Medway on the map
Fri 2 May 2014, 10:52 am
Projects under way across Medway's main regeneration sites, plus what is planned and what has been delivered.
The Boardwalk is the latest phase of Berkeley’s regeneration project on the River Medway, comprising studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments.
Two show homes are open daily in Marina Heights, showcasing the quality of the fixtures, fittings and overall attention to detail.
Already recognised with a string of awards, Victory Pier is transforming an eight-hectare, former brownfield site into a vibrant community.
When complete, this new waterfront village will include around 800 new homes, 2,230sq m of retail and commercial space with shops and restaurants, an 80-bed hotel and LV21, the former lightship and floating cultural and art centre, which is permanently moored at Victory Pier.
Prices at The Boardwalk will start from £118,000 for a studio, one-bed flats from £135,000; two-beds from £172,000, and three-bedroom apartments from £270,000.
The next phase of development land at the Rochester Riverside scheme has been released to the market.
“This is our biggest regeneration site,” said council regeneration director, Robin Cooper. “Eventually there will be over 2,000 houses built, with the next phase now ready for development. The first 72 units have been developed by Hyde Homes and there are around another 1,200 units to be built.”
Cooper highlighted Medway’s improved connectivity as a key factor for attracting investment to the area, boosted by the new Rochester Station, which is due to open next year.
Sizeable investment from Network Rail has reinvigorated Medway’s transport infrastructure, with new station investment at Gillingham, Rainham and Strood being developed.
Rochester Riverside is a 32-hectare brownfield site, considered to be one of the major development projects in the Thames Gateway.
The site stretches from the A2 Rochester Bridge southwards to Doust Way. The River Medway forms the eastern boundary of Rochester Riverside, with the London to Dover railway forming the western boundary.
Kingsnorth Commercial Park provides six plots that can accommodate a total of some 185,800sq m of development.
The entire road and services infrastructure is constructed and includes 10mva of power.
A new road has been built to link directly to the A228 dual carriageway.
George Glennie, the development director responsible for the park, said: “The plots are formed, levelled and ready to go. “Goodman is internally funded and so can develop units quickly, with buildings ready in six to nine months.”
Goodman’s recent projects include a 110,000 sq ft warehouse for Kent County Council; 58,720sq m distribution centre near Derby for Heineken; a 13-hectare parcel depot, incorporating a 500m-long building for Geopost; and the new Daily Mail print works at Thurrock.
The largest plot has a detailed planning consent for a single building of 113,806sq m which Glennie says is of both regional and national significance. Glennie said “Goodman is flexible on deal type and will build leasehold and freehold units as well as sell land.
“The park can provide the most economical big sheds in the south-east.
“We envisage a mix of users on the Park with conventional warehouse units complemented by customers in the power and construction industries – the traditional expertise of the area”.
The site is immediately adjacent to the Medway Estuary and Marshes Special Protection Area.
Medway Council has endorsed a masterplan for the future of Rochester Airport, which includes the creation of an 11.7-ha hub for science and technology firms, expected to create 1,000 jobs.
The proposals will also see improved facilities at the airport itself, including replacing many existing buildings and facilities and a reconfiguration of the existing runways.
The changes will allow for the business hub to be developed on land adjacent to Rochester Airport Industrial Estate, currently part of the airport site.
Councillor Alan Jarrett, Medway Council’s deputy leader and finance lead, said the masterplan proposals would put the 1930’s airport – owned by the council but run by an independent operator – on a solid footing for the future.
“Rochester Airport is an important asset for Medway and securing its future will help contribute to the regeneration and economic development of the area,” said Jarrett. “We want to ensure the future of the airport by maximising its potential for jobs and tourism and that’s what the masterplan does. The potential for new jobs is just one of the many benefits this masterplan brings.”
A public exhibition last year launched two months of consultation on proposals to ensure the airport’s future. Residents and businesses had the chance to comment on draft proposals and Medway Council’s cabinet agreed to carry out a formal consultation to agree a final masterplan, setting a template for any future development. This follows on from consultation held earlier in 2013 with firms and residents.
Many buildings and facilities on the airport are now reaching the end of their useful life and a reconfiguration of the existing runways is necessary.
One of the grass runways will be closed and replaced with a new parallel grass and paved runway. The latter will allow a small aircraft to take off and climb quickly, reducing the impact of noise on residents of nearby homes.
Medway Council has granted planning permission to Network Rail to build a new station in Rochester.
The station, which will be constructed on land at Corporation Street, will help to meet increasing demand for train services in the Medway area.
The project is part of Network Rail’s wider £135 million investment programme in Kent, as the number of passengers using the railway continues to grow.
The station will have three platforms, all of which will be able to accommodate longer trains with up to 12 carriages, and better facilities for passengers.
There will also be step-free access to all platforms and improved station car parking.
Councillor Rodney Chambers, leader of Medway Council, said: “The fact that this scheme has got the go ahead is very good news. It will lead to a new, better train station for Rochester, which will result in a quicker, more reliable service with more space for passengers.
“Rochester – like the rest of Medway – is benefiting from regeneration and more people are viewing it as a place to buy a family home and commute from.
“The number of rail passengers is forecast to grow significantly and freeing up this space for a new station will not only improve the service for commuters and other passengers, but also make sure it grows with future demand.”
Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s route managing director for Kent, said: “This new station will deliver a huge boost to Rochester and Medway and provide passengers with improved facilities and better access to the town centre and surrounding area.
“It will accommodate longer trains than the current station, helping boost capacity and providing more seats for passengers.
“It will also help kick-start the wider regeneration of the riverside area, which is an important part of the development and future of Rochester.”
The investment is part of Network Rail’s continued upgrade of the railway and will contribute to reduced passenger journey times, lower operating costs and a more reliable infrastructure.
Work is due to complete in winter 2015. The new station will be operated by Southeastern.
Detailed plans for Phase 1 of Peel’s £650 million Chatham Waters development have received planning permission from Medway Council.
The Phase 1 scheme relates to the southern part of the site, close to Pier Road.
The proposals for Chatham Waters are to transform the dockyard into an impressive 177,000sq m, mixed-use, sustainable development incorporating offices, an education facility, conference centre, hotel, apartments and town houses, food store and a number of landscaped public areas. It is estimated the plans could create 3,500 jobs.
Phase 1 will feature an Asda food retail superstore and petrol filling station, which is expected to employ up to 400 people. Phase 1 of the development also includes improvements to the roads and infrastructure in this area of the site, as well as landscaping.
James Whittaker, development director at Peel said: “We’re delighted Medway Council has approved our detailed plans for the first phase of Chatham Waters and are excited about being able to start work on the development in the coming months.
“The Chatham Waters scheme will regenerate a significant area of the dockland in Kent and give the region a real economic boost. This will be a wholly privately funded development that includes major environmental, infrastructure – including highways – and social improvements. This approval paves the way for the remainder of the 0utline scheme to be brought forward.”
Oliver Jones, communications manager for Asda, said it was an important step and commented: “We’re really excited about getting to know the community and look forward to providing more information about the store in the coming months.”
Planit IE, the Traffic, Transport & Highway Consultancy, Aedas, Mott McDonald and 5plus Architects are advising Peel on the scheme.
A new community hub is planned for Strood. The project involves relocating Strood Library and Contact Point from where they are currently positioned, to 133 High Street, Strood.
The property requires refurbishment and fit-out for this purpose and the council has taken a lease of the premises from the current landlord. It is part of a wider regeneration scheme for Strood and will act as its focal point.
The refurbishment and fit-out is estimated to cost £1 million and is a “major investment” in Strood.
The council has made a strategic commitment to the provision of community hubs, creating a gateway to a range of council services in one location. The development is expected to generate an increase in footfall in Strood, as well as the amount of time people spend in the town centre and at the library. A £1.9 million investment is also being made in improved facilities for Strood Leisure Centre.
The information in this article is taken from the latest editon of Medway1 magazine, published in April 2014.