St Mary's Island, which is Britain’s only planned new island community, is part of the wider community of Chatham Maritime, which is a development of national and regional significance.
On the site of the former Royal Naval Dockyard, St Mary's Island is being undertaken in a joint venture, formerly with the South East England Development Agency(SEEDA). Its 150 acres will comprise a new mixed-tenure community of some 1,700 new homes, as well as shops, a school and other community facilities, public open spaces and a marina.
Chatham Maritime provides employment, restaurants, hotel, shopping, as well as learning facilities for a number of Universities and extensive leisure amenities.
St Mary's Island was heavily contaminated and extensive remedial works were carried out. This left a flat, virtually featureless, site. Structural landscaping and earth mounding has been implemented across the island and has provided shelter and improved the visual impact of the site. Flood defences have also been improved.
Recent housing phases adopt many of the lessons learnt at Greenwich Millennium Village and the latest ones achieve up to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes. Housing layouts have been designed to provide shelter from prevailing winds, thus providing pleasant micro climates whilst making the best use of passive solar gain.
Very high standards of planning, design and sustainability have been the critical factors in the success of the multi-award winning scheme and have enabled us to create a much stronger demand for housing for sale than exists elsewhere in the sub-region. Affordable homes are being dispersed throughout this new community.
In particular, Chatham Maritime:
Overcomes major technical constraints to bring brownfield land forward for development, including extensive site reclamation and decontamination as a result of the previous use as a Ministry of Defence Royal Naval Dockyard.
Conserves the existing environment and visual qualities of the landscape through the creation of a wide sweep of parkland running across the island which contributes to bio-diversity and wildlife.
Provides a park and marina, education, community, leisure and retail uses to complement the island environment.
Establishes character areas to create a sense of place and identity.
Mixes residential and commercial/retail uses at the Historic Dockside, including the conversion of the dock buildings into high density, environmentally responsive 3 to 5 storey apartment blocks, 'live and work' units and 3 storey town houses.
"Our highly successful joint venture with Countryside Properties has enabled us to deliver an outstanding sustainable new community at St Mary’s Island. Over 1,200 new homes have been built already and a further 500 planned. St Mary’s Island is a thriving residential community, combining high quality urban design with the most stringent sustainability standards. Our long-term relationship has led to the regeneration of the island and provided a catalyst for the renaissance of Medway.
For further information please visit the websites at www.stmarysisland.uk.com and www.chatham-maritime.co.uk
Information correct as at 17/09/2010