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Council backs HTA-led £400m Rochester Riverside regeneration

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Medway Council has given outline permission for a major £400 million HTA-led regeneration scheme at Rochester Riverside in Kent, including up to 1,400 homes, 

At the planning committee meeting, held last Wednesday night [25 October], the council also granted detailed planning permission to the first three phases of the scheme, designed by bptw partnership. This will provide 489 homes, an 81-bed hotel, 885m² of commercial space, and parking. 

The seven-phase masterplan, backed by Countryside and the Hyde Group, is for a 24.5ha site brownfield land and will also provide up to 1,200m² of commercial space, a pedestrian footbridge, and a primary school.

HTA Design partner Colin Ainger said: ‘As the new waterfront homes, spaces and facilities are delivered, this dormant site will spring to life and, we hope, will be a popular destination for local people, as well as a great place to live for new residents.’

Ainger added that the project would deliver ’what feels like the missing piece of the puzzle in Rochester’.

Chris Bath, architectural director at bptw partnership, said the project was one of the practice’s ‘largest schemes to date’, and the result of a ’fulfilling collaboration’ with project partners – not least Countryside, Hyde and HTA Design.

‘We worked with Medway Council from the beginning and their level of commitment to and engagement with the project was impressive, and was certainly a major contributor to the project’s success so far,’ he added.

Work is expected to start on site later this year, with the first homes set to complete by 2018. The overall development is expected to finish by 2030. 

Cpl roc hta di red line site boundary

Cpl roc hta di red line site boundary

Source: HTA Design

[Approved] Rochester Riverside masterplan by HTA Design (site boundary)

Architect’s view 

The Rochester Riverside masterplan aims to establish a mixed and diverse community, with 25 per cent affordable housing across the entire site. In the initial three phases, bptw has created a varied range of bespoke house, maisonette and apartment typologies, to be set in a landscape that draws on the natural heritage of the site, specifically designed for the historical riverside location. Bptw and HTA have been commissioned to produce the post-planning drawings in order to start on site in November and enable occupancy in the first homes in 2019.

The approval of this planning application represents the most significant step in the regeneration of this important Medway site and marks an important moment in the site’s history that will start to deliver major regeneration benefits to the site and to the city.

The site connects the town to the River Medway, with the proposals designed to complement the fabric of the city while creating a new vibrant urban quarter. The design team has drawn inspiration from the wider Medway area, referencing the rich fabric found in the conservation areas of Rochester and also the character of Chatham and the Historic Naval Dockyard. Rochester Riverside will implement a public open space network that improves connectivity across the site and builds on connections to the riverfront. The network will provide a number of new urban spaces as well as a series of distinctive open spaces, orientated to provide views to Rochester and the Medway, forming a cohesive chain of recreational opportunities which link back to Rochester via a 2.5km circular trail.

The planning application was overseen by the bptw planning team, and the proposals for the Rochester Riverside masterplan are the result of close collaboration between bptw partnership, HTA Design, Countryside and Hyde. The project has also benefited from an extensive and inclusive design development process with Medway Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and the local community.

Project data

Location Rochester Riverside
Architect HTA Design (masterplan), bptw partnership (detailed plans for phases 1,2 and 3)
Project value £400 million
Client Countryside and Hyde
Structural engineer Brand Consulting
Main contractor Countryside
M&E Waring
Quantity surveyor Countryside
Planning consultant bptw planning
CDM co-ordinator Countryside
Project manager Countryside and Hyde
Landscape LUC
CAD software Revit
Start on site November 2017
Completion 2020 (phases 1-3)
Form of contract Design and Build

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Given the very extensive tideway frontage, isn't it rather odd that there seems to be no provision whatsoever (see image 2/21) for access to small boats? No pontoon? No launching slip? A token crane from a previous age, and that's it?
    Isn't this a wasted opportunity, or are they all retirement homes where you sit and stare out over the water - or will they perhaps be unaffordable to most younger families who might have a sailing dinghy?

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