Published: 10:55, 15 September 2020
| Updated: 11:14, 15 September 2020
Work on a £24 million industrial development more than a decade in the pipeline has finally started.
The industrial and trade park on the Medway City Estate, near Strood previously had approval in place for several projects including a huge Sainsbury's superstore, B&Q and three other retail park schemes.
But the proposals all fell through leading to developers submitting plans for a new scheme last summer .
Location 3 Properties (L3P), which is based in Maidstone, is now taking over the site from Sainsbury's to build eight units of more than 132,000 sq ft.
The project, which is called M2CityLink, is due to be completed next September after work began earlier this month.
Builders warehouse firm Selco has agreed to take 30,000 sq ft of space on the park making it the company's first branch in Kent.
The site is one of the largest developments on the Medway City Estate for several years and is located next to the McDonald's and Co-op petrol station off Anthonys Way.
Managing director of L3P Colin Thacker said: "This development really is a milestone for Medway, bringing much-needed, high-quality industrial and trade counter space to a vacant site that has remained undeveloped for many years.
"We are truly delighted, after so many false starts, to finally begin work to deliver M2CityLink and provide an opportunity for businesses to trade up to a standard of accommodation not currently available."
The scheme is expected to provide 195 jobs, developers said in the planning application.
All the buildings – ranging from 3,740 to 72,420 sq ft – are designed to high energy efficiency ratings. There will be 117 car parking spaces plus 10 disabled and 14 bays for HGVs.
Medway councillors approved the plans at a meeting last December.
The site has been earmarked for development for more than 15 years with plans first submitted in 2003 by B&Q.
It was initially rejected but later approved during a public inquiry three years later.
Several variations to the plans were submitted in the following three years until Sainsbury's bought the site from the DIY firm and put forward its own scheme for a massive superstore and park and ride creating 500 jobs in 2010.
The park and ride plans involved reclaiming land around the Whitewall Creek between the development site and A289 Vanguard Way.
Sainsbury's confirmed in 2015 it was scrapping its plans to build on the site despite its application being approved by councillors against planning officer recommendations.
Diggers and trucks were spotted on the site this week preparing the ground for the new M2CityLink scheme.
No further companies have been confirmed.