Home   Canterbury   News   Article

How developments in Canterbury, including a cinema, student flats and new housing estate, are progressing


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

A series of huge developments are being constructed across Canterbury, with building sites scattered around Kent's only city.

Here, we take a look at what is set to emerge from the rubble....

The development, opposite Sainsbury's, has been delayed
The development, opposite Sainsbury's, has been delayed

Leisure complex with cinema, shops and restaurants

The biggest and most-anticipated development - the £115 million Riverside project at Kingsmead - was due to be finished this autumn.

But the completion date has been pushed back due to delays brought about by the pandemic.

The development, which includes a Curzon cinema, bars, restaurants, shops and canoe pontoon, will instead be launching next summer.

Twelve commercial tenants will operate from the complex, which the council hopes will rejuvenate that area of the city next to Sainsbury's.

The authority says there is strong demand from "really good brands" interested in opening up at the site, and a couple of the units are under offer.

The Kingsmead site is driven past by thousands each day
The Kingsmead site is driven past by thousands each day

Student accommodation comprising 493 beds is also being built, along with 189 homes and a 200-space undercroft car park.

The student accommodation block facing onto Sturry Road has been described by critics as the "ugliest" building in the city, yet the council previously defended its design, saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

Council spokesman Rob Davies said: "Despite the well-documented issues affecting the sector - such as supply chain problems, labour supply shortages and the impact of Covid - the site team have done remarkably well to maintain the levels of progress.

A CGI of the planned Canterbury Riverside Project Pic: Linkcity
A CGI of the planned Canterbury Riverside Project Pic: Linkcity
The council hopes the scheme will regenerate that area of the city
The council hopes the scheme will regenerate that area of the city

"However, the construction team has not been completely immune to the challenges affecting the sector and the result has meant that practical completion has now been pushed back to Christmas.

"This means we will go into the new year working full-steam to facilitate the commercial tenants' fit-out, with the ultimate goal being to have the commercial scheme fully up and running next summer."

NewRiver, the firm which also manages Whitefriars, is running negotiations with potential tenants.

Head of third-party asset management Stuart Mitchell said: "We are pleased to say that we have good demand from some really great brands. We are in discussion with a number of exciting new operators to take space and we look forward to providing more detail in due course.”

.
The Saxon Fields development in Thanington taking shape. Picture: dronesdeep
The Saxon Fields development in Thanington taking shape. Picture: dronesdeep

750-home housing estate

Work on the sprawling Saxon Fields development at Kingsmead began three years ago - and recently drivers heading along the A28 near Morrisons, or those passing on the A2, have started to see lots of movement.

A small section of the housing estate has been complete for some time, and construction work will continue for years.

750 homes are being built at the Thanington development
750 homes are being built at the Thanington development
The first homes at Saxon Fields are complete
The first homes at Saxon Fields are complete
A CGI of the housing estate
A CGI of the housing estate

As part of the £40 million project behind Cockering Road, the London-bound slip-road on the A2 is being extended to improve safety.

The dual-carriageway is down to one lane on the London side while work is carried out. It is due to be complete by next spring.

Sketches of the approved hospice building
Sketches of the approved hospice building
The Saxon Fields can be seen from the A2
The Saxon Fields can be seen from the A2

A new base for the city's Pilgrims Hospice is also set to soon come onto the agenda, with construction work hoped to be finished by 2023.

The hospice will be located in the middle of the Saxon Fields development.

Plans to get the design of the 16-bed building rubber-stamped have been submitted to the city council this summer.

.
The large student complex
The large student complex

Towering block for 163 students

Rising high above the city's ring-road, the Rhodaus Town student accommodation complex stands five storeys tall beside the existing Palamon Court flats.

Previously home to the old Robins & Day Peugeot garage and St Mary Bredin School, the site opposite the city wall was flattened last year.

How the huge block of student flats are set to look
How the huge block of student flats are set to look

The Victorian building had stood for 160 years, and the plans from Canbury Holdings to demolish the site were rejected by the council three years ago.

Yet a successful appeal from the applicants - plus a further increase in size from 146 to 163 beds - spelled the end for the former garage.

The former St Mary Bredin School previously stood at the site
The former St Mary Bredin School previously stood at the site

Its demolition was described as a "shameful act of civil vandalism".

Construction work on the new student accommodation is due to be complete next year.

.
The former garage is now a construction site
The former garage is now a construction site

Luxury flats complex

It stood for six decades, yet Northgate Garage off New Ruttington Lane is no more after closing in June last year.

The site, which sold for £1.5 million in 2018, is now a pile of rubble ahead of construction work on 35 "luxury" flats.

A CGI showing how the Northgate Garage site will look once complete
A CGI showing how the Northgate Garage site will look once complete

The homes will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom homes, most with balconies or terraces.

The developers, AAG No. 3, have previously stated that the flats will not be used for student accommodation.

Workers have been on-site for months and sections of the old building still need to be dismantled.

.
The first phases of the housing project off Littlebourne Road
The first phases of the housing project off Littlebourne Road

500-home housing estate

Work has been underway for years at a building site passed by thousands of drivers on Littlebourne Road each day.

Once fully complete, the old Howe Barracks Army base will be a 500-home estate.

The Howe Barracks scheme has been underway for the past couple of years
The Howe Barracks scheme has been underway for the past couple of years

Phase one of the housing development is finished, and Taylor Wimpey is now partway through construction of phase two.

Earlier this year, the newly formed Legacy Park - managed by the Howe Park Trust - opened to the public.

The 11-acre park, made up of a number of paths and trails, will soon be enhanced further with a community orchard, more play areas and sports pitches being added.

.
The four homes were demolished this summer
The four homes were demolished this summer

Retirement complex

Four huge family houses in New Dover Road have now been fully demolished - leaving one resident "physically sickened".

A 50-bed retirement complex run by McCarthy and Stone will be built in their stead, with the first residents set to move in next winter.

The four homes have been wiped from existence
The four homes have been wiped from existence
A CGI showing how the complex will look facing onto New Dover Road
A CGI showing how the complex will look facing onto New Dover Road

The developer convinced the owners of the family homes to sell up, paying a staggering £1 million more than the estimated value for one of the houses.

The site - now completely flattened and fenced off - can be seen by drivers and pedestrians heading along the tree-lined route.

When demolition started, David Kemsley, of the Oaten Hill and South Canterbury Association (OHSCA), said: "“I was physically sickened to see it when I walked past there the other day.

“It’s a tragedy, and progressively the demolition of so many lovely family homes to be replaced by anonymous blocks is causing New Dover Road to lose its distinctive character.”

.
The construction site, as seen from Pound Lane
The construction site, as seen from Pound Lane

Flats for 143 students

Another student complex is being built at the former site of one of the city's longest-standing businesses.

Those walking along Pound Lane or using Pound Lane car park can see the ongoing construction work behind the old Barretts showroom.

Once complete, the new buildings will stand three and four storeys high.

How the student flats at the old Barretts site are proposed to look
How the student flats at the old Barretts site are proposed to look

A student reception area is planned to open in the former showroom facing onto the high street, but the plans - which have sparked controversy among traders - still need to be determined.

One of Canterbury’s best-known businesses, Barretts ended its 117-year history in the city centre in 2019.

It moved to new £4.5 million showrooms in Broad Oak Road, where its Jaguar and Land Rover brands are displayed under one roof.

.
The school has been labelled ugly by neighbours
The school has been labelled ugly by neighbours

New secondary school

Rising from the rubble of the former Chaucer Technology School, the new Barton Manor site will welcome its first students in September 2022.

The £20 million school in Spring Lane has been likened to "having a prison wall around us" by neighbours, who say the 35ft high block of bricks and grey cladding is "atrocious".

How Barton Manor School is planned to look
How Barton Manor School is planned to look

The school will be run by the Barton Court Academy Trust, which also has Canterbury's Barton Court Grammar School within its portfolio.

Lucy Benton, 57, who lives opposite the site, said: "It's horrendous.

"It's like having a prison wall around us, except I think the old Canterbury prison was better looking."

.
Rosemary Lane car park is to be sold off
Rosemary Lane car park is to be sold off

New homes

Workmen are currently a regular sight in the city centre car park between Castle Street and Stour Street.

Yet while the plot will eventually be developed, the existing work is nothing to do with the future of the car park.

Instead, it is being used as a base for construction vehicles carrying out major work on a nearby house.

The council is however set to sell off the 96-space car park to housing developers. It is deemed surplus to requirements and therefore will be going on the market before the end of the year.

It is not yet known how many homes the site can cater for.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More