Published: 17:38, 21 October 2021
| Updated: 13:51, 22 October 2021
A former office block has been snapped up by a council as part of its plans for a major town centre overhaul.
The completed purchase of Mountbatten House in Chatham, which already has planning permission in place for redevelopment, was confirmed this afternoon.
Medway Council says it has spent £1.975 million acquiring the 12-storey building which sits on top of the Pentagon Shopping Centre and land around the landmark site.
Plans have been approved for 164 one and two-bedroom apartments with conversion of the ground floor into commercial units.
A rooftop champagne bar and restaurant has also been proposed and a communal garden built into the revamp of the 1970s structure.
The building which gives views across the River Medway to Rochester Cathedral and Rochester Castle, the Great Lines Heritage Park and Fort Amherst is one of the authority's flagship regeneration projects for Chatham.
The former bus station will be converted into parking for the new homes and station ramps opposite the Brook Theatre were demolished earlier this year to make way for a new public square and extended taxi rank.
Planning permission has also been approved to improve the entrance to the Pentagon – which is also owned by the council – as part of the redevelopment.
Architects Lyall Bills and Young with CF Moller have developed a masterplan for the site with detailed design work and surveys of the building now set to begin.
The building will be developed by the council-owned Medway Development Company (MDC).
Cllr Adrian Gulvin, Medway Council cabinet member for resources and a director of MDC, said: “We have an ambitious vision for Medway and this exciting project will further transform Medway’s city centre.
"We are committed to continuing to transform Chatham into a vibrant place to live, work, eat and shop.
"The investment in Mountbatten House continues to demonstrate that we are also committed to shaping the future of our town centres to boost the local economy and provide more opportunities for residents and businesses. I am looking forward to watching the works progress."
MDC is building another 182 one and two-bedroom apartments at Chatham Waterfront, across the road from Mountbatten House, and another 115 homes on the former Whiffens Avenue car park, 20 behind White Road Community Centre in Chatham.
Another 44 are being built on the loading bay of the former Britton Farm Mall in Gillingham with an adult learning and skills centre on the top floor of the former shopping centre.