A former laboratory site in Kent is being transformed into an exclusive new housing development.
The redundant facility at East Malling Research, had been dormant for 15 years, before its planned regeneration was put into motion three years ago by Millwood Designer Homes, which intends to build 37 properties on the site.
The building’s owners the horticultural charity, East Malling Trust, had bought the buildings from Defra (Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs).
Jeff Elliott, Millwood’s deputy managing director, said: “This is one of those rare moments where we can play a part in creating a new hamlet set within the heart of the Kent countryside, and at the same time help to ensure the future productivity of the orchards and fruit farms synonymous with Kent.”
The residential development, with established orchards on all sides, has been designed to celebrate the local vernacular in terms of its architectural design and at the same time incorporate allotments and environmentally friendly technologies and for most of the houses.
Adrian Padfield, chief executive of East Malling Trust, said: “The Ditton Laboratories dated back to 1929 and were no longer practical for 21st century science as undertaken by the current team at East Malling Trust.
“The sale, and redevelopment, will enable us to invest in further groundbreaking research which will help tackle the important issues of food security and adapting to climate change. We’ve been delighted to work with Millwood on making the deal a reality.”