News from a controversial housing development in Hempstead is that work has been halted because of a dispute over the ownership of the land.
The proposed development of the land on Gibraltar Farm is for 450 homes to be built on farmland in Ham Lane. Initial the planning permission was rejected by the council but following an appeal and subsequent public enquiry, the government overturned the ruling with one condition; that work on the development must start within three years. That deadline is up in September and so far nothing has commenced. Since the decision was passed there has been an ongoing dispute between the developers and Medway Council about the ownership of the land and now that deadline is looming, so I’m keeping an eye on how this develops.
Perhaps predictably, the original plans were contested by many locals. Wider objections were based on the thinking that if Gibraltar Farm was approved, it would signal the start of an influx of development approvals on open land across Medway. But Medway’s growth is far more steadfast than just one development approval. Affordability and accessibility to London and Europe are driving strong growth in the property markets in Medway.
The region’s unique position and comparative affordability has to the driving force behind its growth. In spite of the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit, our property market remains robust and continues to show strong growth. Last year’s industry leading Kent Property Market Report cited said the area had seen exponential growth even in comparison to London. The combination of expanding commuter demand with the diversity of Medway’s newest projects like the Chatham Regeneration Project, the Rochester Riverside redevelopment and ongoing gentrification of Chatham Dockside, mean there is a ongoing investment and interest in the area . And the diversity of residents is where HMO’s specifically, come into their own. Affordable housing for students, commuters, contractors and service providers, is a huge growth area, which I can personally attest to given the continued growth my HMO specialist management company Home-Share is seeing.
Of course, leisure and tourism also play a massive role in our region’s booming economy. I was staggered to read that Kent and Medway welcomed 60 million visitors in 2016, who contributed £3.6bn to the local economy.
The Kent Property Market Report said that “with substantial planned investment and developments – such as Ebbsfleet Garden City – of national scale, Kent and Medway contain some of the most exciting economic growth prospects in the South East.”
We sure do people. The future is bright. Particularly for property investors in Medway. With savings account still paying very low rates of interest, investing in property in Kent and Medway can provide a safe, secure and high paying return on investment.
If you’ve got any thoughts on the future of housing in Medway, I’d love to hear your views. Why not join our Facebook discussion group; Property Investors in Medway, Maidstone, Gravesend and Bexley.