A CGI of the Dartford regeneration plans

Major Dartford regeneration plans gain momentum

Dartford Borough Council and Homes England are to work with Muse Developments to take forward the £75m regeneration of the town’s Westgate area.

The scheme is supported by both the council and Homes England who are joint landowners of the site. In October 2017, Muse were announced as the preferred bidder.  

They will now work up plans for a mixed-use development which incorporates a six-screen cinema at the heart of a new social neighbourhood with bars, restaurants and family-friendly hospitality.

The scheme will also see the creation of a new public square, a 109-bed hotel, a multi-storey car park and up to 140 new homes.

Discussions are also underway with the local Clinical Commissioning Group to collaborate on the potential creation of a new health facility providing space for GPs, family healthcare, social care providers and mental-health services.

Cllr Jeremy Kite, leader of Dartford Borough Council, said: “Dartford is one of the fastest growing towns in England. The town’s strategic position on the edge of London and the heart of the South East has been energised in the last decade by huge investment in national infrastructure, growth funding and massive capital commitments from private developers.

“We are attracting people with the financial means, ambition and aspiration to build new lives beyond urban London and with an already successfully established community, those of us who have longer roots in the town are enjoying the economic benefits too. A welcoming ‘coffee shop’ culture is changing the face of our High Street and summer festivals events, fairs and events are booming.

“There is a new energy to Dartford that’s being driven by local demand. A new community has united with a decent and loyal existing community to change the face of the town.

“That is why the Westgate Scheme is so important to us – a new leisure quarter with a cinema and a range of facilities that will further strengthen the town’s offer.”

Designed by architect and urban designer tp bennett, the scheme envisages a vibrant public realm with 37,250 square feet designated for restaurant and bar space. Up to 140 new homes – a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments above the retail uses – will be spread among four new buildings. A range of tenures will be offered for these properties, including affordable units.

Muse Developments is looking to submit a planning application late 2018 and to start on site late 2019. Before then, Dartford Borough Council and Muse Developments will be holding public consultation events in Summer 2018.