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£3.5 million boost for Queenborough & Rushenden regeneration

Written by on 7 February 2018

The Queenborough and Rushenden regeneration scheme has received a £3.5 million boost.

Swale Borough Council bid for the funding from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Viability Fund.

The scheme aims to provide 1,100 new homes alongside a new school, community facilities and new employment, with up to 1.94 million sq. ft.
of new floor space.

Work has already begun on the first 101 homes of the scheme, and Homes England has committed to invest in the works needed to begin phases two
and three.

The funding helps overcome some of the challenges of developing on this brownfield site, and will pay for demolition works, site remediation, land-raising and drainage improvements on phase four of the scheme. This will mean the site preparation required for regeneration will be bought forward, helping the local area deliver new housing as planned.

Cllr Mike Cosgrove, cabinet member for regeneration at the council, said: “This is an important piece of the jigsaw for this regeneration scheme,
and will prepare the ground for the much needed homes in what will be a vital phase of the scheme.

“By working with in partnership with Homes England and Kent County Council, we’re helping to turn this former industrial land into something with the potential to be of real value to the Isle of Sheppey and will help strengthen its growing reputation as place in which to invest.”

Nick Walkley chief executive of Homes England said:

“Homes England will work with the successful Local Authorities to help ensure that the investment they receive is used as effectively as possible to ramp up the delivery of much needed homes.

“Homes England will offer experience in delivering complex housing schemes and project management skills to help ensure that the new homes
are built as quickly as possible and support ambitions for local growth.”

MP welcomes the announcement.

Local MP, Gordon Henderson, has welcomed the announcement this week of £3.5 million that will speed up delivery of the Queenborough and Rushenden regeneration project that has been delayed for years.

The government has announced £866 million investment in local housing projects to help get up to 200,000 extra homes built. In Sheppey this
could deliver 210 homes by 2022, and 990 homes in total.

This funding will support local work that will make housing development on brownfield sites viable and get much-needed homes built more quickly.
Without this financial support these projects would struggle to go ahead or take years for work to begin.

This government is committed to building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s so more people are able buy a home of their own. The funding
announced earlier this week is the first wave of funding from the £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund which is part of our comprehensive programme
to fix the broken housing market that has left too many struggling to afford a place of their own.

This latest investment and will fund key local infrastructure projects including new roads, cycle paths, flood defences and land remediation
work, all essential ahead of building the homes.

Mr Henderson commented: ‘It’s great news that the Government is using its Marginal Viability Fund to provide funding to the Queenborough and Rushenden regeneration scheme.

‘I want to see brownfield sites used for housing development, rather than cement over more green spaces. This particular scheme has been on
the table for years ago and part of the site is already being built on. However, development of the rest of the site stalled because the cost of
mitigating the land made it unattractive to developers.

‘Working with Swale Borough Council I lobbied successive housing ministers to get funds to ensure all the site could be developed. I am
delighted that we were successful and full development of the site, which will see another two hundred homes delivered by 2022 and almost a
thousand homes in total.

‘The scheme will also provide a new school and marine related activities.’

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