Published: 06:00, 26 June 2019
Councillors will get the chance to have their say on revised plans for a retail and trade developmentbut the final decision will now be made by an independent inspector.
Location 3 Properties’ (L3P) proposals for four large retail units on Anthony’s Way in Medway City Estate – including a discount food retailer, a drive-thru coffee shop, and trade counters – will be discussed by Medway Council’s planning committee tonight.
But the applicant has already lodged an appeal based on “non-determination” after the authority failed to make a decision on time, so members will only be able to indicate what outcome they would have reached.
Three objections have been sent in from the public regarding the “increase in traffic congestion” that could be generated by the development, which would sit next to Co-op and McDonald’s.
Council officers have also recommended a theoretical refusal for the “Medway Gateway” scheme and the 319 parking spaces which go with it due to "insufficient information" provided by L3P.
Papers from the agenda read: “It is accepted the proposal represents substantial benefits in terms of economical, environmental and social aspects including job creation, investment and improvement in access to services.
“It is considered the proposal is acceptable in retail terms, but on the basis of the lack of detail provided on highway matters, despite extensive discussions – and in the context of a local highways network already under significant strain – it is considered that planning permission should have been refused on that basis.”
Speaking last year, L3P managing director Colin Thacker said the project would actually enhance traffic flow on the already-congested Medway City Estate.
He said: “Our plans also include measures to radically improve the management of the traffic to and from the Medway City Estate, including road widening and junction improvement which will greatly benefit existing businesses on the estate.”
Permission was granted for a Sainsbury’s store on the plot in 2010, but the scheme never progressed.