Councillors have approved plans to revitalise Sittingbourne town centre.
A supplementary planning document was discussed at last night’s virtual Local Plan Panel meeting on Wednesday (15th December) evening and was approved to move to the next step which is public consultation.
Following consultation, the document will then become part of the current local plan and will shape how the council considers new development proposals.
Cllr Mike Baldock, cabinet member for planning at the council, told SFM News: “All town centres face severe challenges. Changes in shopping habits and covid restrictions have affected local businesses. However, Sittingbourne has been shown to be a particularly resilient town centre, and we have also seen positive changes since the leisure complex opened. We now want to build on that success and have delivered a visionary plan to really take Sittingbourne forward".
It's belived that Swale Borough Council want to develop a leisure quarter, a historic quarter and a community hub, and create more tree lined roads and avenues and improve green spaces. We’ll be creating better links between the town centre Albany Park, Sittingbourne cemetery, Eurolink and Milton Creek Country Park and introducing more town centre living and making better use of brownfield locations within the town centre.
The new supplementary planning document will sit alongside Swale Borough Council's current local plan and sets out what they’re looking for in planning applications from land owners and developers. It also outlines what the council will be doing to make improvements to the town centre.
Cllr Baldock to SFM News: “We’ll be painting street furniture, updating finger signs and planting trees and shrubs along St Michaels Road as we improve pedestrian and cycling routes. We’ll also be looking to create a bus hub and promote better connectivity to the town by rail, bus, cycle and foot, from Eurolink, Milton Creek Country Park and the southern residential district to increase footfall and add to the liveliness of the town centre. While we’ll be focusing on big improvements, protecting the rich heritage of the town centre will be at the heart of any future development.”