Starting over at Swanley Square
Published: 25 August, 2016
Swanley shopping centre area in line for partial redevelopment, including a new housing scheme
A new housing development, totalling 340 homes, will sit alongside the Swanley Square shopping centre which is being eyed up for redevelopment, with an intent to create higher quality retail units. Multi-billion-pound property developer U+I, which owns the site, has submitted an application to Sevenoaks Council to transform the ‘run down and dated shopping centre’. As part of the application seven buildings, ranging between three and 13 storeys, would be constructed. It is hoped the deal will bring in about £77m of private investment.
Once finished, the £350m development is expected to increase spending in the area by about £5.2m per year, with 290 new jobs brought to the town centre. U+I has submitted an application with changes including retail space, a multi-storey car park, new shops and restaurants.
129 residential units are for sale while 211 homes would be available to rent. The majority of the rental supply would consist of one bedroom and studio flats to encourage young people commuting to and from London.
U+I has a £4bn portfolio of various regeneration projects - including a £200m investment portfolio. The Swanley Square shopping centre was acquired by the company, then DevSec, in 2004.
Councillor Victor Southern, of Swanley Town Council, said: “I think there will be a fairly substantial number of objections and there are a number of councillors who have a number of reservations about the plans. As far as redevelopment on the shopping centre is concerned, I expect most of the councillors will be in favour but some may have reservations about the large impact the tower would have on the Swanley scene. I want the public to consult with us on the plans themselves - they are enormous."
The council will be holding a development control meeting in September to hear from residents. The square would be revamped along with the other changes if plans are approved. A decision on whether or not the application will be granted is expected to be made by November.