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Hundreds of homes being built in Medway

By Amy Nickalls

Construction work is underway as three major housing projects could create an extra 460 homes in Medway.

Historic buildings at former army camp Kitchener Barracks are being converted into 72 flats and 94 houses.

A further 101 new flats will be built on the site off Dock Road in Chatham.

Kitchener Barracks, Chatham
Kitchener Barracks, Chatham

Developers Latis was awarded the £14.4 million from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency for the build and has worked alongside Medway Council.

Plans were approved in April 2015 and the demolition began last October.

Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “Kitchener Barracks is one of three developments so far in Medway using modular housing to provide new homes.

"It’s an innovative way of providing high-quality housing quickly and this method of development is supported by the government to help deal with the demand for new homes.

“Kitchener Barracks is ideally located; it’s just a stone’s throw away from Chatham town centre which has many new restaurants and shops.

“It is also walking distance from the Historic Dockyard and a railway station which takes commuters into London.”

He added: “We are fortunate to have a view of the site at our Gun Wharf offices and I am looking forward to seeing the community development come to life.

“This development is just one of many projects currently taking place in the area.

Progress on the demolition of Kitchener Barracks which is being prepared for houses on the site
Progress on the demolition of Kitchener Barracks which is being prepared for houses on the site

"Medway is on an exciting journey with new homes and facilities planned over the next 20 years to provide growth for all.”

Originally called Chatham Infantry Barracks, it was built in 1757 and became Kitchener Barracks in 1928. It was one of the oldest such sites nationally.

It was used as accommodation by the Royal School of Military Engineering until June 2014.

The barracks were then sold by the MoD as it was surplus to military requirements.

The statue of Kitchener, the outer walls and the listed parade ground will remain as part of the new development.

Construction is expected to be finished by 2020.

Meanwhile, an application for the second phase of the Chatham Waters development has been put forward to Medway Council.

The plans include 193 homes as well as retail units on the ground floor and an alfresco dining area. The homes will be two and three bed apartments for private market rent.

How phase two of Chatham Waters will look
How phase two of Chatham Waters will look

The application coincides with work starting on the first residential phase of a 14-storey block of 199 apartments as part of the development off Pier Road in Gillingham.

Asda, Medway University Technical College and Marston’s The Mast and Rigging pub are already on the site.

Neil Baumber, residential development director at Peel Land and Property, said: “We’re excited to be moving forward with our plans for the second residential scheme at Chatham Waters, as the stunning waterfront setting starts to take shape.

“We’re expecting lots of interest in these latest residential plans.”

Peel Land Property is investing £650 million to build 1,000 homes on the site over the next decade.

The first phase is costing developers £57,555,000, with a third and fourth phase of housing also in the pipeline.

James Whittaker, of Peel Land and Property, said: “Chatham Waters is an important part of our strategic waters vision and is one of the most dynamic regeneration projects in the South East.

“Working in partnership with colleagues at Medway Council, our latest planning application, will bring us one step closer to achieving our vision to create a world class destination where people can live, work and play.”

The application expires on April 30.

Acorn Shipyard, off Gas House Lane, Rochester
Acorn Shipyard, off Gas House Lane, Rochester

A shipyard in Rochester which has been subjected to a spate of arson attacks could be transformed into a smart riverside development.

Acorn Shipyard in Gas House Road has been gutted with a series of serious fires over the last few years.

Now outline planning permission has been submitted to demolish existing buildings to make way for flats on the 1.1 acre site.

The proposal from Albourne Housing also includes a new pier, pontoons riverwalk, cycle path and play area.

There are currently nine buildings on the site, including workshops, stores and offices.

The applications is for five residential blocks between five and eight storeys high with a mix of commercial use at ground and lower ground level.

The plans include retention and restoration of the existing slipway and relocation of the existing crane as a central feature.

Cllr Jane Chitty, who is on charge of regeneration, said: “We would welcome any improvement in this area.”

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