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Planning approval for major Rochester regeneration scheme

Posted on 27 October 2017

Countryside, one of the UK’s leading home builders together with Hyde Group, one of the largest housing associations in the country, is pleased to announce that its planning application for a £400 million development in Rochester has been approved.

The green light was given to deliver up to 1,400 homes and 1,200 sq m of commercial space at Rochester Riverside in Kent.

The site, which comprises 50 acres of brownfield development land, stretches from Rochester Bridge in the north to Doust Way in the south.

Consent was granted to transform this former industrial land, which connects River Medway to the town centre, into a new riverside community with provision for a primary school and nursery, as well as a hotel, pedestrian footbridge, parking, open space and landscaping. In total, over 10 acres of new open space will be provided across the masterplan.

In addition, full planning permission has been awarded for the first three phases of the development. Designed by bptw partnership and HTA Design, 489 homes and a hotel, along with 885 sq m of commercial floorspace and landscaping will be delivered. Work is anticipated to begin later this year with the first new homes due for completion in 2019. The site will make a huge contribution to meeting local housing need, with 25% of new homes earmarked as affordable.

Rochester Riverside is the flagship project in Medway Council’s regeneration programme. The site is owned by both Medway Council and the Homes and Communities Agency, who are jointly promoting the site for redevelopment. Following significant investment by both Medway Council and the Homes and Communities Agency in site preparation, subsequent redevelopment plans had stalled, with the site lying dormant for many years.

Countryside Properties and Hyde will now transform the area over the next 12 years, creating an attractive, new mixed-tenure community for the local area. When complete it will become Medway’s most exciting regeneration hotspot.

Andy Fancy, Managing Director at Countryside Partnerships South said: “This is fantastic news, we are thrilled to have the green light so we can begin work on this exciting project. Rochester Riverside will transform the area by offering new homes that will appeal to the whole community and provide a vital new hub for the local area. Throughout the planning process we consulted with the local community to deliver a landmark scheme that is not only in keeping with the surrounding architecture but will benefit Rochester. We are delighted to be able to get started.”

David Gannicott, Group Business Development Director at Hyde said: “We welcome the news that Medway Council has given planning consent for the ambitious plans for Rochester Riverside. These plans will deliver much needed affordable new homes for local people and we are delighted to be working in close partnership with them to transform this area of Rochester.”

Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council said: “Rochester Riverside is a significant development in the regeneration of Medway, bringing hundreds of homes and jobs to the area. There will be a school, nursery and hotel, making the new development a fantastic place to live, work, learn and visit. Rochester Riverside will sit alongside the waterfront and is a stones throw away from Rochester railway station and the historic heart of the town centre. We are committed to providing more opportunities and affordable housing for the people of Medway and I am looking forward to seeing work begin in the new year.”

Neil Miller, Senior Development Manager Thames Gateway, Homes and Communities Agency, said: "This is fantastic news for the Rochester Riverside project and for Medway and represents the culmination of many years of hard work by both Medway Council and the HCA. We now look forward to Countryside and Hyde delivering a high quality scheme that will transform this former brownfield site into a fantastic place to live and work."

The landowners of Rochester Riverside are Medway Council and the HCA.