Key Development & Investment Opportunities
This page describes key development sites and investment opportunities in North Kent, summarising the position in May 2014. Enquiries about development sites and investment opportunities can also be directed to Locate in Kent and Invest in Medway.
Dartford Northern Gateway.
This area identified for mixed-use development comprises a number of sites. It will deliver around 1,300 new homes, 1,200 new jobs and a range of supporting facilities, including a primary school and a dedicated Fastrack rapid bus transit route. Housing development has commenced to the east and west of the area. The first phase of The Base, a hub for start-up businesses, is already operational and further sites for employment development have obtained planning consent. Further information.
Dartford Town Centre.
Dartford Borough Council and the HCA are collaborating to bring forward marketing proposals for a portfolio of sites, including the former Co-op site and the Station Mound, served by the newly-refurbished railway station. Possible uses include Retail, Leisure and Residential and future accommodation for civic offices. At Lowfield St, consent has been granted for a major redevelopment of this part of the town centre, providing retail space of over 10,000 sq m, including an anchor store for the town centre, residential development and community facilities. Construction is expected to start in 2015. Latest update.
This mixed development to the west of the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing will provide around 1,550 homes under a number of different phases and other facilities including a business/science park and school. Around 400 homes have already been completed. The Nucleus innovation centre is completed and occupied, and the SusCon Academy for sustainable construction completed and in use. Completion of housing is expected 2022/3. Other commercial occupiers are expected to take up space in 2014 and a Technical College is to open in September 2014. Click here for further information and latest update.
The retail floor space at this leading regional shopping centre is being expanded by 20%, which is expected to create an additional 2,300 jobs in retail and associated occupations. Latest update.
Ebbsfleet Garden City
In his 19 March 2014 Budget Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new Garden City at Ebbsfleet, with the headline figure of up to 15,000 new homes supported by up to £200 million investment in infrastructure and delivery led by a dedicated new development corporation. The precise details of which sites would be included within the development corporation’s boundary is not yet decided, but it is likely to include sites described immediately below as well as a number of other smaller sites.
Ebbsfleet Valley comprises a 260 hectare site between Ebbsfleet International station and Bluewater Shopping Centre, and straddles the boundary between the boroughs of Dartford and Gravesham with component sites in each area (e.g. Springhead Park in Gravesham). A fresh masterplanning exercise is to be undertaken. The early phases of development at Springhead Park (over 200 homes) are complete, with capacity for around 700 more homes (plus business space) in later phases. Initial housing development, with the first homes due for completion in summer 2014, is underway at Eastern Quarry, as part of this major mixed use development comprising up to 6,250 homes, a business park and a range of shopping, leisure and community facilities. On the former Northfleet West Sub-Station site, completion of the first homes on this mixed use development of 1,000 homes is expected in summer 2015. Further information.
Adjoining Ebbsfleet and strategically placed to exploit the potential of Ebbsfleet International station is the 353 hectare Swanscombe Peninsula. Proposals are at pre-planning stage for a major leisure resort licensed by Paramount. The £2billion development would be twice the size of the Olympic Park in East London, featuring an indoor water park, theatres, live music venues, attractions, cinemas, restaurants, event space, hotels and ancillary development. Allied to the project will be a training academy for the entertainment and hospitality sectors, a new country park, a large science and education visitor complex and "the biggest performing arts centre in Europe". It is estimated the development would include 2,500 staff apartments, 5,000 hotel bedrooms and create 27,000 jobs. The scheme is being dealt with through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects process, with planning and other applications expected in 2015, start on site in 2016 and construction completed by 2019/20. Further information.
Northfleet Embankment – comprises two sites (East and West) totalling around 70 hectares on the western edge of Gravesend town centre close to Ebbsfleet International. Both components have extensive river frontage with deep-water access to the Thames. The Lafarge-owned Northfleet Embankment West site has the potential to deliver around 500 houses and 1,400 new jobs through a mixed-use scheme, while the HCA-owned Northfleet Embankment East site, with its proximity to Ebbsfleet International and its extensive river frontage with deep-water access to the Thames, makes it a potential location for quality commercial development and up to 240 homes (though the residential component is not definite). There is also potential for cruise liner facilities, linking especially to the tourism potential that might be unlocked on the Swanscombe Peninsula.
Gravesend Town Centre
Around 1,250 new homes and 1,500 new jobs will be created in and around the Gravesend Town Centre, focusing on four major sites (Heritage Quarter, Canal Basin, North East Gravesend and Clifton Slipways) capitalising on the 22 minute high-speed train service direct to London and other public transport interchange improvements in the town’s new Transport Quarter (including £19 million upgrade of Gravesend station and the £8.1 million Rathmore Road link).
Chatham Centre 3,682 new homes and 2,700 new jobs (in 50,000m2 of employment floor space) will be created adjoining the renowned Historic Dockyard and waterfront centre – in addition to significant retail (6,800m2) and leisure opportunities. There is an adopted development brief for the Centre and Waterfront.
To complete the regeneration of Chatham Maritime there remain two outstanding development opportunities on this well established and prestigious development. St Mary’s Island and the area between Chatham Maritime and Chatham Historic Dockyard will deliver a further 1,400 new homes and around 10,000m2 of commercial space.
A private sector led scheme to deliver 775 new homes and over 2,200m2 of mixed commercial space. The scheme includes Victory Pier
Peel Land & Property are transforming a 10.5 hectare brownfield site adjacent to Chatham Maritime. This mixed-use scheme is expected to provide around 950 new homes and 3,500 jobs in 180,000m2 of commercial space, and also includes the new Medway University Technical College opening in 2015. Latest update.
The first phase of affordable housing was completed in 2012 and phase 2 (Stanley Wharf) marketed in late 2013. This prestigious site is in a prime location served by the re-located railway station due to open in 2015 and linking directly into Rochester town centre. Once complete, the site offers potential for 1,200-1,500 homes and around 29,400m2 of mixed commercial space (employment, hotel and retail). Latest update.
The extensive waterfront area extends from the M2, through Temple Waterfront and Strood town centre, to Strood Riverside adjoining Strood station. It includes a number of distinct mixed-use development opportunities that will be complemented by infrastructure improvements in the centre and the refurbishment of the station that already offers access to HS1 services. In total these opportunities are expected to result in over 2,054 new homes, 42,300 m2 of employment floor space and 22,500m2 of retail.
Situated close to the M2 and adjacent to a major BAE Systems complex, this strategic location is to be developed as a technology and knowledge-based cluster. The Masterplan was approved in late 2013. Rationalisation of the existing airport will create capacity for up to 300 jobs in phase 1 (3,000 m2 innovation workspace for advanced manufacturing R&D and prototyping) and, in phase 2, up to a further 1,460 jobs in 34,240m2 of high-quality commercial space. Latest update.
This is the only proposed freestanding new settlement in the Thames Gateway, and occupies former military land on the Hoo Peninsula. The development would provide up to 5,000 new homes and a similar number of new jobs in 44,100m2 mixed commercial space with associated health, education, retail, hotel and other community facilities. Part of the site was confirmed by Natural England as a SSSI in November 2013, leading to withdrawal of the submission draft Core Strategy. The future of this site remains under consideration by Medway Council in the context of preparing a revised draft local plan. A revised outline planning application was submitted by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation / Land Securities in February 2014. Latest update.
Medway – Swale Arc
North Kent has potential to become a major manufacturing hub for the offshore renewable energy industry, with the potential to create 2,000 new jobs at the Port of Sheerness alone. This potential, and the wider opportunities for growth building upon the existing concentrations of manufacturing and innovation in Medway and Swale, underpins the concept of the Medway-Swale Arc, which is included in the Assisted Areas Map 2014-20. Latest update.
The Superhub includes facilities which allow for the shipping in of components; laying‐down and assembly; shipping and deployment of completed turbines; associated supply chain operations; storage and distribution of parts; and warranty maintenance. Further supply chain support is available from across Kent and Medway, but particularly at the nearby manufacturing clusters at Sittingbourne and Medway along with R&D support at the Kent Science Park.
Together with operations and maintenance facilities at the Port of Ramsgate, these facilities contribute towards the South East CORE (Centre for Offshore Renewable Engineering, formerly the Kent CORE), one of only six such centres in England. The cluster of sites includes:
Port of Sheerness - 50 hectares, port facilities, rail
London Thamesport & the Isle of Grain - 224 hectares, port facilities, rail
Kingsnorth Commercial Park - 46.5 hectare, water access
Queenborough and Rushenden - 18 hectare, mixed commercial
Ridham Dock - 4 hectare, water access
Kent Science ParkThis prestigious 22 hectare site provides high security, high quality accommodation for innovatory businesses, particularly in ICT and bio-sciences. A 4 hectare expansion to provide an additional 3,000 m2 of floor space is underway. Ambitious plans for a further expansion to create a further 100,000 m2 of floor space providing 3,000 jobs require major infrastructure investment, particularly a new motorway junction (M2 J5A) to overcome restrictions on the existing network (viewed as a first step towards providing a new link between the M2 and A2 and with potential to unlock other development opportunities beyond current planning horizons). Latest update.
Sittingbourne Town Centre
There are a number of developments proposed for the town centre. These include the redevelopment of the Bell Centre Arcade, completion of the housing component of the Sittingbourne Mill re-development and the town centre redevelopment proposed by the Spirit of Sittingbourne consortium (which would include redevelopment of land currently occupied by Council offices). These could provide around 500 homes and significant mixed use commercial space. The Milton Creek site on the northern edge of the town centre offers potential for 400 homes and 700 jobs. Latest update.
The 17 hectare Phase 5 of the successful Eurolink business estate has been granted permission and is expected to provide a further 1,000 jobs in over 43,000 m2 of industrial and logistics development. Eurolink already provides accommodation for over 250 companies employing around 6,500 people. Latest update.
Queenborough and Rushenden
Currently owned by the Homes & Communities Agency, this package of sites on the Isle of Sheppey will deliver up to 1,100 new homes within a historic existing community, alongside approximately 180,000m2 of commercial space at Neats Court, which could create up to 2,000 jobs. Both sites are well served by the new Rushenden Link Road connecting to the A249. Latest update.
The Thames Gateway Kent Partnership is not responsible for the content of external links.