Published: 00:01, 16 April 2014
Work on Gravesend’s multi-million pound Heritage Quarter has moved a step closer after a deal was struck between developers and Gravesham council.
Although permission was granted nearly a year ago, behind the scenes, developers and council bosses have been working on something called a Section 106 agreement – in this case they have been checking the money is in place to support the changes the development will bring.
Gravesham council was expected to officially confirm the sign off this week after being poured over by legal experts.
A six week “cooling off” period will then be invoked during which “interested parties” can request a judicial review.
At a meeting of Gravesham council’s regulatory board last week, service manager Clive Gilbert announced the agreement had been signed by the developer and final, full planning permission, was granted.
Council leader John Burden said: “Once the judicial review period is over, the developer can then look at how they can move forward with the scheme.
"The key part was getting permission in place and after a couple of months, they can be looking to get things started and on site by the end of the year.”
A report on what happens next is due to go before council planners at the next regulatory board meeting next month.
The £120 million scheme, which incorporates land between West Street, Bath Street, Royal Pier Road and Queen Street, is likely to begin building work from October.
The first phase will be in the Eastern Quarter section – the car parks behind the indoor market. Parking will be relocated underground with new restaurants, cafes, homes and a town square built, which will link to the existing indoor market.
The construction will see three buildings, with 141 flats, restaurants, a 50-bedroom hotel and underground car parks, built within nine months.
The new town square will be built over Market Square car park, next to the market off Queen Street. Parking will be moved underground and flats built above what is likely be restaurants.
Up to a year after phase one starts, a detailed application for the second phase will be made, which includes redesigned grounds for St George’s Church, a church hall fronting West Street, a new look for St Andrew’s Gardens, and an enlarged St George’s Shopping Centre.
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