THE SPIRIT ¥ SITTINGBOURNE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ROADWORKS UPDATE

ROADWORKS ON ST MICHAEL’S ROAD DUE TO BEGIN ON JUNE 10TH

Roadworks are due to occur on the gyratory at the western end of St Michael's Road, before it intersects with Dover Street, from June 10th.

A map of the area imapacted can be viewed here.

A single lane will be maintained on the road throughout the works, with the Cockleshell Walk car park accessible as before. There will however be a reduction in the number of car parking spaces within the park.

The works are due to finish in December 2019.

Local shops and business will remain open as normal.

If you have any questions regarding the roadworks, or encounter any issuesonce the works begin, please contact us by emailing roadworks@spiritofsittingbourne.com or calling 01795 602011.

THE SCHEME
1. Who are Spirit of Sittingbourne?

Spirit of Sittingbourne LLP is a Public Private Partnership between U+I plc, Swale Borough Council, Quinn Estates and Essential Land.

2. What new facilities will the scheme deliver for Sittingbourne?

The scheme will deliver a new retail park with three large format retail units, including Home Bargains and Food Warehouse from Iceland, plus a new drive-through from Costa Coffee. A new 308-space multi-storey car park will provide central, easy parking close to Sittingbourne’s new amenities and public spaces in the town centre.

The Light Cinemas will operate a new 8-screen multiplex cinema alongside six new restaurants, attracting up to 400,000 visitors per year and creating a night time economy that Sittingbourne currently lacks.

A new public square will provide open space for cultural activities creating a pleasing welcome to the town and connecting the train station more naturally to the High Street, providing footfall and a new logical flow to the town centre.

Travelodge will operate a brand-new 63-bed hotel overlooking the public square providing a centrally located facility for visitors, helping Sittingbourne to become a ‘destination town’.

3. How is the market incorporated into future plans?

Linking the Forum car park to the High Street is an integral part of plans for the regeneration of the town – helping to  increase footfall in the high street and to attract a wider range of traders than can currently be accommodated.

The success of the new Saturday and artisan markets has shown that this could provide a real boost to town centre retailers who have helped shape the current plans through extensive consultation over the last few years.

The initial idea to close the whole length of the High Street for the Friday market was revised following feedback from local businesses who wanted the lower end to remain open. This has now been incorporated into the plan which has been widely supported and we’re working with Kent Highways to plan the necessary works to make the market move a success. The move will take place from Friday, 12 January 2018.

Dates for the relocation are still to be confirmed as we’re working with Swale Borough Council and Kent Highways to try to coordinate the timings with the works for the wider town centre regeneration. We’re keen to avoid carrying out any infrastructure works which would only need to be replaced as part of the changes to the road layout  and want to try to manage the potential disruption to traffic whilst the works are carried out.

4. When will we find out other tenants for leisure elements?

We continue to market the scheme’s opportunities to potential tenants and will update in due course.

5. When will the new leisure quarter open?
Construction on the leisure quarter is due to be complete in 2019, after which fitting of the units is required. We therefore expect the cinema, retail offerings and hotel to be open by early 2020.
6. Where is the green light on the new station traffic lights?

As with other modern traffic lights, the green light has moved to the handset beside the crossing. This is in order to prevent pedestrians walking out when there is a green light without checking the traffic facing them.

PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
1. When was planning permission granted?

In March 2015, Swale Borough Council’s planning committee resolved to grant planning approval for Phase 1 of the Spirit of Sittingbourne scheme.

2. How is the scheme being paid for?

The Council is taking advantage of very low interest rates to borrow from the Treasury to fund the capital cost of the regeneration scheme. The independent financial evaluation shows that borrowing costs are more than offset by  income from the tenants that the scheme will generate. The surplus profit from the scheme will be used to fund Council services, including keeping Council Tax down.

3. Why is the Council funding the scheme?

Some concern has been expressed locally about the Council borrowing to fund the regeneration scheme. However, as the independent financial valuation shows, the cost of borrowing will be met and exceeded by the return that the scheme will generate. In addition to this financial return there will be a positive economic impact on existing businesses and with new businesses coming to the town the Council will  benefit from the business rates these new enterprises will pay.

BENEFITS
1. What is the economic benefit to Sittingbourne of the scheme?

The scheme will bring around £330m into Sittingbourne over the next ten years and create around 700 new jobs within phase 1. About 230 of these will be permanent jobs generated by the new cinema, retail and restaurants.

The £59m phase 1 of this development project is a major mixed- use scheme being delivered by Swale Borough Council’s development partner Spirit of Sittingbourne - in a public private partnership that includes U+I, Essential Land and Quinn Estates. 

2. Will any jobs be reserved for local people?

As part of our s106 agreement with the council, 50% of the overall jobs during construction will be reserved for people living in Kent, with 20% of that total from within Swale.

When the commercial units are operational, we have made the commitment to source 60% of employees from Kent, with 30% of that total from within Swale.
3. How will the jobs advertised?

We’re working up a plan with the future occupiers of the scheme to advertise jobs locally and will release details at the appropriate time.

CONSTRUCTION
1. Will regeneration project create disruption in the town centre?

The scheme includes the remodelling of the town centre and the introduction of a new highway arrangement outside the railway station. This will create a pedestrian friendly environment whilst  maintaining traffic flow. The works will be designed to minimise disruption but it’s inevitable some disruption will take place over the construction period and Spirit of Sittingbourne commits to communicating any potential disruption early.

2. How do I access Station Street?
Station Street is still accessible for pedestrians. However, it is now permanently closed off to traffic at the western end. The station is accessible via Dover Street.
3. I'm going on a coach holiday, where should the coach go?
We strongly recommend contacting the coach trip operator ahead of your trip who will be able to advise you of where to meet the bus.
If your question has not been answered here then
please email info@spiritofsittingbourne.com