A new community for East Malling as science charity's plans bear fruit

Leading developer Dandara has bought a 16-acre plot of land with permission to build 110 new homes on the edge of the Kent village of East Malling. The exciting new housing development, which will include everything from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom houses, not only provides much-needed housing for the local community, but also aids cutting edge horticultural research.

The land was purchased from the East Malling Trust, a charity focused on the advancement of horticultural and plant-based research to benefit the public and the industry from its 500-acre estate in Kent. The Trust is using the sale to help co-fund the delivery of phase 1 of its campus redevelopment, including a state-of-the-art facilities building and glasshouses; helping to expand the area’s reputation for world-class research into fruit trees and soft fruit growing.

Rupert Home, Development Director at Dandara South East, said: “The acquisition of this site reflects Dandara’s continued commitment to developing high quality, reasonably priced homes in the best locations throughout the South East. Its purchase will result in significant re-investment in the East Malling horticultural and agricultural research centre, whilst its development will create local economic activity, provide jobs and deliver essential private and affordable housing.”

 Oliver Doubleday, Chairman of East Malling Trust, said: “We were impressed with Dandara’s vision for the residential development which reflects the local area’s architecture and landscape, and aligns with our commitment to be a good neighbour to residents in East Malling and Ditton.


 Oliver continues: “The revenue generated from the sale of the land, which is no longer required for field trials, will help continue protect and develop more than a century of world-class scientific research undertaken here in Kent.”


The development, to be called The Sweetings, will provide a wide range of properties from one and two-bedroom apartments to a diverse selection of two to five-bedroom houses, including townhouses, terraced, semi-detached and detached homes. Every new home will come with allocated parking, supplemented by a generous provision of visitor spaces, whilst also creating new footpaths and cycleways to encourage environmentally friendly car-free journeys. The design of the development has been landscape-led with special care taken to preserve the on-site mature trees and historic hedges. These green corridors have defined the layout design and have been integrated into visually appealing street scenes, which will be complemented with a new pond, and areas of public open space and children’s play facilities that will be open for the wider community to enjoy too.

Dandara has appointed On Architecture to lead the design process, drawing on traditional Kentish features from the surrounding area to ensure that the new development will blend into its North Downs surroundings.’. Homes will be built from red bricks with weatherboarding, chimneys and decorative features including tile hangings and brick arches above windows to create an aesthetically pleasing environment.

A quarter of the new homes will be affordable housing, with 70% of those being available for affordable rent and the rest for purchase using shared ownership. With homes suitable for single people, couples, new families and larger households, The Sweetings has been designed to support the foundation of a thriving new community.

The site is conveniently located close to East Malling station, which offers peak time services reaching London Victoria in just under an hour, as well as easy road connections to the M20. The centre of the village is a short walk away, and has a community centre, café and its own secondary school, with two primary schools and a wider selection of shops available in the neighbouring village of Larkfield.

Founded in 1988, Dandara is currently focusing on boutique developments around Kent and Sussex, and the acquisition of The Sweetings adds to a growing portfolio of land in these highly desirable areas.