MedwayOne is an exceptional opportunity to deliver diverse new employment opportunities through the delivery of commercial and energy generating uses.
It would attract significant new investment in the area and support sustainable economic growth in Medway. Uniper’s emerging proposals for the site would deliver:
An attractive scheme to meet market demand, including a mixture of commercial, manufacturing and industrial uses along with storage and distribution, including data centre and energy uses.
New high quality employment with around 330,000sqm of employment space that could create around 2,000 to 2,500 permanent, full-time equivalent jobs once the MedwayOne is fully occupied. In addition, around 700 temporary construction jobs could also be created as a result of the proposed redevelopment, predominantly on the site and over the lifetime of the build.
New opportunities for local businesses during the construction phase and in the supply chain.
A flexible scheme that offers a range of opportunities on site that would be able to respond to future need and market demand.
Options to create an Energy Hub that could potentially provide power, steam and heat for neighbouring businesses, as well as a district heating scheme for the proposed housing development – Hoo Rural Town.
An HGV layover area for around 40-50 HGVs to park overnight with wash and canteen facilities for hauliers serving both MedwayOne and other nearby facilities.
A landscaped setting with a focus on sustainability, creating an attractive place to work, whilst being sensitive to the surrounding environment and nature conservation areas.
Protection of ecological assets within the site and enhance its ecological value, whilst also considering those on the wider peninsula.
The majority of the site is allocated in the current adopted Medway Local Plan 2003, for industrial development. In the emerging Local Plan, Future Medway, also identifies the Kingsnorth site as an appropriate area for more intensive commercial activities, whilst also offering opportunities for energy uses.
Uniper’s proposals for MedwayOne support Medway Council’s ambitions for future economic development in the District, as part of its emerging Local Plan to 2037. The proposals could also enable the development of a lower carbon future for the peninsula, which is a high priority for Medway.
With the potential to generate significant inward investment and create new employment opportunities, MedwayOne would complement and support future planned growth in Medway.
Uniper plans to submit an outline planning application, with all matters reserved (except access), to Medway Council in Spring 2021. The application will look to establish the principle for the development of part of the site and the parameters within which future detailed designs (via future reserved matters applications) can be developed.
Our outline planning application will set out the following:
- Maximum extent of development area/no build zones
- Maximum heights of buildings
- Maximum floor space
- Landscape, ecology areas and buffer zones
- Use of buildings
- Design principles
- Details of the access, including the road design from Eshcrol Road.
It is expected that building heights would vary across the site. The buildings closest to the site entrance would be limited to 15 meters in height. In the centre of the site, building heights would be limited to 45 metres, with the potential for a chimney stack of up to 100 metres. In the south east of the site this land has been identified as suitable for buildings up to 25 metres.
A full Environmental Impact Assessment will be undertaken, which will assess a range of different environmental impacts, and this will be submitted as part of the planning application.
We expect full details of ground works, detailed drainage design, remediation and site maintenance would be controlled by planning conditions, and we envisage this information would accompany the subsequent reserved matters applications. The outline application will, however, include details/strategies for how these technical matters could be addressed.
If an outline planning permission is granted for MedwayOne, detailed plans would need be approved by Medway Council and other appropriate agencies under separate, more detailed planning applications known as reserved matters, before construction can begin.
Reserved matters applications would be submitted by the businesses that locate on MedwayOne in the future, as they would be responsible for developing individual parcels of land at the site. Reserved matters would cover details of the final built design, including the appearance of the buildings, scale (including height), layout and details of landscape design, which would all need to be within the parameters consented by the outline planning permission.
Ahead of the outline application being submitted, Uniper is undertaking a programme of engagement with stakeholders, and the local community, to explain how the redevelopment of MedwayOne can support continued economic growth in Medway and to seek feedback on the emerging proposals.
We are mindful that there are a number of environmentally sensitive areas situated within and surrounding the site. An overview of the approaches taken to mitigate against the impact of the redevelopment, and to ensure the long-term protection of the site and surrounding area is detailed under each topic below:
Ecology – A range of ecological surveys have been carried out during 2019 and 2020 identified the designations, habitats and wildlife that are currently present on site. Where these habitats could be affected, appropriate mitigation would be put in place.
Drainage – At present, drainage on site is managed via a combined gravity and pump system, with the pump system becoming active during periods of high tide. It is proposed that a similar system remains in place, with an additional function, which would clean the received water through a series of ponds and wetlands, prior to being discharged into the River Medway.
Flooding – Existing flood defence structures support the vast majority of the development area. These comprise concrete walls, steel sheet piles to earth embankments, amongst other structures. The height of these flood defences is sufficient to manage tidal levels associated with some of the most extreme present-day events, namely levels up to and including a 1 in 1,000 year chance of occurring.
To ensure the development remains free from flooding we are working closely with the Environment Agency to establish an appropriate flood defence strategy for the long-term protection of the site.
Landscape – Landscaping of the site would include mostly natural planting, with more formal planting along the access road.
Sustainability – Any future development at MedwayOne would be in line with Government legislation, including Net Zero 2050 for greenhouse gas emissions.
Noise – A Noise Impact Assessment (NIA) will be undertaken using methods and criteria recommended within national planning policy and guidance. These assessments will focus on the levels above which adverse effects can be detected, and the levels above which significant effects can occur. The findings of the assessments and recommendations will be included in the NIA report that will accompany the outline planning application.
Air Quality – Detailed modelling of local air quality is currently underway to understand the potential impact on sensitive ecological sites and existing developments, for example, schools, care homes, hospitals, parks and residential areas, in the vicinity of the site and the affected road network. Mitigation measures will be proposed to minimise potential impacts.
Transport and Access – We are aware of local concerns about traffic on the Hoo Peninsula, and our team is looking carefully at possible measures for managing any additional impact of traffic as a result of MedwayOne.
Uniper are undertaking a transport assessment as part of our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for inclusion in our outline planning application.
The results of the assessments we have completed to date, show that when considering a worst case traffic forecast, the site many generate approximately 500 – 600 two-way vehicle (cars and HGVs combined) movements at peak hours in the morning and evening. A Servicing and Management Plan would also be developed to manage the routes that the largest of vehicles would take to access the Strategic Road Network. This would ensure HGVs use the A289 corridor towards Junction 1 of the M2.
Although the nature of workplaces such as warehousing is such that shift patterns generally avoid peak periods, we have identified that junctions such as the Four Elms Roundabout could experience some additional delays.
Any improvement works to the public highway which may be required as a result of this development would be determined by Medway Council. We are aware that the Council is bringing forward new plans to deliver additional road infrastructure and consideration would be given to these improvements when assessing traffic mitigation for the site.
The planning application will include a Framework Travel Plan, detailing how future occupiers may use sustainable forms of transport to travel to MedwayOne. Future employers who occupy the site would be encouraged to use car share schemes amongst staff, provide cycle parking facilities and staff shuttle services to key areas. A cycle link on Eshcol Road connecting to the existing cycle network would also ensure cycle access and help to reduce travel to the site by private vehicle.
The redevelopment of this brownfield site has the potential to bring a range of benefits to Medway. These include:
- New employment space and associated infrastructure stimulating the local economy by attracting national and international companies, helping to deliver long-term investment in Medway.
- A wide range of employment opportunities, supporting sustainable growth in Medway, with the potential to deliver around 2,000 to 2,500 permanent, full-time equivalent jobs when fully occupied, with at least a further 900 jobs created in the wider Medway area.
- Generating at least £48m per annum as economic output once fully occupied, which equates to a business’s wage bill plus annual profit.
- Creating around 700 temporary construction jobs over the lifetime of the build.
- An estimated economic output of £35 million per annum during the construction phase. This roughly equals a business’s wage bill plus the amount of profit made per year.
- Generating up to £10 million in Business Rates annually which Medway Council can use to invest in local services and initiatives.
- A financial contribution to Medway Council (if required) towards infrastructure improvements through a Section 106 planning agreement. This would assist the Council to fund important works which are vital regional infrastructure such as highway improvements.
- A new Energy Hub which could incorporate a range of different energy uses.
- An HGV layover area with overnight parking, toilets and wash facilities for drivers serving both MedwayOne and other nearby destinations.
- 62 hectares (152 acres) of readily developable brownfield land reducing the pressure on greenfield (undeveloped) sites to be released.
- Remediation of the site from its previous use to remove hazardous materials which could pose a danger to humans and other wildlife.
- High quality design, layout and landscaping, that would ensure the proposed development sits comfortably within the landscape.