For more than a decade Studio Director John Muir helped SEEDA regenerate a huge area of derelict land next to the Historic Dockyard. Such is the project’s significance and success that Chatham Maritime was adjudged ‘Challenging Regeneration Project of the Year’ in 2004.
In the 1990s, John was appointed to prepare a masterplan identifying viable commercial development as the final stage of SEEDA’s sustainable community at Chatham Maritime. The original area of the study plan covered some 300 acres, taking in a World Heritage Centre, nine Scheduled Ancient Monuments, 26 Listed Buildings and the naval dockyard site idle since 1984.
John’s proposals, put forward as an outline planning application by the practice’s developer client and co-applicant and landowner English Partnerships, offered a comprehensive vision which the planning authority praised for its quality ‘not only in design terms, but also the quality of the public place around the waterside’.
The proposals were approved. They comprised 250,000 sq ft of shopping; 230,000 sq ft of leisure uses including a cinema, restaurants and themed attractions; 2,500 homes including those later built on St Mary’s Island; 150,000 sq ft of office accommodation, a 300-bed hotel; a 500-berth marina; and parking for 2,300 cars.
For years after the time of the original plan, the John was retained by SEEDA to update it to reflect changing economic circumstances and government planning guidance. The proposals have transformed the area of Chatham Maritime between the Historic Dockyard and Basin No. 1 into a major retail and leisure destination.
|Client||English Partnerships, SEEDA, Dockside Centre, and Dickens World|
|Contractor||Galliford Try, MacLaren et al|