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Published: 17:00, 21 March 2019
| Updated: 17:00, 21 March 2019
Plans to build five apartment blocks on a town centre car park have been approved.
Medway Council’s planning committee last night supported the proposal which will see 175 flats, commercial units, and a public space constructed at Chatham Waterfront in Globe Lane.
The scheme was brought forward by the authority’s own development company, and it is hoped the project will help kickstart the town’s economic prospects.
Cllr Martin Potter (Con) said: “It’s a very important site as it will raise the profile of Chatham.
“We want to bring footfall into the town centre, and we’ve got to get that leisure and entertainment sector going as well as support the retail that’s there.
“It’s the only way going forward in the coming years and decades if town centres are going to function effectively with the competition from online.”
The buildings will stand at between six and 12 storeys in height, but have been designed to “not compete” with neighbouring Mountbatten House or have an impact on historic views of the area.
Only 20 pay-and-display spaces will remain on the site following development, although the council feel nearby car parks can still meet the demand despite the loss of nearly 150 parking spots.
There will be 89 parking spaces for residents as part of the plans.
The public space will include a central plaza, play area and waterfront podium. It is also hoped food and drink businesses will move into the commercial units to “encourage more people to use this area”.
Dave Harris, head of planning, told members: “We think this is a really good scheme. It’s very well designed and is based on a thorough understanding of the River Medway and Chatham.
“It also looks to bring some residential units back into our town centres to create that vitality and improve the viability of the town centres.”
The project meets the authority’s 25% “affordable homes” policy, although they will all be based at a new five-storey block at Britton Farm in Gillingham – which was also granted planning permission last night.
More by this authorDean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter