THE SPIRIT ¥ SITTINGBOURNE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ROADWORKS UPDATE

PHASE TWO ROADWORKS: JUNE - SEPTEMBER 2018

The road closures for the second phase of roadworks will begin at 8pm on Monday 11 June and last for approximately four months.

A map detailing which roads will be closed and the alternative routes can be found here.

If your question is not answered on our FAQ page, please get in touch.

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As part of the regeneration of Sittingbourne, the planned second phase of roadworks around the train station will cause significant disruption to those who drive in and around the area. 

The second phase of the roadworks will include the closure of:

The station end of Dover Street

The station end of Milton Road

The station end of St Michael’s Road

The section of Station Street which runs parallel to St Michael’s Road

The programme begins on May 29 with the above road closures taking effect by June 11. The whole programme lasts for approximately four months.

Whilst we are taking steps to mitigate the impact of these necessary works, delays are inevitable. Residents are advised to plan ahead and review their journey in order to minimise the disruption caused to their travel plans.

Town centre visitors will need to review their parking options over the period of the roadworks and bus users should take note of temporary stop changes.

Full details of the works are contained in the Q&A section of this website (click here).

Further further information or questions, please email roadworks@spiritofsittingbourne.com or call our roadworks hotline on 01795 602 011.

We apologise for the inevitable disruption this phase of the Spirit of Sittingbourne development will cause.

Those who commute through the roadwork area, and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) are advised to make alternative travel arrangements and avoid the area altogether. There will be a diversion route in place for HGVs.

The roadworks are outlined a graphic available here.

PHASE 2 ROADWORKS > ROAD CLOSURES JUNE - SEPT 2018
1. When will the roadworks take place?

The roadworks are planned to last for approximately 4 months. It is therefore important that those affected seek alternative travel arrangements.

The road closures will begin at 8pm Monday 11 June.

2. Which roads will be closed?

The station end of Dover Street

The station end of Milton Road

The station end of St Michael’s Road

The section of Station Street which runs parallel to St Michael’s Road

3. Who will carry out the works?

The roadworks will be carried out by experienced highways contractor, Erith. As part of an agreement with Swale Borough Council 50% of the overall jobs during construction will be reserved for people living in Kent, with 20% of that total from within Swale.

4. What is the alternative route for HGVs?

A diversion is in place for HGVs via London Road, Sheppey Road and the B2006. Road signs will be in place.

5. Will through access Dover St/Milton Rd to St Michaels Rd be possible?

Access directly by the train station will not be possible. St Michaels Road will remain accessible via Station Street and Crown Quay Lane off of the B2006.

6. What is happening to the bus stop at the train station?

Inbound bus passengers will be dropped off at the back of The Forum. Outbound bus passengers should go to the bus stop on St Michael’s Road.

7. Will the Forum car park be open

Yes, the Forum car park will reopen on June 13.

8. Will the station taxi rank be affected?

For the first two stages of the works, the train station taxi rank will remain open as usual. In the final stage, the taxi rank will simply move to the opposite side of the road.

9. What will taxi drivers access to the station be?

Taxi drivers will be able to enter the station rank via Milton Road and exit via Dover Street.

10. Will the taxi rank at The Forum car park remain open?

Yes, The Forum rank will remain open throughout the works. However, the east side of Station Street will close permanently, meaning access will only be possible via the west side of Station Street.

11. Will I still be able to drop passengers off at the train station?

A new temporary station drop-off point will be opened at the eastern end of the station site, accessbile from the easterm end of St Michael's Road.

12. When is the Multi-Storey Car Park due to be built?

Work on the Multi-Storey Car Park began off site in Spring 2018 with a nine month build period.

13. What will car parking provision be during works/before new MSCP built for the town centre and station?

It’s our current intention to maintain the majority of parking provision until the Multi-Storey Car Park opens. This will be formally agreed with Swale Borough Council and we will of course communicate plans to maintain adequate parking during the construction period once agreed.

14. What impact will the scheme have on current high street businesses?

A key objective of the scheme is to increase the attractiveness of Sittingbourne high street as a destination. The new leisure and retail offer will increase footfall to the existing High St businesses due to improved public realm creating a more attractive pedestrian route from the station into the town centre.

15. What about impact on traders on diversion routes?

There will of course be some disruption during works. Spirit and Kent County Council Highways will consult with impacted businesses during specific phases of works. We are committed to going above any beyond the minimum required andwill be communicating directly with businesses, their customers and local business organisations well in advance of the works.

16. What consultation/warnings being given to try to avoid gridlock?

Kent County Council mandates the contractor to carry out consultation and notification of works proportionate to their impact. Spirit of Sittingbourne are committed to going beyond these baseline requirements to communicate directly with potentially impacted businesses and residents. We’ll communicate well in advance through local media, social media and Council/Spirit communications channels.

17. How will town centre car parking change overall?

The current development proposals include for the full closure of Cockleshell Walk and Spring Street car parks for residential development, the full closure of Spring Street car park for construction of the new Multi Storey and the partial closure of the Forum car park for construction of the Cinema and Hotel. The Network Rail car park to the front of the station will close and become a new public square and this will be replaced by a section of St Michael’s road car park transferring to Network rail under a land swap arrangement.

The overall spaces lost to development are detailed in a Council-approved car park strategy that includes the new Multi Storey Car park with 308 spaces and changing Albany Road and Crown Quay lane to long stay parking. The town centre strategy is under constant review and may require further refinement as the development progresses.

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. Confirmed early restaurant signings include national operators Pizza Express and Wildwood.

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.

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. Will the scheme be subject to further delays?

We have taken every step to ensure the plans are right for the people of Sittingbourne. A lot of work has taken place to ensure that this summer we move from vision to reality. We’re confident of meeting the new timetables.

3. 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.

4. 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.

If your question has not been answered here then
please email info@spiritofsittingbourne.com