Dartford residents will be encouraged to have their say on the regeneration plans being prepared for the town’s Westgate area.

Award-winning, national development and urban regeneration specialists, Muse Developments, in partnership with Dartford Borough Council and Homes England, will this week be launching a
dedicated project website – www.westgatedartford.com – and distributing a newsletter to 20,000 homes in the town. They have also announced details of three consultation events, which will take
place at:

  • Dartford Festival, Central Park, Dartford, DA1 1EU
    Muse’s team will be available to talk about the plans at a stall at the festival between:
    – 12pm-3pm, Saturday 14th July 2018
    – 12pm-3pm, Sunday 15th July 2018
  • Priory Shopping Centre, Unit 43 (next to Priory Flowers and Best Gift), Dartford, DA1 2HR
    – 4-8pm, Tuesday 17th July 2018

In March 2018, it was announced that Muse had signed a development agreement with Dartford Council and Homes England to take forward a £75 million plan to regenerate the town’s Westgate
area. The mixed-use development plans to incorporate a 6-8 screen cinema at the heart of a new cultural quarter with bars, restaurants and family-friendly hospitality. The scheme will also aim to
provide a new public square, a hotel, a multi-storey car park and up to 140 new homes (including affordable housing).

Discussions are also underway with the local Clinical Commissioning Group on the potential creation of a new health facility providing space for GPs, family healthcare, social care providers and mental health services. This will provide a wide range of health services under one roof, but the decision will be for the local NHS and local GP’s on whether they wish to take the space in the new development.

James Stockdale, senior development manager at Muse, said:

“We are looking forward to hearing from local people. This is a fantastic scheme that will bring so many benefits to the town and we want to understand how we can deliver resident’s aspirations and what is important to them. I hope to meet many people over the coming weeks.”

The comprehensive consultation will provide an opportunity for residents to comment on a wide range of issues including:

  • What do people think about the look of the proposed buildings and public spaces?
  • What shops and restaurants people would like to see?
  • Should the scheme include a new health centre, providing a range of health services?
  • How the regeneration can link in with other parts of the town, including the Theatre, to create a
    new cultural quarter for Dartford?
  • How links can be provided through the site to improve pedestrian connections across Dartford
    town centre?
  • What should new development be called?

Cllr Jeremy Kite, leader of Dartford Council, said:

“The Westgate area is important to Dartford and this project will help the area utilise its potential.  Muse has an amazing track record of creating spaces that are not only commercially successful but also hugely popular with people.

“The Council has been working closely with Muse over the last few months in bringing these plans together. I would urge local residents to get involved in this consultation. A planning application is anticipated towards the end of the year, so there is plenty of time to influence these plans.”

Designed by architect and urban designer tp bennett, the scheme envisages a new network of routes and spaces which will create a vibrant public realm and a more family focused concentration of retail and leisure uses.

Muse Developments is looking to submit a planning application at the end of 2018 and to start on site in early 2020. The target opening of the new development is in early 2022.

More information is available at www.westgatedartford.com.

Key facts
Gross Development Value (GDV) £75 million.

The proposed scheme comprises:

  • 6-8 screen cinema
  • New bars and restaurants
  • Up to 140 new homes
  • Up to 120 bed hotel
  • New town centre shops
  • A multi-storey car park
  • A new public square
  • Potential healthcare provision

An illustrative computer-generated image showing the retained Co-op façade in use as the 109-bed hotel is available here.
An illustrative computer-generated image showing the centre piece public space with new cinema is available here.
A copy of the newsletter that is being sent to 20,000 households in Dartford is available here.