Octopus Real Estate has completed a £22 million loan secured on a 48-acre site with planning consent for the development of 400 new homes in Ashford, Kent. The site forms part of a wider 140-acre mixed use development, Waterbrook Park, being delivered by GSE Property Group and Mulberry Homes. With a strong focus on ecology, the consented scheme will incorporate a new wetland and a large-scale reed bed to generate nutrient neutrality across the site, ensuring the development does not add to existing nutrient burdens on the surrounding water environment. Wider landscaping will provide significant green space, with hundreds of mature trees being planted around the site’s perimeter.
40 affordable houses will be interspersed amongst the 360 open market units, with a community hub, farm shop, café and co-working facility all being provided. The wider scheme has already delivered one of Europe’s leading truck-stop facilities and will see restaurants and an Amazon distribution centre completed in the next two years. The site plays an important role in Ashford Borough Council’s 2030 Housing Delivery Action Plan to deliver well designed housing that will meet the needs of a fast-growing local population. It will also support the Council’s stated desire for an increase in wetland parks across the borough.
Dominic Gibson, Investment Director, Octopus Real Estate, commented: “We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to work with GSE and fund this important site. As an established local employer and investor, they appreciate the acute need for high quality housing stock and have designed a scheme that will significantly enhance the environmental and social quality of the area. It’s been clear from the outset of our relationship that GSE shares Octopus’ belief that investment and development should continuously improve its surrounding area. The loan demonstrates our commitment to high quality borrowers and underlines our continued belief in the importance of supporting regional markets across the UK and Ireland.”
Darrell Healy, Chairman, GSE Property Group, commented: “It’s been both refreshing and enjoyable to work with a lender that fully understands our experience and our plans for the site. GSE has delivered high quality development across the region and we’re looking forward to delivering 400 much needed new homes at Waterbrook Park. The Octopus team were great to work with – extremely professional and always approachable. We share Octopus’ desire for development schemes to make a positive impact on their local environments and markets, so have enjoyed establishing this important new funding relationship.”