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The start of construction by Countryside, one of the UK’s leading home builders specialising in placemaking and urban regeneration and Hyde, one of the largest housing associations in the country, will begin the delivery of a new riverside destination for the region.
Rochester Riverside, which is located under 40 minutes from London, will provide up to 1,400 new homes and 1,200 sq m of commercial space when complete. The site will make a huge contribution to meeting local housing need, with 25% of new homes earmarked as affordable. In total, over 10 acres of new open space will be provided across the project, including 2km of riverside walkway for public use.
Construction at the scheme has begun on the first three phases, comprising 489 homes and a hotel, along with 885 sq m of commercial floorspace and landscaping. The first wave of new homes is anticipated to complete in the first quarter of 2019.
Andy Fancy, Managing Director for North and South London at Countryside Partnerships South, said: “This ground breaking is a landmark moment for the scheme and marks the beginning of a 12-year programme to deliver 1,400 new homes and state-of-the-art community facilities, whilst opening up a key part of the Medway riverside for the very first time. We are delighted to finally see the vision for a new destination in Rochester take such an important step forward.”
David Gannicott, Group Business Development Director at Hyde said: “It is great to be breaking ground with Countryside, Medway Council and Homes England on this landmark project for Rochester. We are really excited to start work and bring some fantastic new homes to the town.”
Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council said: “I am delighted that work has begun on Rochester Riverside. It is Medway’s flagship project and will bring hundreds of homes and jobs to the area. The development will include a school, nursery and hotel alongside green spaces. We are committed to providing affordable housing for the people of Medway and the development will include affordable housing. Rochester Riverside will be a fantastic place to live, work, learn and visit. Medway has a very exciting year ahead and Rochester Riverside is just one of the area’s monumental regeneration projects.”
Steven Kinsella, Director of Land at Homes England, said: “At Homes England we’re using our land, finance and expertise to speed up the delivery of new homes. By working with Medway Council we’re providing the land needed to make the Rochester Riverside development possible. It’s great to mark the breaking of ground on site as an important milestone towards ultimately providing 1,400 new homes alongside the supporting infrastructure and facilities needed to create this new community. Rochester Riverside has excellent design quality and is a great example of the sort of schemes we want to support as we seek to raise the bar going forward.”
The site connects the River Medway to the town centre and comprises 50 acres of brownfield development land, stretching from Rochester Bridge in the north to Doust Way in the south.
Over the next 12 years Countryside and Hyde will transform the site in to a new mixed-tenure community with provision for a primary school and nursery for children living at Rochester Riverside and surrounding area, as well as a hotel, pedestrian footbridge, parking, open space and landscaping.
The site is owned by both Medway Council and Homes England, who are jointly promoting the site for redevelopment.