Retail Park (Stock Image)
Retail Park (Stock Image)
A £30m bid to build a new shopping centre is expected to bring new businesses to Medway and create hundreds of jobs.
The development land was at one point expected to house a 64,000 sqft Sainsbury’s store. But the supermarket chain pulled the plug in January last year. New plans have now been submitted to Medway Council for a large retail development.
The 12.5 acre plot of land was sold earlier this year to an undisclosed buyer after being marketed with planning for retail use.
Plans have recently been revealed for a parade of six new shops, plus four smaller ‘pods’.
The possible future tenants have not been finalised but the developer, Location 3 Properties, has said most will be “new to the Medway area”. They are likely to include a discount food store, pet shop, textiles retailer and homeware store.
The four smaller units will be occupied by food and drink kiosks. The plans also include 367 car parking spaces for customers and staff.
Sainsbury’s had planned to fill in Whitewall Creek to build on, but the large cost involved is thought to be one of the reasons the retailer changed its mind. The new plans are much smaller in size and do not require building on the creek.
If planning permission is given, work will start summer this year with a planned completion date in August 2017.
Location 3 Properties said the proposal would represent an investment of around £30m and, once completed, would create 225 new full and part-time jobs. In addition, some 250 jobs would be created over the construction phase.
The planning statement concludes: “The application proposal will at long last result in the development of this allocated site which despite a number of retail consents in conjunction with a park and ride facility has stood idle for many years.
“In doing so, it will represent an investment in Medway of about £30m, deliver much needed new jobs and will be a physical manifestation of continuing investment in Medway on a highly prominent location.”
Cllr Gary Etheridge, one of the ward councillors for the area, welcomed the plans: “I think it is good news for Medway,” he said.
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