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Housing Minister visits Rochester Riverside

Posted on 27 July 2018

New Housing Minister Kit Malthouse visited Rochester Riverside on the first site tour of his new role on 26 July.

The area will be developed over the next 12 years into four distinct, new neighbourhoods, complete with mixed tenure homes along with a new primary school, nursery, hotel and over ten acres of green, open space.

Mr Malthouse said: “Rochester Riverside is a really fantastic example of a development that's really cracking on.”

He said the plans to build thousands of homes, of which 25% are going to affordable, were "to great design standards, using lots of brick, making it look like the local area, so it will age well and blend in".

He added: "It's a critical part of our delivery of this 300,000 housing target.” Delivered by Countryside and Hyde (in a joint venture), and supported by Medway Council and Homes England, the development will transform brownfield land, open up a key part of the Medway riverside for the first time and create new jobs in the area. 

On completion there will be 1,400 new homes, including provision for first-time buyers and families, built across 50 acres, a new hotel and 2,200 square kilometres of commercial space, a primary school and nursery and a new public riverside walkway, approximately two and a half kilometres long. The development is expected to be finalised in late 2027. 

Tom Shaw, Operations Director at the Hyde Group said: “It was wonderful to welcome the new Minster of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse, to Rochester Riverside yesterday. Rochester Riverside is a fantastic example of partnership working in action, delivering 1,400 new homes for Medway. Our 50:50 joint venture with Countryside Properties is transforming this former brownfield site at pace, delivering homes, jobs and regeneration of a prime site. After the announcement of Hyde’s strategic partnership with Homes England earlier in the month, it was great to have the opportunity to show the Minister one of Hyde’s biggest sites, where we are delivering on our commitment to accelerate delivery of new homes to tackle the housing shortage.”

Countryside Partnerships South chief executive Graham Cherry, welcomed Mr Malthouse to the site: “Kit Malthouse made his first site visit here just two weeks into his new job. It was great to discuss the project and he appreciated the great work we are doing at Rochester Riverside and the opportunities for the wider community.”

Construction has begun on the first three phases and the first wave of new homes is anticipated to complete in the first quarter of 2019.

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett said the visit had been a good opportunity to build the national profile of the area. “We were delighted to welcome the new Minster of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse, to Medway and show him our flagship regeneration site, Rochester Riverside. Here we are undergoing a monumental regeneration programme and delivering developments across our five towns to provide new opportunities and growth for all our residents. We recognise the importance of meeting the housing demand and providing a range of accommodation, from luxury riverside homes to affordable.”