BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO THE BUILDINGS • CREATE EMPLOYMENT • BE A POSITIVE ASSET FOR THE LOCAL AREA
Snowdown Colliery site, located between Dover and Canterbury just off the A2, has been disused since the closure of the mines in 1987. The site is currently held in a long lease between the Plumptre Trust and the Coal Authority.
The Plumptre Trust, the Coal Authority and Snowdown Park Ltd, have been working together for the past 7 years to bring forward a scheme for the redevelopment of the site. The project is being driven by Patrick K Murfet, Director of Bee Equipment Ltd and bee farmer of 20 years with a passion for the industry and a desire to create something extraordinary for the future.
The site itself contains a number of semi-derelict brick buildings, most of which have some heritage merit. The site boundary is divided between a small site of 4.6 acres on the north side of Holt Street and a larger site of 99 acres on the south side of Holt Street.
The north site contains a small area of established, ancient woodland and used to host the bath-house for the colliery. All these buildings have now gone. The south site is more diverse, the area adjacent to the road is mainly hardstanding and is the location of the existing heritage buildings. The remainder of the site consists of hilly open space of varying ecological value, covered in self-seeded trees and shrubs.
The western boundary is bordered by the Dover to Canterbury railway line which separates the site from the village of Snowdown. Snowdown railway station, provides half-hourly trains to Canterbury and Dover, is immediately adjacent to the site and is accessed from Holt Street.
Snowdown Park Ltd has aspirations for a net zero carbon, mixed use site, creating multiple new job opportunities, whilst encouraging community involvement as well as sustainable tourism. The enhancement of local biodiversity will be at the forefront of the design and decision-making process.
The proposed development will help address local unemployment by offering jobs requiring a broad range of skills and will actively seek to help bridge skills gaps where they are apparent.
There is a strong commitment to training and improving the skills-base of those employed at Snowdown Park Ltd. Fledging, new- start businesses will be enticed by the easy-in-easy-out terms of the small business workshop units, enabling small businesses to grow on site. Specifically aimed at emerging artisan and craft companies, Snowdown Park wants to create an immersive and interactive, year-round pedestrian street experience with a real difference.
Beyond the hustle and bustle of the business units, retail shops, a pub and restaurants, the open space will be devoted to wildlife, with a country-park feel. Visitors will come for staycations, retreats and special events and marvel at the honeybee hive-styled eco-lodges.
New housing is proposed, opposite the main colliery site. The houses will be aimed at the employees of the new development. It is anticipated that these new build houses and the eco-lodges be engineered to the highest standards.
The development of the site, will sympathetically and lovingly renovate and re-use, where at all possible, the wonderful colliery buildings which give the site its impressive personality and atmosphere. Working towards net zero-carbon, with low energy and clean construction techniques at the forefront of all design decisions.