Published: Wednesday, 15th November 2023
Work to improve community facilities on the Spitals Cross estate in Edenbridge will begin very shortly.
The £10.3m project will make a significant contribution to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area. The project includes 64 parking spaces (including four new areas of parking to serve the wider estate), a modern community hall and shop, 23 environmentally-friendly homes, cycle parking, better public signage, enhanced landscaping, open space and a new play area. Sevenoaks District Council has appointed Oakwood Building Contractors Ltd to undertake the construction works for the project.
Work will begin when the interiors of the existing social club, run by the Fircroft Tenants and Residents Association (FTRA), and shop are removed from 20 November. Both buildings are set to be demolished with the main construction works beginning early in the New Year (2024).
The entire project is expected to take around two years with completion in early 2026.
The social club and shop were built in the 1960s and have served the community well for many years but both are now in need of significant improvement and modernisation.
Parking on the estate has also been a problem in recent years. Few people owned a car when the London County Council built the estate 60 years ago, but the area has now become congested with many residents struggling to park their vehicles.
Following two extensive consultations in 2022, the Council produced updated plans that took on board residents’ comments, including fewer new homes than first proposed allowing for more parking spaces. Planning permission was approved for all the works on 17 August 2023.
The parking spaces include some electric charging points. The new community hall includes a fit-for purpose multi-use area, kitchen and improved storage so it can, once again, become a community and events space at the hub of the estate. The shop will provide a valuable retail offer to local residents and the wider community.
The 23 new homes are helping to pay towards the community improvements along with £375,000 of funding secured from the Brownfield Land Release Fund.
Cllr Julia Thornton, Leader of the Council, says: “We are very excited to begin work on this significant package of improvements, the biggest on the Spitals Cross estate since it was built back in the 1960s, to give local residents the facilities and amenities they deserve and need.
“Residents have told us for some time that finding a parking space on the estate is often difficult and while the shop and club have served them well for many generations, they have become dated and are now in need of replacement.
“These extensive improvement works, largely funded by the new homes, will help ensure the Spitals Cross community can thrive for generations to come.”
Further information is available at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/spitalscross.
The Brownfield Land Release Fund is a cross-Government initiative between the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and One Public Estate (OPE) which is delivered in partnership by the Local Government Association and the Cabinet Office.