The innovative 4 step masterplan for this large town centre site skillfully negotiated potentially conflicting local interests to release the development value of 7 acres of existing car park. Each step is designed to be complete in itself so that the masterplan can be reviewed as it progresses with highly manageable risk while ensuring appropriate development.
The site is well located in relation to the town centre and has high potential value for residential with some mixed use. However, the existing car parking, including a multi-storey with a hostile environment, has supported town centre traders, enabling car access from the hinterland of Gravesend.
The highly consultative masterplan study examined ways of protecting trade while realising site value and providing 25% affordable housing. The ‘steps’ of the plan reassured both politicians and local interests that development could proceed in a controllable and reviewable way. This enabled the plan to be adopted and the site transferred to a private developer. Two terraces of houses and two apartment buildings have been handed over, and occupied, and the multi story car park has been cleared to enable completion of this first step.
In all the masterplan provides 881 habitable rooms over a development area of 3.26 hectares, an average of 270 habitable rooms or 108 dwellings per hectare. This compares to the average 28 dwellings per hectare on brownfield sites in the UK and the 30 to 50 set out in 2000’s PPG3.