height of the bungalows – 4.1 metres – would lead to a ‘much-reduced impact on the local landscape setting and important viewpoints when compared with traditional residential development’.
The developers are also planning to put a wildflower meadow on the ‘western side of the site’, in other words near the B3092.
Mr Till said they were currently analysing the results of a public consultation on the plans and that they would soon be providing some computer-generated images to show how the site will look. ‘These images will dispel many concerns,’ he said.
The developers also dismissed suggestions that the site is not sustainable as it is too far out of town.
‘Residents of park home developments are generally fairly active and enjoy walking,’ said Roger Till.
‘The development will be close to the doctors surgery and will be within walking distance
of shops. It is 2.2km to the railway station and good footpath links are available.’
The company is due to lodge a formal application with Dorset Council in the coming weeks.