Published: 05:00, 20 April 2022
| Updated: 15:17, 20 April 2022
A developer has defended its properties being marketed 6,000 miles away in Hong Kong – and says local people will be living in them.
Property consultants Savills launched a promotion to sell the housing at Chatham Waters overseas on behalf of X1Developments.
The sales pitch prompted fears from councillors across the political divide that much-needed housing could fall into foreign hands.
But X1Developments say only a "handful" of properties are being marketed abroad and the 199 properties on the open market will be occupied by local residents.
When X1Developments sell the properties to investors, they are then appointed to let and manage them.
Chief executive Nick Sweeney said: “We have a handful of properties remaining for sale at Chatham Waters and as the scheme is open market, we are exploring potential investors from overseas.
"However, I want to reassure the local community that we create homes for local people to live in and enjoy, we have created 199 new homes for Chatham residents.
“The way we operate means our properties are sold worldwide to property investors. When we sell these properties we are then appointed to let and manage them so have control over these being occupied by local people.
"The building is fully let by Chatham residents and all bar 11 of the 199 apartments are managed by us.
"Those 11 are owner occupied. We do not have purchasers who purchase properties and leave them empty, we create communities where people want to live.”
Following our previous story, Peel L&P asked KentOnline to point out it is the landowner and master developer, and it does not market the properties.
Peel L&P said it is delivering 25% affordable housing at Chatham Waters, in line with Medway Council's planning policy.
Legal & General Affordable Homes are the housing association partner which will be managing the proposed 237 affordable homes planned for Chatham Waters.
This development, separate from the 199 open market homes, will include 139 shared ownership and 98 discounted rent properties.
Chatham Waters is a 26-acre site, which secured planning permission in 2011 for a mix of uses including 950 homes, 400,000sq ft of commercial space and 100,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space and an events space.
Phase one included the Asda superstore, Marston's pub and University Technology College.
Phase two includes the affordable homes, a green space and children's play area, and a care home.
Phase three plans include an events space, creative space and mixed tenure residential properties.