U and I, the company that own Swanley Town Centre, are publishing their latest plans to redevelop Swanley Town Centre. This is after withdrawing their original plans, that caused a massive wave of criticism last year.
There are very few changes to the scheme.
- Originally they planed tower blocks of flats rising to 13 storeys, they have reduced them by two floors. The tallest will be 11 storeys and most will between six to eight floors.
- They will be providing 303 apartments a portion for sale and the rest for to be commercially rented.
- They want to increase the range of shops in the centre, attempting to attract big names.
- They hope to attract a commercial centre and area devoted to community projects.
- The existing car parks will be replaced by a 338 space multi-storey park topped by rented flats in the 11 floor tower.
- They state their aim is to make it a pleasant well landscaped area with high quality buildings.
Labour have considered these proposals and have come to the following conclusions.
- The town Centre needs regeneration, but not of this type.
- As a country town with by low rise buildings, it does not want the whole character of the Town changed by building tower blocks.
- In the light of Grenfell are high rise flats the way forward?
- The housing will be aimed at the high end market with little, if any affordable units, and NO SOCIAL HOUSING
- The multi-storey car park will hold 338 spaces to for the 303 residents, shoppers, shop workers and visitors. Where is everyone else going to park?
- Is it safe to build flats above a huge carpark. Has the problems of noise, air pollution and fire safety been considered?
- It is thought that most residents will commute to London, is the rush hour train capacity sufficient to cope with the increased numbers.
- U and I say that there will be more shops. The increase will be about 30% hardly a revolution in the town’s shopping provision.
- The building work will take up to 5 years, to complete. Five years of dust, noise and disruption in our town centre.
The company cannot guarantee that the project will be completed. There is a danger that the money making flats will be completed and the more attractive parts of the project abandoned.
It seems clear U and I plans for Swanley will benefit the few! Swanley & District Labour Party wants a Swanley for the many.