Proposed Curious Brew Brewery, Ashford
Proposed Curious Brew Brewery, Ashford
U+I, the mixed-use property regeneration company, has submitted planning applications to develop three mixed-use regeneration projects in Kent that will deliver over 1,000 new rental homes worth around £250m.
The projects in Ashford, Maidstone and Swanley aim to combine affordability with desirability, and enhance the local communities by providing high quality accommodation, retail and leisure facilities.
In Ashford is developing a six acre site opposite Ashford International train station. The proposed development would consist of approximately 200 residential units, a 120-bed hotel, an Aldi food store, a new brewery and visitor centre for local wine and beer maker, Chapel Down and flexible retail and commercial space.
The site in Maidstone comprises two phases with planning consent already obtained to develop 192 residential units in the first phase. An application has also been submitted for the second phase of the project to develop 300 residential units, the majority of which would be delivered as private rental homes.
In Swanley, an application was submitted in July to extend and enhance Swanley Square shopping centre to include 340 residential units, 46,780 sq. ft. of new commercial and retail, restaurants, shops, new office space and a new car park, with the aim of revitalising the town centre, improving the retail offer and attracting more investment and leisure spend.
The UK’s rental market continues to grow and was recently valued at £1.29 trillion. By 2025 it is expected to account for 22% of the UK’s housing market as the demand for a high quality, value for money rental offer increases.
Richard Upton, Deputy CEO of U+I, said: “We are making good progress at each of these sites, all located within the London City Region “Huburbs” and within an hour’s commute of central London. The plans submitted prioritise the development of high quality, mid-market homes with easy access to the centre of London in locations where housing demand continues to grow. We are committed to delivering vibrant, mixed-use places that take their inspiration from their local areas and meet the needs of each community. We will create affordable, desirable places people can truly enjoy – not just a place to sleep or commute from, but a place to live and thrive.
“We have selected these sites very carefully. Each one is close to a train station, beautiful parks and located in quality towns where consistent rental and capital growth will be evident and each will remain relatively affordable for the wider population. That is important to U+I and helps mitigate risks in uncertain times. We will deliver carefully designed places with great amenities and details, fostering a real and sustainable sense of belonging for all who will live in them.”
“Home ownership is no longer the be-all and end-all – increasingly, a new generation is choosing to rent and they want high quality and affordable accommodation to match their lifestyle and aspirations. This generation has high expectations - meeting these expectations and delivering great new homes for rent is a key part of our offer as a business. These 1,000 homes represent the first chapter in our unfolding rental story.”
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