Queenborough & Rushenden Regeneration
This major regeneration strategy for part of the Isle of Sheppey was prepared over five years. It aims to allow economic & environmental revitalisation through new homes and employment prospects.
Clients comprised several public bodies including Kent County Council, Swale Forward and Swale Borough Council. These were coordinated by SEEDA and later by the Homes and Communities Agency.
This started as a small project to look at redundant industrial sites for SEEDA. Ultimately the scheme included a Local Plan Allocation for 2,200 houses, 1 million sq ft of employment, new infrastructure, social facilities, environmental and cultural works.
Queenborough was a small village with considerable history, architectural appeal and a fishing harbour. The completion of a new bridge from the mainland in 2006 renewed focus on the village and its context.
Surrounding Queenborough are extensive wetland habitats but also decaying industrial infrastructure. Thousands of new cars are imported through the nearby port of Sheerness and stored on the fields around Queenborough. The nearby village of Rushenden is troubled by 1950's development and deprivation.
The project aims to secure long-term residential and employment allocation. This will allow economic and environmental regeneration of the island.
key issues included
- Comprehensive design & planning. This also considered land held by third parties.
- Raising aspirations where they had been traditionally low, including amongst elected representatives.
- Securing Allocations for external investment whilst meeting local needs and protecting employment.
proposal & masterplan
We proposed a comprehensive regeneration strategy. This was achieved by working with property agents, development economists and other professions. The 'masterplan' consists of six parts:
- an arts and cultural strategy
- infrastructure and water
- public consultation statements
- the Masterplan
Public consultation focussed on changing attitudes towards and perceptions of the place. Although only 50 miles from London, areas of the island have been long neglected. Some of these areas were characterised in Dickens' novel Great Expectations.
Progress was halted by the 2003 global slowdown but is now energised again. The focus is once again on regeneration led by residential development.
"Rummey Design's enthusiasm for the project and the residents of Queenborough and Rushenden was instrumental in 'creating' this project. Now that planning policy has been secured, with better economic times this project will be transformational for North Kent. Rummey Design's contribution in planning, design and consultation was invaluable."
- Steven Sadler, former Development Director, SEEDA