Public consultation is underway on the draft of the Chatham Design Code - a set of new guidelines to direct and shape regeneration of the town centre, making it a better place to live, work, learn.
Once completed, the code will provide guidance on design principles for future development, specifying local building materials and proposing design options for street layouts and new green spaces.
This is the third round of public consultation, and is set to run until Wednesday, 3 January 2024, giving residents the chance to influence future development in the town centre.
Initial consultation launched in December 2022 and drew more than 1,500 comments, with feedback suggesting improvements for pedestrians and cyclists, more greenery, and improved public spaces with more seating and lighting.
Others called for work to maintain the historic character of the town, and suggested new buildings should complement Chatham’s heritage areas.
A second round of consultation took place in June and July this year, and received more than 1,000 comments with broad support for a range of new regeneration proposals.
- 80 per cent in favour of a new ‘Chatham Cross’ area, connecting Chatham High Street, Military Road and Railway Street, improving accessibility, seating and greenery
- 77 per cent in favour of a new urban avenue connecting The Brook, New Road and Best Street including new planted areas and trees.
- 77 per cent in favour of a new ‘Chatham Gateway’, enhancing the area around Chatham Cross, creating new walkways and spaces for business and retailers.
- 79 per cent in favour of improving residential streets situated in the centre of the town, improving access to green spaces.
- 87 per cent in favour of improving Chatham Waterfront, including the Riverwalk, Riverside Gardens and listing buildings and landmarks – providing a space for more public events, water-based activities and a public square with food and drink facilities.
Help shape Chatham's future
Cllr Simon Curry, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Regeneration, covering planning, said: “This is a great chance for people who care about Chatham to help shape its future, and make it an even better place to live, work, learn and visit. The new design code will give us a blueprint for a new town centre and help make Chatham town centre the community hub that it deserves to be. I would urge everyone to make sure they have their say.”