Securing Successful Planning Consent for The Charter in Gravesend, Kent, Reef Group

Client: Reef Group
Location: Gravesend, Kent
Discipline(s): Planning, Economic Planning, Strategic Communication and Consultation

Working on behalf of our client, Reef Group, GL Hearn successfully supported the successful planning application for their ambitious 242-home residential scheme, 'The Charter', in Gravesend, Kent.
The scheme received planning approval in July 2020, kick-starting Reef's ambitious regeneration plans for the town centre.

GL Hearn's Strategic Communications team delivered extensive public consultation for this phase of the regeneration, as well as post-submission support for the application's determination, working closely with Gravesham Borough Council and statutory consultees, and engaging with local stakeholders as well as the wider public.

GL Hearn’s Economic Planning team were also instructed on the project, delivering bespoke modelling techniques to produce an economic benefits statement. The purpose of which was to capture the demand uplift in the town centre during the construction phase and once the building was finished and occupied.

Our Strategic Communications team provided a Consultation Statement as part of the application. The Consultation Statement detailed the consultation and engagement activities undertaken by the team to help inform the proposals. The team was also able to advise and provide support for the planning committee meeting and decision.

The team continue to work with Reef and Gravesham Council as work is starting on site (spring 2021), including support with the media, the hoarding strategy, and stakeholder engagement.

The new homes will be built in three blocks, ranging from three to ten storeys, with improved public realm and streetscapes. There is generous and improved amenity space in the form of balconies, communal gardens, and roof top terraces. The development also includes a flexibly-designed multi-storey car park which can be easily repurposed in future, independent of the surrounding buildings.


Outcome

The economic benefits statement set out the spatial context of Gravesend, reporting on residential based income, occupation, and a review of policy relating to the proposed town centre regeneration.

Commentary was provided on the expected economic benefits from the construction phase of the development. Using bespoke GL Hearn modelling, this captured direct local impacts but also indirect impact arising from the multiplier effect of the development.

We then moved on to set out the spending patterns for residents specifically within the build to rent sector, and an estimation of other quantifiable benefits such as Council Tax and CIL contributions. These benefits were also adjusted with displacement and leakage effects to ensure that only benefits additionally brought forward by this scheme were counted.

GL Hearn estimated that the proposal had the potential to make an important and meaningful contribution to the regeneration of Gravesend town centre supporting local shops and services, employment, and town centre vibrancy.