What was meant to be a luxury complex of 16 dream homes has had its fair share of setbacks, from its developer going bust to junkies having to be removed by police.
But more than two years after KentOnline's first visit and now with a new site owner, reporter Keely Greenwood went to have a look at what progress has been made.
When my colleague visited “luxury housing development” The Hamiltons, he got rather a shock.
Back in June 2021, he described the development off Upper Luton Road in Chatham as “abandoned” and “eerie” with a row of 10 impressive three-storey homes, smart and mostly finished – but facing six half-built homes.
Bare grey blocks stood fenced off, cluttered with abandoned building materials and surrounded by signs warning people to keep out.
One corner was said to be exuding distinct “derelict farmyard” vibes, while the lush undergrowth clawing at the backs of the more stylish finished buildings gave them a hint of “mid-jungle Columbian drug lord compound”.
When I arrived to check on progress I wasn’t sure much had changed at first.
After navigating the uneven driveway and squeezing through the broken gates I started to worry everything was still the same.
But once I had reached the summit and marvelled at the views over Chatham, I noticed that the six houses that were once just weathered breeze block shells, or “hulks” as one recent resident called them, had been transformed into luxurious new homes.
The houses still need finishing touches to the landscaping and the driveway to the properties needs resurfacing but I am assured by one recent resident, who did not want to be named, that there has been huge progress since the development was taken over in May 2021.
“Ever since it was taken over I have been optimistic,” he said.
“I have seen these buildings getting better, which is a pleasure. I have seen them completed which is a bigger pleasure and soon we are going to see people move in which is an even greater pleasure.”
He added: “There has been a complete turnaround from grey, raw breeze block hulks with no roofs for about three years, to finished houses.”
The gate, which was hanging off when my colleague visited, is broken today but residents assure me it will be fixed quickly as “things get done now”.
The fixed gate gives the residents a feeling of security and adds an air of luxury to the development which wasn’t there a few years ago.
Developer AMG Chatham Ltd began with the best intentions of bringing a touch of style and elegance to this corner of Medway, until it went into administration in 2019 and the dream community was left unfinished and abandoned.
The upturn in fortunes is down to the investment of property developer Hamilton Heights Limited which bought the ill-fated development at auction for £2,357,000 – more than double its initial guide price of £1.1 million – and since then has transformed the run-down estate into something befitting its name.
As well as creating luxury houses, the specifications on the existing 10 properties at the newly-named Hamilton Heights have been improved.
Ranging in price from £550,000 to £600,000 the four and five-bedroom homes have marble-finished bathrooms, porcelain floors and en-suite Jack and Jill bathrooms with every bedroom.
The houses are also fully-automated with smart locking, meaning when you are not home you can unlock the front door, watch a delivery driver place a parcel in your hall and view him leave again or let your child in when they arrive home from school whilst you are out.
The super-modern entry system means you can choose between opening your front door with a key, a badge, a security code or your fingerprint.
Most importantly the luxury development will be a gated community with a gatehouse at the entrance and 24-hour manned security.
ICC associate director Adam Connolly said: “It gives residents that added comfort.”
A detached property on the development has a starlight glass roof whilst the others have roof hatches leading to terraces offering amazing views over Medway.
Mr Connolly joked: “They should be somewhere in the sun really.”
Kamila Mankowska and her wife Beata Lipska moved in last month and were originally planning to rent, but have fallen in love with the place and are now going to buy.
The couple, who have a 15-year-old son, say they love the spacious feel to the house and the light.
“There are so many windows,” Kamila, 38, said. “I have never seen a house in the UK with so many windows.”
She said the view completely sold the house to them.
“We couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It makes Chatham look amazing. It is so precious.”
Having lived in Dartford for the past 10 years, Kamila, who owns Kami Tattoo Arts in Gravesend, has no plans to move away.
“It feels like our home already and it definitely feels like a luxury development.
“We were planning to rent but now we are going to buy as we want to stay here.”
The rest of the properties are expected to be completed in May.