Welcome to our second update on the St James’s development. We’re confident that 2015 will see our plans to transform the retail and leisure offer in Dover town centre start to take shape.
Plans for the St James’s retail and leisure development in Dover town centre took a major step forward on 26 February 2015 after the Compulsory Purchase Order made by Dover District Council was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. This allows the Council acting with its development partner, Bond City, to complete the assembly of all outstanding third party land interests and enable the redevelopment of the St James’s area to proceed. More than 95% of the freehold interests in the site were already owned or have been acquired by the Council by agreement. The Compulsory Purchase Order was requested to acquire the remaining land and interests. A related Order has also been agreed by the Secretary of State for Transport for the stopping-up of roads within the scheme area.
Travelodge to Open First Hotel in Dover
Travelodge has confirmed it is to open its first hotel in Dover as part of the 120,000 sq.ft. St James’s leisure and retail development. The 108-bed hotel will occupy a prime location on the corner of Townwall Street and Woolcomber Street. Tony O’Brien, UK Development Director for Travelodge hotels, said: “The St James’s development is in an excellent location and the new Travelodge hotel will be perfect both for local tourists and those using the port. This will be a major town centre redevelopment scheme, bringing fantastic new national retailers, restaurants and cinema to the town which will provide great amenities for our customers and enables us to provide the best value hotel accommodation. We have been working on this project with the Council and the developers for several years and so are really looking forward to opening in 2016 and becoming a key part of the community in Dover.”
Major Fashion Retailer Sets Sights on St James's
A planning application (DOV/14/01110) on behalf of a major high street fashion retailer has also been submitted to Dover District Council. The plans are for a 16,266 sq. ft. (1,512 m²) store trading over two floors (Unit 7A). The design of all the retail units at the St James’s development is such that they have space for a mezzanine floor. This provides retailers with flexibility and opportunities for expansion. The identity of the retailer has not been disclosed as contractual agreements are still being concluded.
The Council’s development partner, Bond City and its letting agents are in advance negotiations with a number of potential tenants, including retailers and restaurant operators. Units 3B (3,751 sq. ft. restaurant), 4A (6,081 sq. ft. retail), 5A (5,070 sq. ft. retail) and 7A (16,266 sq. ft. retail, including mezzanine) are currently under offer. In addition expressions of interest have also now been received on a number of the remaining retail and restaurant units.
The contract for the construction of eight flats at 12-14 Castle Street has been awarded to Folkestone-based, Jenner (Contractors) Ltd. Construction started on 5 January 2015 with completion expected in October 2015. Whilst construction is underway the footpath on the corner of Castle Street and Maison Dieu Road will remain closed. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. We understand the concerns about the appearance of the proposed development site. With construction now underway on the flats we have put new, more attractive hoardings around the development site. This includes information on the heritage of the town and the St James’s development along with art work by students from Astor College of the Arts and Dover Grammar School for Girls.
The demolition of Centurion House on Bench Street has been completed by local contractor, Dover Demolition. Although this land falls outside of the St James’s development it will provide an additional 53 space short-stay pay-and-display car park and opens up the western frontage of the St James’s development and the 16,000 sq. ft. Simply M&S store that will occupy Unit 1A. Work on the car park has started.
Site Clearance and Surveys
Contractors have cleared vegetation from the various parcels of land already in DDC ownership in preparation for a range of survey work. Contractors working for the Highways Agency are also currently using the site behind the County Hotel as a temporary depot for the works currently underway to renew the lighting on the A2 Jubilee Way. This is not related to the St James’s development.
There will be some major caveats and uncertainties in respect of the timescale for delivery of development. The timeline below includes the key dates as currently envisioned but they are all provisional and are subject to change.
- 26 February 2015
CPO and stopping-up orders confirmed
- February 2015
Clearance of former Charrington’s and proposed Travelodge site
- Spring 2015
Land vested for development
- Spring 2015
Russell Street car park closed / new Bench Street car park open
- Late Spring 2015
Pre-demolition works Burlington House internal strip out
- Spring / Summer 2015
Demolition of Multi-storey car park and Burlington House
- Spring / Summer 2015
Utility works, including diversion of sewers, relocation of substation
- Late Summer / Autumn 2015 (12 months)