There’s no denying that Medway is riding a huge wave of popularity and demand right now. House prices are continuing to rise and people are still flocking to the Towns to find their homes.
Along with this upturn are ambitious Medway-wide regeneration plans that will be transforming the look of our local area over the coming years, and one of the latest projects being shown off is the ways in which Chatham will soon be changing.
A couple of months ago news broke of the upcoming developments, and now we are getting more details about what to expect, along with some imagery to show what the £4 million improvements are planned to look like.
Chatham Railway Station
First stop, the train station. A collaboration between Network Rail, Southeastern and Medway Council will see the area around Chatham station remodelled. Anyone who has been near Chatham station will know that it has quite an awkward entrance for people arriving by car, so improvements to widen this out will be welcome.
Works will focus on sorting out the narrow station forecourt and the surrounding roads, resurfacing of pavements and walkways, new taxi and drop-off bays and even a space for public art.
There are loads of residential streets near here, such as Ordnance Street, Rochester Street, Boundary Road and the streets that shoot off from them, so it will be great for residents to see the area spruced up.
Local transport improvements will also be made for people shuttling between the station, the town centre and the bus station, in an area that at present can easily get clogged up with through traffic from the nearby schools and beyond.
St John’s Square
Just down the road is St John’s church, a building that’s sat dormant since the 1990s (which, itself is being renovated after receiving a grant back in August). The area around the church is a bit of a mish-mash at the moment, but is due a huge facelift under the new plans.
Coming down from the church, a new public square will be developed, including a gradual ramp that will feature some attractive text-engraved steps leading into the area at the top of Military Road. The old and grubby existing concrete wall that separates the road and high street is to be removed to improve visibility all the way up to the station.
New Cut Junction
Improvements at New Cut Junction, which is the busy intersection of roads found next to Wickes and the old fire station, will see paths being widened to help pedestrians and cyclists make their way towards the town centre.
A fancy lighting feature on the New Road bridge will point the way to the high street, and new trees and seating will be added to improve the general look of the area, and stop vehicles mounting the pavements.
Military Square & Military Road
Further down the road at Military Square, those dated ornamental pillars with strangled trees growing inside them (that just end up being used as litter bins) are going to be removed, and the existing paving is being turfed out for new, high-quality materials.
Meanwhile, the area outside the rear Pentagon entrance is getting revamped to replace the existing tarmac towards the bus station to create a clearly defined pedestrian area.
So, what does this all mean for us in the property community of Medway? It’s clear to me that if these regeneration plans go ahead as advertised, Chatham’s growth will continue to develop and even more people will be seeking to live there.
While it’s true that property for sale is still relatively affordable in Chatham, as prices continue to increase, more people will be shouldered out of the market. This presents an excellent opportunity for landlords to help these people find homes in the rental market.
Now is certainly the time to take up that opportunity in Chatham, while there are still suitable properties on the market than can be purchased by investors, particularly in light of knowing the amount of public investment is being pumped into the area to make it even more desirable to residents.
I manage a number of properties in the area and know exactly what you should be looking for when investing, and would be pleased to advise on potential investments, help you source a decent property and even manage a property for you. For any enquiries, drop me and email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or feel free to pick up the phone and contact me on 07944 726676.