Since its successful launch in May 2014, Crest Nicholson’s Finberry development has gone from strength to strength, establishing itself as one of the most desirable new communities in the county.
Attracting buyers from Ashford, across Kent and further afield to the outskirts of London, with many joining a waiting list well ahead of properties being released, Finberry’s popularity underpins Ashford’s reputation for offering the best of both worlds. The development is perfectly placed, surrounded by Kent countryside yet within easy reach of Ashford’s thriving town centre, and just 38 minutes to London by high-speed rail.
“We’re breaking new ground in Ashford and creating something that complements the many plans for an enhanced commercial and retail offering within the town itself,” says Crest Nicholson’s Development Director, Andrew Dobson.
“We believe in creating high-quality, sustainable schemes with a strong community spirit. It’s not just about building homes – our vision is to create a holistically planned community where the design, landscaping, open space and public realm are all vital elements of the whole development.”
Finberry is attracting a diverse mix of buyers, adds Andrew, ranging from first-time buyers to those trading up, downsizing or investing. So what makes it so successful?
“There are many reasons,” says Andrew. “The use of the Government Help to Buy scheme has made the development particularly popular because it enables potential purchasers to stretch to a home they may have been unable to afford otherwise. It means they can live in this desirable part of Ashford and be part of this new community.”
“And of course, as well as everything that Finberry itself has to offer, it also has a wealth of facilities on its doorstep, including the Ashford Designer Outlet, easy access to the M20 at junction 10, Ashford town centre and Ashford International Station for direct links to London St Pancras in just 38 minutes or Paris in just under two hours.”
Finberry was the very first site in England to sign up for the Government’s Get Britain Building programme. The development received £2.3 million of investment via the Homes and Communities Agency in 2013 which enabled Crest Nicholson to press ahead with vital infrastructure and earthworks. Approximately £16.5 million has now been invested in infrastructure, including constructing the main access road.
Once complete, this visionary new village, which is taking shape beside Ashford’s East Stour River, will comprise 1,180 homes, delivered in 14 phases. It will also provide seven hectares of commercial space and a range of facilities, including a primary school, convenience store, restaurant, health centre, community centre and sports pitches, along with 200 trees, more than half a mile of hedging, artwork and three ornamental lakes.
Stour Meadows is the first phase of 140 units and is now coming to an end, with just a final few three-bedroom homes remaining. Green Oaks is the second phase of 245 units, and its first release of 54 homes was launched in January this year, with 13 already sold.
Finberry’s exciting expansion has been in progress since 2016, with plans to transform the heart of the village with new shops and a new high street. Planning applications have now been submitted for a further 412 homes on the Bilham Lawn and Captains Wood sites, in addition to a new play area, a food store, three retail units, a pub / restaurant, and office space.
One of the biggest changes to the community will be the arrival of the new two-form Finberry Primary School on the Stour Meadows site. Planning was secured this year and the new building is scheduled to open in September 2017.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, says: “One of the most attractive aspects of living in Ashford is the quality of life it offers and the provision of high-quality housing is a top priority.
“We demand exceptional standards in both the design and build of new housing and Finberry is an example of what can be achieved, successfully combining first-rate neighbourhood amenities with green space and easy access to the countryside. We will continue to monitor quality standards in all our housing developments to ensure that they continue throughout the build period, until the development is complete.”
Andrew adds: “Working with Ashford Borough Council has been a pleasure. They care about this development as much as Crest Nicholson does and they understand what we’re trying to achieve.
“Finberry has blossomed into a flourishing community and we’re very proud to be here.”
For or further details about Finberry, go to www.crestnicholson.com/finberry