Published: 08:39, 19 August 2019
| Updated: 09:24, 19 August 2019
A part of town long mooted for development could be transformed into 400 homes, offices, a health centre and shops.
For years land next to Maidstone East station has been billed for redevelopment to become a gateway to the County Town.
Shops including John Lewis and Asda had both eyed up the former Royal Mail sorting office on Sandling Road, but plans never materialised.
Now Maidstone Borough Council is in the very early stages of joint plans with Kent County Council for the site, which would branch into a car park next to Maidstone East.
The Kent Messenger can exclusively reveal the council hopes to create a mixed use development next to the busy station.
The plans, which are still in their infancy, could see 400 homes along with 60,000 sq ft of office space, a health centre and shops.
John Foster, the council's head of regeneration and economic development said: "It's still in the very early stages, our next step is doing a deal with Network Rail to secure the car park behind the sorting office.
"At that point we can start talking to developers.We'll have another look at the design once we have a decision on that.
"The artwork is only an indicative design and it's subject to change."
The existing car park to the north of Maidstone East would be replaced with a multi-storey car park and flats.
Offices would face onto Week Street and Sandling Road while homes would stretch back towards Fairmeadow and the River Medway, with a health centre in between.
This news comes as work continues to improve the entrance to Maidstone East, where changes to Station Road will also see Helen Grant's constituency office destroyed so disabled parking can be created.
Mr Foster added: "We're expecting Thameslink to come in December, that's two trains every hour into London Bridge starting at Maidstone East in under an hour.
"A lot of people see it as us getting our old Cannon Street service back, as far as we know its all on track.
"It's good news for Maidstone East and it's good for residents and the town's business opportunities."
With no developer and plans at an early stage, homes are a long way off at thesite, but improvements to the entrance of the station, which handles1.4million passengers a year, are expected to finish in June.
Helen Grant, Maidstone and the Weald MP, said: "I am pleased to see KCC and MBC working successfully together on the regeneration of Maidstone East which is a really positive development.
"It is very important to me to have a centrally based office easily accessible for constituents and other stakeholders.
"If, and when, we are given notice, we will relocate to the most suitable premises we can find at that time.In the meantime my team remains available Monday to Friday, we’re always here to help."
More by this authorLuke May
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