Dover District Council (DDC) has acquired the freehold of properties at 8, 10, 11 and 14 Bench Street in Dover, completing a programme of land assembly that brings the regeneration of the area a step closer. DDC already owns 15 Bench Street and the Bench Street car park.
Acquiring the properties is an important step in the council’s bid to secure around £20m from the Government’s Levelling-Up Fund for the ‘Dover Beacon’ project which will see the comprehensive redevelopment of the area. The proposals for Bench Street include:
- 2,000m² educational campus for the creative and digital industries
- 690m² facilities for small/medium businesses
- 800m² green space next to the River Dour
- Improving sustainable transport with additional electric bicycle hubs, as an expansion of the current Dover cycle hire scheme
- Retention of some of the current parking
- Potential for residential development on the western side of the site.
Bench Street is ideally situated as a thoroughfare between Dover waterfront, the St James retail and leisure development, and the recently remodelled Market Square leading to the town’s traditional high street.
Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “This is a key phase in realising our vision to transform this neglected part of Dover town centre. For too long, these dilapidated buildings have given a poor first impression of the town.
“Following the purchase of the buildings, we’ve assessed their condition and are working to ensure the site is ready for redevelopment at the earliest opportunity.”
A decision on the council’s bid to the Levelling-Up Fund is due by the end of this year.
Posted on 09 December 2022