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Savills named as Maidstone East regeneration lead planning consultants

By Natalie Tipping

The lead planning consultants for a multi-million pound regeneration project have been named.

Savills, an international real estate advisor, has been chosen to assist Kent County Council (KCC) and Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) in producing plans to revitalise the area around Maidstone East station.

The councils have agreed a brief for the development of the 10.5 acre site, and Savills will now create detailed plans.

Maidstone East train station
Maidstone East train station

Eric Hotson, KCC cabinet member for corporate and democratic services, said: "Appointing the right consultants is an important step in progressing this exciting project, and we look forward to working with Savills, who will help us produce the best plans for this vital gateway into Maidstone."

The company will also liaise with Network Rail, which is heading up the regeneration of the station itself.

The site also includes the former Royal Mail sorting office off Sandling Road, which is currently used as a retail warehouse and distribution centre for Demelza Hospice Care for Children.

The surrounding car park has opened up another 250 spaces to visitors.

The former Royal Mail sorting office by Maidstone East railway station
The former Royal Mail sorting office by Maidstone East railway station

Grants of £2 million have been secured from Network Rail and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership to demolish the derelict pub, The Vic, in order to provide a new entrance to the station.

This will include a glass-fronted ticket office and a public square.

Cllr Fran Wilson, leader of MBC, said: "This is a key development site for the County Town, and I'm encouraged by the appointment of Savills.

"It will mean our shared vision of regenerating this gateway to Maidstone can start to become a reality."

Peter Frankum, head of urban design at Savills, added: "We look forward to helping deliver a vibrant new mixed-use hub and create a high-quality sense of arrival to the town centre and station.

"Savills’ role is to test masterplan options and investigate opportunities for funding and delivery for transformational redevelopment of the area."

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