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Major planning applications approved

Wed 19 June 2019, 4:17 pm

Medway’s vast regeneration programme was given a huge boost after plans for three new developments for homes and office space were approved in Chatham and Gillingham.

Applications were approved at the end of May by Medway Council’s planning committee for new homes in Whiffens Avenue and White Road in Chatham, and for the next stage of a redevelopment of Britton Farm in Gillingham town centre.

All three schemes were submitted by Medway Development Company, which is the council’s own housing firm.

The unused car park in Whiffens Avenue will be transformed into 115 one and two-bedroom apartments, including nine homes for shared ownership.

The modern building will feature underground parking for its residents and will be part of the proposed waterfront city offering picturesque river views.

An application to build 20 new homes at White Road Community Centre in Chatham was also approved, which will have two-bedroom affordable housing built on open space around the community centre.

Britton Farm, located off Gillingham High Street, will be transformed into office space for the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust.

The vacant building will be transformed to include treatment and therapy rooms and an underground car park for staff to use between Monday and Friday, which will be open to the public for pay and display parking at the weekend.

There are also plans to convert the former loading bay and the first floor into business startup units. The first stage of the Britton Farm redevelopment, which will provide 44 new homes, was approved in March. Work on all three sites is due to start later this year.

As part of the planning agreement Medway Development Company will provide funding to support local heritage projects, education to help offer more school places, restoration of open spaces and a new healthy living centre in Chatham.

Councillor Adrian Gulvin, Medway Council’s portfolio holder covering property, said: “The two developments in Chatham will provide much needed new housing for Medway’s residents, including options for affordable homes and shared ownership.

“The Whiffens Avenue development also further supports the ongoing transformation of Chatham and our ambition of the town becoming Medway’s waterfront university city centre by 2035. The council has already invested in helping to revitalise Chatham town centre and this development will help bring more people and business to the area.

“I look forward to seeing all three recently approved developments, as well as Medway Development Company’s other exciting projects come to life.”

In March Medway Council’s planning committee also approved an application to create 175 new apartments at Chatham Waterfront’s Globe Lane car park, as well as commercial space on the ground floor for businesses such as cafes and restaurants.

The development found next to the River Medway is near Chatham railway station and the Waterfront bus station, and close to theatres, pubs and shops on the High Street.

The new development, being created by Medway Development Company, will also provide some parking for residents, electric charging points and bicycle storage facilities.

Also in March Medway Council bid for a share of £675m from the government’s Future High Streets Fund for Chatham town centre.

The money could help transform the High Street by improving transport and access into the town centre and provide co-funding for capital projects.

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