Located in a rural setting to the west of Tonbridge, but within the district of Sevenoaks, this 52 acre facility operated by Glaxo Smith Klein had been in industrial use since the Napoleonic Wars when it was first developed as a gun powder mill. The land was acquired from GSK by Ashill after the corporate decision was made to close the facility.
The site, with 10 acres of previously developed land, presented significant technical challenges not only above ground with large buildings containing contaminated materials and plant, but also below ground with widespread soil and ground water contamination, alongside topographical challenges and flood risk.
After a consultation campaign with local stakeholders resulting in widespread support for the residential redevelopment of the site, officers at the Council granted planning permission for 79 new homes under delegated powers without the need for a full planning committee vote.
In addition to the new homes including affordable housing delivered by Bellway Homes, the redevelopment secured the complete remediation of the site, landscaping of open spaces and the safeguarding of biodiversity and woodland areas, plus financial contributions to mitigate the impact of the development on local services. The historical nature of the site was also documented in new archeological records and with onsite information boards.