Unanimous approval for multi-million pound Dover regeneration scheme
REGENERATION plans for shops, homes and restaurants in the centre of Dover have cleared the final planning hurdle.
At a meeting of Dover District Council committee members last night the application for the second part of the St James scheme was approved by an unanimous vote.
The first phase, for a 108-bed Travelodge hotel, telecommunications mast and 10-metre LED screen at Woolcoomber and St James streets, was granted permission last month, with construction expected to start by the end of this year and be complete in 2013.
Speaking to councillors last night council director of community and development Mike Dawson said: "This is a very important day in the Dover story. This is a major town centre redevelopment we have been trying to bring off for several years.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"We are in a double dip recession yet we have developers willing to work with us, it is a fantastic opportunity."
Proposals to regenerate the Dover Town Investment Zone (DTIZ) were first mooted in 1997. Planning permission for a scheme with Asda as the anchor tenant was granted in August 2009 but the superstore pulled out in March 2010 amid disagreements over design and car parking issues.
Laker Developments and architects Lyons Sleeman and Hoare then teamed up with DDC and development partner Bond City to create a new design based on the old street layout of the seafront site, coupled with a maritime theme.
The revamped plans include a 4.5 metre flint "town wall," 390-space car park; public square with capability for 54 extra car places; eight shop units backing on to Townwall Street; two larger retail units at St James Street and Woolcomber Street; another five units between Dolphin Passage and the Castle Inn; a restaurant backing on to the River Dour; eight homes at the corner of Woolcomber and Castle streets; a kiosk at Flying Horse Lane and a park area at King Street.
There will also be a signal junction into the site from Woolcomber Street, a new road across the site to a public square at Fishmonger's Lane, new access to the site also at Woolcomber, traffic-calming measures, and pedestrian routes into the Market Square and links to De Bradelei Wharf.
Laker Developments chief John Laker said the unanimous vote would now strengthen negotiations with retailers looking at taking on the units.
He said: "This is another piece in the jigsaw of getting it together and making the scheme happen. We can now talk in much more detail to retailers with the confidence of planning permission behind us.
"We are pleased with the decision and very pleased to be involved with the town of Dover."