As you may be aware, over 15 years ago planning permission was granted by Dartford Borough Council for Whitecliffe (formerly Eastern Quarry) to be developed for a new mixed-use community including 6,250 homes, green space and new leisure, retail and commercial facilities.
The site is located in the wider area that makes up the Ebbsfleet Garden Village. The vision for Whitecliffe is based around three villages referred to as Ashmere (to the west), Alkerden (in the centre of the site) and Castle Hill (located to the east).
Running through the centre of Whitecliffe, between Alkerden and Ashmere, will be the Major Urban Park. This will be the largest area of public parkland to be delivered in Whitecliffe, and will connect to Castle Hill Lakes in the south and Alkerden Lane in the north.
Spanning 48 acres (the equivalent of 24 football pitches), the park will contain many elements that will benefit the residents of Ebbsfleet Garden City including a new civic square, sports and recreational facilities and connections through to the wider footpath and cycle network.
The Project Team
The Major Urban Park site is owned by Henley Camland, a joint venture between Henley Investments and place-making and infrastructure firm Camland. CBRE have been appointed as specialists in commercially-focused planning solutions.
Priding themselves on shaping places that enrich people’s lives, Define are the landscape architects responsible for the Major Urban Park. The company has been working on the designs across Whitecliffe for some time and previously designed the Platinum Jubilee Park and Lake Edge Landscape in Castle Hill.
Award-winning public art specialists, FrancisKnight have been appointed to write the public art plan, alongside Principal Artist, Christopher Tipping.
Middlemarch is a natural environment consultancy who will ensure proposals consider and are sensitive to the ecological context of the site. Cotswold Archaeology are advising on the enhancement and preservation of the site’s heritage assets.
Your Major Urban Park
The Major Urban Park will be the largest of the new parks within Whitecliffe and the project team are preparing detailed proposals that will lead into a planning submission later this year. The park will provide a central public space for both new residents and the existing communities of Swanscombe and Greenhithe.
The park will stretch from the Craylands Gorge and Alkerden Barn Area in the North, down past the Chalk Spine, across the Fastrack and then to the south where it connects into Castle Hill Lakes.
The aim is to create a long seamless stretch of green space that connects the north of the development to the south through the middle of the site, and east to west across the northern boundary.
The new park is of significant scale and will need to meet a range of different needs amongst the community. This could potentially include spaces and places for:
- Sports; including a multi-use games area and sports pitches
- Running and walking routes
- Cultural and community events
- Public Art interpretation
- Play areas
- Community growing areas
- Picnic areas
- Older children’s play, including a skate park
- Wildlife friendly and protected areas
- Seating and relaxing
- Areas for the community to design alongside the project team
Through this consultation we’re keen to hear if these are the right mix of spaces for the park and whether we should be planning for other uses for the area. This is your opportunity to help shape a truly fantastic space.
- March-May 2023: Pre-application engagement including site visits, Community Board meeting and Ebbsfleet Design Forum.
- June – August 2023: Public engagement period
- August 2023: Virtual engagement presentation
- August 2023: Targeted planning application submission
- Winter 2023: Anticipated approval of planning application