Dover District Council has granted permission for Discovery Park to develop 500 new homes, a hotel and petrol station. The latest decision follows its earlier one to grant Sainsbury’s permission to build a 30,000ft2 supermarket on the site in Sandwich. The residential development will help the park’s owners ensure its long-term future.
Work has also got under way this week on the £40m Betteshanger Sustainable Parks situated on the site of the former colliery. The landmark development will combine sustainable business and commerce, sustainable education and energy, and tourism.
The St James retail development has also announced progress with its £50m plans to transform the town centre, having signed an agreement with Frankie & Benny’s.
Readers of Kentcentric will also be aware of progress to transform the Western Docks at the Port of Dover after it was granted a Harbour Revision Order making it possible to raise investment for joint ventures.
Proof Dover is moving in the right direction can be seen in the spate of recent Ministerial visits, all eager to be linked to positive economic news as the political parties jostle for position in much bigger General Election Stakes – the political equivalent of the Gold Cup. Minister of State for Transport, the Rt Hon John Hayes MP saw plans for Western Docks when he took a tour of the UK's busiest port, and Penny Mordaunt, MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DCLG visited Betteshanger Sustainable Park.
Ashford arguably continues to lead the development race, closely followed by Medway, which now has its head down after approving the Lodge Hill proposals.
Gravesham may stumble if a judicial review finds in favour of Urban Gravesham, the opponents to the Heritage Quarter. But with the Ebbsflet Urban Development Corporation soon to take over as ‘trainer’ it’s hoped the Garden City and London Paramount proposals will be just the fillip (should that read filly?) the area needs to get back into contention.
The bookies’ favourite on which district is currently bringing up the rear in the ‘We’re Open for Development in Kent’ Stakes’ is… answers on a postcard, or if you’re feeling brave – leave a comment.