Since 2008, BBP Regeneration has been heavily involved in the delivery of a transformational programme of change for Dover. The Dover Waterfront regeneration area will see improvement to the quality and quantity of housing stock, employment opportunities, infrastructure, and the cultural and heritage offer. BBP’s work has included an initial scoping report to Dover District Council and the Dover Harbour Board; a feasibility study for SEEDA, and contributing to the District’s Core Strategy; a sequential test to evaluate and compare the potential of previously identified sites around the town which might accommodate a mid-upper market hotel; leading a multi-disciplinary team to prepare the business case for a cable car from Wellington Dock to the Castle, and; input into transportation vision and strategy.
BBP worked closely alongside the Officer team, providing development advice, undertaking financial appraisals, helping to secure additional funding (through the South East England Development Agency and the Homes and Communities Agency) and leading the negotiation with the Council’s development partners. We have provided Members’ briefings and reports to the Cabinet and the full Council. Our experience in delivering complex development schemes in areas where viability is marginal has enabled us to provide a seamless service and expert advice, from initial feasibility to the signing of development agreements, acquisition of key sites, securing planning permissions and compulsory purchase procedures to complete land assembly.
This proved a challenging assignment: demand from end users and developers was weak, a number of third party property interests had to be acquired to enable comprehensive development to take place and there was a funding gap that need to be bridged to achieve viability. BBP helped the Council overcome a series of hurdles. We led the drafting of planning policies; helped secure over £7 million of funding support to acquire third party property interests; helped the Council secure a development partner and restructured arrangements following the withdrawal of an anchor supermarket. A revised retail-led scheme has been consented and a number of leading UK retailers and leisure operators identified as pre-lets. There is a real belief locally that this important building block can help Dover’s town centre recover and stimulate further investment in a town with an ambitious growth agenda.