Chatham scheme is voted seaworthy
Kemp Muir Wealleans has won approval in principle from Medway Council for its part in a £125 million revitalisation scheme for Chatham Maritime. The scheme won the unanimous approval of officers, but will be referred to environment secretary John Prescott since it departs from the structure plan - its retail content is 20,000m2. But the architect is hoping that Prescott will smile on the scheme if he is called on to judge its merits, since many of the principles he has been espousing figure in the plans. Firstly, it is in the Thames Gateway and will mean jobs and the re-use of a brownfield site depleted since the Historic Dockyard shut down. The site is the nearest to the town centre, with proposed public transport links to it and railway stations, a pier for Riverbus services to Rochester and riverside walks. It also aims to repair a little of the damage done by out-of-town retail at Bluewater Park. Bus provision accords with the aims of Medway council's Draft Plan.
kmw is masterplanner and has now included a scheme for a 200-bed three- or four-star hotel, a 600-berth marina and watersport centre, a 4000m2 conference centre aimed at local businesses and trade exhibitions, a factory- outlet centre from the Grade II*-listed Boiler Shop, a multiplex cinema complex and a Grade II former machine shop transformed into a children's interactive science centre.