Medway’s monumental regeneration programme has been further enhanced after plans were given the go ahead for three new developments which will benefit both residents and businesses.
Chatham is set to gain from more than 100 new homes at two different sites, including a modern apartment complex with rooftop gardens in the heart of the town centre, and Gillingham will see an unused shopping centre redeveloped into office space.
Medway Council’s Planning Committee met on Wednesday, 29 May and approved applications 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 developments were submitted by Medway Development Company.
An unused car park in Whiffens Avenue will be transformed into 115 one and two bedroom apartments, including nine apartments for shared ownership. The new homes will be in a superb location in the heart of Medway’s proposed waterfront city and will boast river views, as well as overlook the town hall gardens. The modern building, which will also feature underground parking for its residents, will gradually ‘step up’ into the surrounding landscape, with tall trees planted to complement the natural look of the area.
The planning committee also approved an application to build 20 new homes at White Road Community Centre, in Chatham. The two bedroom houses, which will have a contemporary design and appearance, will all be affordable homes to provide more choice for Medway residents. The high quality and sustainable development will be built on open space around the community centre.
The third planning application approved will see Britton Farm, which is off Gillingham High Street, 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 for the trust, which provides a specialist health service. There will be a car park underneath the building which will be used by staff Monday to Friday and will be opened up as public pay and display parking at the weekend. There are also plans to convert the former loading bay, as well as the first floor, into business start-up units. The first stage of the Britton Farm redevelopment, which will provide 44 new homes, was approved in March 2019.
Work on all three sites is due to start later this year.
As part of the planning agreement, Medway Development Company will contribute funding to support the community and local schemes. Funding will go towards local heritage projects, education to help provide more school places, restoration of open space for residents to enjoy and a new healthy living centre in Chatham.
Cllr 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 am also pleased that health services will benefit from a vacant building in Gillingham being transformed into office space and treatment rooms. As a council, we fully support the local provision of high quality primary healthcare facilities. I look forward to seeing all three recently approved developments, as well as Medway Development Company’s other exciting projects come to life.”