New housing minister Kit Malthouse visits Rochester Riverside
New housing minister Kit Malthouse visited Rochester Riverside, the £419m landmark regeneration scheme by Countryside and Hyde, on the first site tour of his new role.
The area will be developed over the next 12 years and provide four distinct, new neighbourhoods, complete with mixed tenure homes along with, a new primary school, nursery, hotel and over ten acres of green, open space.
Mr Malthouse said: “Rochester Riverside is a really fantastic example of a development that's really cracking on.”
He said the plans to build thousands of homes of which 25% are going to affordable were "to great design standards, using lots of brick, making it look like the local area, so it will age well and blend in”.
He added: "It's a critical part of our delivery of this 300,000 housing target.”
Delivered by Countryside and Hyde, in a joint venture, and supported by Medway Council and Homes England, the development will transform brownfield land, open up a key part of the Medway riverside for the first time and create new jobs in the area.
On completion there will be 1,400 new homes, including provision for first-time buyers and families, built across 50 acres, a new hotel and 2,200 sqm of commercial space, a primary school and nursery and a new public riverside walkway, approximately two and a half kilometres long. The development is expected to be finalised in late 2027.
Construction has begun on the first three phases and the first wave of new homes is anticipated to complete in the first quarter of 2019.
Cllr Alan Jarrett, Leader of Medway Council, said the visit had been a good opportunity to build the national profile of the area.
He said: "The minister was really engaged with the process, really supportive of what we're doing here, not least because we'll be helping him to hit some of his housing targets, so it was good visit."
Graham Cherry, Chief Executive at Countryside Partnerships South, said: “We were delighted to host Kit Malthouse on his first site visit just two weeks into his new job. He appreciated the valuable work we are doing at Rochester Riverside and the opportunities the project creates for the wider community.
“It was great to see Kit Malthouse recognise how strong partnerships and collaboration between government, local authorities and house builders can create excellent, much needed new homes and amenities for the country.”
Tom Shaw, Operations Director at the Hyde Group said: “It was wonderful to welcome the new Minster of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse, to Rochester Riverside yesterday. Rochester Riverside is a fantastic example of partnership working in action, delivering 1,400 new homes for Medway. Our 50:50 joint venture with Countryside is transforming this former brownfield site at pace, delivering homes, jobs and regeneration of a prime site.
“After the announcement of Hyde’s Strategic Partnership with Homes England earlier in the month, it was great to have the opportunity to show the Minister one of Hyde’s biggest sites, where we are delivering on our commitment to accelerate delivery of new homes to tackle the housing shortage.”