Work has restarted on a multi-million-pound regeneration project following rumours it was to be sold off to London boroughs.
KentOnline revealed works had paused on The Charter development, in Gravesend town centre, in the middle of June, as the then contractor Henry Construction collapsed into administration.
Rumours have since been rife within the community with many believing Gravesham council was in occupancy talks with London boroughs and had already sold the building to Lewisham council.
But these were quickly shut down by the leader of the local authority Cllr John Burden (Lab) at a full council meeting on June 20 who confirmed this was not true.
Speaking at the time, he said: “I can confirm that neither the council, nor Rosherville Ltd, have had any discussions or entered into arrangements with any London boroughs, or any borough, district or other local authority from anywhere else in the country, with regards future occupancy of the apartments.
“Under this administration, no such discussions will be held or arrangements considered at any time. I would like to add that, contrary to rumours, the development is wholly owned by Rosherville Ltd, this council’s own commercial trading company.
“It is not owned by, and nor has it been built for or in collaboration with, any London borough, or any borough, district or other local authority, from anywhere else in the country.
“All 242 apartments will be available to rent on the open market, and we will be adopting a local-first marketing strategy when the apartments become available.”
Since work stopped on the development of 242 build-to-rent apartments and a new multi-storey car park, Rosherville Ltd and Reef Group have been looking to get the project back on track.
Initial preparation work started on site this week and is being carried out by construction firm Statom Group.
A Rosherville spokesman said: “The delay caused by the issues with the original contractor has been unfortunate and unwelcome. However, it is good news to see work resume on this important project.
“As work progresses and we near completion, the new apartments will be marketed locally, and I am sure current residents of Gravesham will be keen to be at the front of the queue as they come to market.”
Construction is expected to restart in the next few weeks.
Peter Langley-Smith, development director at Reef Group, said: “We are fully committed to delivering this project in partnership with Rosherville, delivering much-needed homes for the local community.
“Construction work resuming after the issues with Henry Construction going into administration is a key milestone in getting this development completed.”
Work on The Charter, which is divided between plots on the former Market Square and Horn Yard car parks, began in March 2021 after being granted planning permission in 2020.
The town centre development is a key part of the council's master plan to breathe new life into the area.