Save Gravesend Heritage Quarter

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In support of local residents and businesses against the plan to build a large development of 242 flats and a multi-storey car park, over a series of buildings up to ten stories high, on the Market St car park site (in front of the Medical Centre) in central Gravesend. 

The buildings planned are too big and are an unsympathetic fit with the surrounding Georgian and Victorian period buildings. On completion the development will generally be more than twice as high as any of the buildings around it, many of which are historic and listed. The site is also far too small for such a mass of buildings which will be crammed together and leave little or no space around or between them. The result would be a fundamental change to the character of the area. This is obvious in the many pictures and plans submitted by the developers. Please take a look at just a couple of the generated images attached above to get a sense of the scale of this build and its impact on the Gravesend skyline.   

At this stage the Council are in favour of the proposal based on the idea that the benefits outweigh the negatives. But the only benefit is to inflate housing figures and the questionable prospect of revenue gain for the council. There is no sign of real benefit for current Gravesend residents, instead we stand to lose a great deal.  

The plan involves a loss of 211 public parking spaces. On completion the public will have 100 less spaces available to them, and there will be only 75 spaces for 242 flats. If it goes ahead it means new residents, and the public, will have no option but to park in side streets where spaces are already over subscribed. It will also mean added congestion on the one-way traffic system. Aside from causing problems via insufficient provision of parking spaces, there is also the likely destruction and loss of important local archaeology under the car park, not to mention the loss of public space as well as the significant loss of privacy and amenity of adjacent properties. This is unavoidable as the buildings will tower over all the surrounding properties and businesses. 

Urban regeneration is an important objective but it can be a huge challenge to get right. This massive, high density, rent only and council owned and controlled development is absolutely the wrong thing for our Gravesend. At the very least the buildings need to be reduced in terms of their bulk and height and the architectural style needs improvement to better connect with the setting. If we must have development on this site then a more considered and modest build would support Gravesend's potential and avoid the degeneration that the intended development would bring in years to come. Our town deserves to have a far brighter future centred on heritage, tourism, commerce and the arts, becoming a unique destination in this part of Kent.

If you can do more please do as we need your help, to start, please forward this link wherever possible!

The best thing to do is register a formal objection at:

https://plan.gravesham.gov.uk/online-applications

(enter reference number: 20200343 and click on 'comments') 

You can also email the council with your objection:  

planning.reps@gravesham.gov.uk

 

 

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