Abbey Farm, Kent

We were commissioned to produce a Mineral Resource Assessment (MRA) in support of a proposed residential development on land at Tovil in Kent. 

The 28.4-hectare development site comprises grassland and agricultural land with a restored former landfill.  The site was being promoted for residential development as part of the Maidstone Local Plan Review Process.  Given the significant need for additional housing, the allocation of this site would secure a large-scale development that would form a logical extension to the existing built development on the southern edge of Tovil.


Key details

Project name

Abbey Farm



Alan Firmin Ltd


Tovil, Maidstone, Kent


Services provided:

- Mineral Resources Assessment


Much of the area around Maidstone is underlain by mineral bearing land of various type and quality, intermixed with built development.  Because of this, various parts of the county are safeguarded mineral areas protected by planning policy. To adhere to these policies, the developer was required to assess the significance of mineral resource sterilisation on the site and evaluate the viability and practicability of prior extraction. 


Strategic site promotion - residential - planning.jpg


The proposed development potentially impacted the valuable safeguarded Limestone Hythe formation (Kentish Ragstone) which is the only type of crushed rock exploited commercially in Kent.

The MRA therefore provided a resource assessment that defined the extent and value of mineral resources present on the site, principally in relation to designated Mineral Safeguarding Areas defined by the local mineral planning authority. We then evaluated the mineral resource against the mineral planning policy for the Assessment Site, with the scope for mineral extraction prior to permanent development also taken into consideration. To minimise the cost to the client, we tailored the scope and approach of the MRA in accordance with site setting and the sensitivities of the development.

We successfully justified that there was sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the proposed development would not result in unnecessary sterilization of an economically viable and workable mineral deposit.  The site has been allocated in the draft local plan with no specific obligation identified with respects to minerals. 


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