A major housing development in Ashford – one of the fastest growing towns in the South East – has won a prestigious national award.
Finberry, a collection of cottages and family homes being built by developer Crest Nicholson, was crowned winner in the ‘outstanding landscaping for housing’ category of The Sunday Times British Home Awards 2017, overcoming fierce competition from impressive developments across the country. The project was also named a finalist in the ‘development of the year (200 homes or more)’ award.
Finberry is a visionary and highly sustainable new community in Ashford, with innovative landscape design at its heart. When complete, the development will comprise a collection of 1,100 homes, offering a blend of traditionally designed apartments, cottages, and family houses, surrounded by extensive countryside and tranquil woodland.
Strict planning and quality standards apply at Finberry as a result of a strong partnership between Crest Nicholson and the local authority. Ashford Borough Council believes in integrated and well-planned developments that have quality at their heart which is why in October 2011 the council introduced strict space standards for new homes and gardens. The Government followed by bringing in nationally prescribed space standards for dwellings in 2015.
Given the site’s proximity to surrounding wetland habitat, Crest Nicholson worked with landscape architects to create a series of water features at the entrance of the development. Three ornamental lakes were constructed, decorated with species like alder and willow, which along with the mature oak and cherry trees flanking the entrance, create a peaceful environment for people to enjoy.
Beyond the well-manicured open spaces and ancient woodland that are central to the development, more natural wetland habitats have also been formed within the existing flood plain to significantly improve the biodiversity of the area.
Finberry is a joint development managed by Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects and Crest Nicholson Eastern.
Andrew Dobson, Managing Director at Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects, said: “This award is a fantastic achievement. At Finberry, there were significant natural and technical challenges we had to overcome to make the site viable, but challenges provided us with a brilliant opportunity to use the site’s natural features to create a sense of arrival in harmony with the existing countryside.
“The site is a key growth area for Ashford Borough Council, providing much needed housing and community assets and on top of this, we’ve worked hard to ensure that Finberry is a thoughtfully designed and beautifully landscaped development.”
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “We are pleased to learn of this news and the national recognition for Finberry. From the outset, the emphasis has been firmly on quality and Crest Nicholson has not only been an advocate for this development but for Ashford as a whole and we thank them for the part they are playing in telling everyone that they are one of Ashford’s success stories.”
Finberry also provides a wealth of amenities to support the thriving community such as an 80-bed extra care facility, shopping centre, and sports pitches. Finberry Primary School opened in September.