Creating a self-build community in Ashford

As well as being a director of Spacemaker Architects, Adam Roake is also a housing developer at Urbanise. In January 2022 he formed OFKL (Orchard Farm Kent Ltd), a partnership with Steenvlinder, the leading social and community driven developer for self-build in the Netherlands. This partnership will bring to life an exciting and sustainable community in Ashford in Kent called Orchard Farm.

Located in Kennington, on the northern edge of Ashford and two miles from Ashford International station, Orchard Farm will appeal to people who want to build their own home, either entirely by themselves or with the help of an architect and builder. Planning permission to build the first twenty five homes has been agreed and a range of plot shapes and potential house sizes to suit different budgets will be available. In addition, infrastructure – like roads, drains and electricity – will be in place.

Adam says, “By partnering with Steenvlinder to create Orchard Farm we are realising our ambition to change the way that housing is delivered. We will bring real choice to the housing market by enabling people to build their own home. Together, we will create an exciting, sustainable self-build community unlike any other found in Kent.

Some of the plans under consideration include community orchards and drainage systems that improve water quality. In addition, to reduce the community’s carbon footprint there will be no gas and the use of heat pumps, onsite electricity generation and community heating will be encouraged. No doubt many other sustainable initiatives will be brought forward by the self-builders.”

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