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English Heritage Win Battle Of Gravesend

A council press statement today confirms that the tower landmark building for Gravesend Heritage Quarter has been scrapped, and just to pile the injury on to the regeneration of the area it seems the original alternative 14-storey wedge building has also been abandoned.

According to the council it is the statement by quango, English Heritage, against this Gravesend town centre regeneration scheme, that was the deciding factor. Put simply - English Heritage like local campaigners Urban Gravesham, wants little retro 'olde worlde' shops in place of large retail outlets instead of the modern scheme by Leslie Jones Architects.

Although this might sound great in theory it has not worked in Gravesend in the past. Just visit Gravesend High Street if you want to see how what works in Lincoln or York does not succeed here.

Rubbing salt into the wound for the potential of Gravesend is the Ebbsfleet Valley commercial development a mere 2 miles away that shall continue apace, adding even more pressure upon the town centre.

When we wrote about there not being a secure timetable for the scheme and development would happen over the medium term, the local NIMBYs actually fell on that and used it as another reason to oppose the development because it had no fixed schedule. They even went as far as to call this website "influential" to lend credence to their distortions of what we wrote.

A few years of planning and fine-tuning before development could look like nothing if the backer of the scheme Edinburgh House, pulls out. We've been told that it will take up to 20 years, to get to a planning application stage once again for the Heritage Quarter - and that is if they can get another developer/investor. In other words, this was a once in a generation chance.

Failing that, a limited refurbishment of the Heritage Quarter probably funded by a tiny sum of lottery money might seem to be the only thing left to do, but this leaves Gravesend's status as a major retail centre rather than a dead satellite town people live as highly questionable.

For those living in Gravesend who'd like to see their town improved and given the modern facilities it deserves, it's a sad day, and they will continue to have to look outside where they live to find the facilities they need to live life comfortably.

The involvement of English Heritage when viewed in the context of their lack of promotion for the area is particularly hypocritical and when compared to their enthusiasm for the likes of Tunbridge Wells, it seems even they don't think the history in the town is that appealing.

Article Related buildings:

Gravesend Heritage Quarter Landmark Building

Gravesend Heritage Quarter Landmark Building
Gravesend Heritage Quarter, Kent
Gravesend Heritage Quarter, Kent