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Plans for 1,600 homes in Strood approved

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

Preparatory work on 1,600 new homes could start “almost immediately” after the project was given the green light by councillors.

A design brief for Strood Waterfront, which will be used as a guide for developers coming forward with schemes for the mostly council-owned land, was signed off by cabinet members yesterday.

Up to 1,600 new homes – as well as space for new businesses and recreational use – are planned for the stretch from Jane’s Creek to the Riverside Tavern.

The Strood Waterfront development has been approved. Picture: IBI Group
The Strood Waterfront development has been approved. Picture: IBI Group

Ongoing construction of flood defences is due to be completed by July 2019, with a developer also set to be announced next year.

Cllr Rodney Chambers (Con), portfolio holder for inward investment, strategic regeneration and partnerships, said: “It’s always interesting to have funding available before we’ve approved the Strood Waterfront development so, upon approval, there’s no reason why we should not start.

“I think I can say work will start almost immediately on preparing the sites that are mentioned – preparing them for development because we have the funds to do that.”

The project includes the former Civic Centre and Strood Riverside sites, and it is hoped the scheme will “transform” the area.

The Strood Waterfront development has been approved. Picture: IBI Group (2519726)
The Strood Waterfront development has been approved. Picture: IBI Group (2519726)
The Strood Waterfront development has been approved. Picture: IBI Group (2519728)
The Strood Waterfront development has been approved. Picture: IBI Group (2519728)

An eight-week public consultation found the majority of respondents would like the project to go ahead, with many describing the town as the “poor relation to Rochester”.

Cllr Phil Filmer (Con), portfolio holder for front line services, added: “Given what’s planned for Strood, it’s probably going to be one of the most desirable towns in Medway.

“It will have sustainable housing, it’s got the shopping, it’s going to have the transport links – Strood is going to be a really, really good place to live.”

The design brief was described as the “best of its kind” by cabinet members, who also used the issue as an opportunity to hit back at critics.

Cllr Howard Doe (Con), deputy leader, added: “In the past, people have said ‘you’ve got all these plans for different parts of Medway but, at the end of the day, nothing is going to happen’.

“Actually, what is happening now is the fruits of that particular period when we were forward planning.”

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