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Proctor & Matthews lodges plans for 'garden-city' homes in Canterbury

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Proctor & Matthews Architects has submitted a 140-home ‘garden city’ development on the outskirts of Canterbury for detailed planning

The scheme marks the first phase of a major extension to the Kent city at Mountfield Park.

The wider development – masterplanned by David Lock Associates – includes proposals for up to 4,000 new homes and 70,000m² of ‘employment floorspace’ on the south-eastern fringe of the city.

Backed by Corinthian Land, plans at the 5ha site include six residential ‘clusters’, each made up of stepped terraced houses, external courtyards and walled gardens.

The elevated site also provides views of Bell Harry, the tower of Canterbury Cathedral, intended as a ‘visual connection’ between the historic city centre and the new quarter.

Proctor & Matthews director Stephen Proctor said: ’Our proposals for Mountfield Park offer a contemporary interpretation of a ‘garden city’, providing well-designed and contemporary new homes with a deep respect for context and character.

‘Our previous work in Kent – such as Horsted Park in Chatham – has explored local vernacular traditions, and it has been exciting to do so again in Canterbury – one of Britain’s finest medieval cities.’

If approved, work is expected to start on site in early 2017, with the first homes completed by March 2018.

Canterbury site masterplan

Canterbury site masterplan

Source: Proctor and Matthews

Overall scheme with Proctor and Matthews’ project marked in red

Project data

Location Canterbury
Type of project Residential
Client Corinthian Mountfield
Architect Proctor & Matthews Architects
Landscape architect Lloyd Bore

View the planning application for Mountfield Park here

Architects’ view 

A close study of nearby courtyard farms and the site’s existing landscape – dominated by a grid of hops fields, fruit orchards and planted shelter belts - has informed Proctor & Matthews’ design approach.

The phase one development is consequently arranged as six residential clusters, each one a series of courts made up of interconnected houses with an orchard landscape focus at the heart of each grouping. In response to the site’s undulating topography, the clusters are configured as a series of stepped terraces, with the edge of the tallest apartment court acting as a significant townscape marker at the entrance of a proposed new country park.

Each residential court cluster is contained within a red brick perimeter wall incorporating gables, chimneys and perforated brick panels. This echoes Kent village streetscapes, and provides a distinctive profile to the clusters. White masonry gables rise above the wall – a hint of the predominantly white courtyard facade walls of each home. Red clay tile roofs dominate, while natural slate is used in places to add variety and accentuate particular buildings. A scattering of different gable treatments offers further visual interest.

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