ON designs Sweetings for Dandara

Leading developer Dandara has appointed ON Architecture to deliver the detailed design of 110 new homes on the edge of East Malling in Kent.

After purchasing a 16-acre site with planning permission, Dandara is now bringing forward a new housing development that provides much-needed housing for the local community and also aids cutting-edge horticultural research.

James Rowland, Associate at ON Architecture, said: “Our design team will draw on traditional Kentish features from the surrounding area to ensure the new development will blend into its North Downs surroundings.

“The homes will be built from red bricks with weatherboarding, chimneys and decorative features including tile hangings and brick arches above windows to create an aesthetically pleasing environment.”

The development, to be called The Sweetings, will provide a wide range of properties from one- and two-bedroom apartments to a diverse selection of two- to five-bedroom houses, including townhouses, terraced, semi-detached and detached homes, close to East Malling station.

Every new home will come with allocated parking, supplemented by a generous provision of visitor spaces, while there will also be new footpaths and cycleways to encourage environmentally-friendly car-free journeys. The design of the development has been landscape-led with special care taken to preserve the on-site mature trees and historic hedges.

These green corridors have defined the layout design and have been integrated into visually appealing street scenes. These will be complemented with a new pond, areas of public open space and children’s play facilities that will be open for the wider community to enjoy too.

The land was purchased from the East Malling Trust, a charity focused on the advancement of horticultural- and plant-based research to benefit the public and the industry from its 500-acre estate in Kent. The Trust is using the sale to help co-fund the delivery of phase 1 of its campus redevelopment, including a state-of-the-art facilities building and glasshouses; helping to expand the area’s reputation for world-class research into fruit trees and soft fruit growing.

Rupert Home, Development Director at Dandara South East, said: “The acquisition of this site reflects Dandara’s continued commitment to developing high quality, reasonably priced homes in the best locations throughout the South East.

“Its purchase will result in significant re-investment in the East Malling horticultural and agricultural research centre, whilst its development will create local economic activity, provide jobs and deliver essential private and affordable housing.”

Commenting on the land sale to Dandara, Oliver Doubleday, Chairman of East Malling Trust, said: “We were impressed with Dandara’s vision for the residential development which reflects the local area’s architecture and landscape, and aligns with our commitment to be a good neighbour to residents in East Malling and Ditton.

“The revenue generated from the sale of the land, which is no longer required for field trials, will help continue protect and develop more than a century of world-class scientific research undertaken here in Kent.”

A quarter of the new homes will be affordable housing, with 70% of those being available for affordable rent and the rest for purchase using shared ownership. With homes suitable for single people, couples, new families and larger households, The Sweetings has been designed to support the foundation of a thriving new community.

Founded in 1988, Dandara is currently focusing on boutique developments around Kent and Sussex. The acquisition of The Sweetings adds to a growing portfolio of land in these highly desirable areas.