The Council's aspiration for Dover Town Centre is to...
The strategy to deliver this aspiration is set out in Strategic Policy 11 and the Dover Town Centre Strategy Plan is below.
The strategy that has been developed for the town centre takes into account the findings of the 2017 Retail and Town Centre Needs Assessment, and the Economic Development Strategy (2020) and identifies opportunities for development within the town centre boundary, in addition to setting out general principals to guide development in the town centre area.
The focus of the strategy is to create a more vibrant town centre. This will be achieved by:
In addition to this, the strategy identifies a number of sites which present the opportunity for mixed use redevelopment within the town centre that potentially includes residential. These will contribute to the overall vibrancy of the town. These sites include the Bench Street area, the former Co-op Site, Stembrook Car park and the Mid Town area. Further development opportunities have also been identified adjacent to the Town Centre boundary at Dover Waterfront and the former Leisure Centre Site. These sites would be suitable for mixed use development.
Opportunities have also been identified at Market Square, along the section of the A20 corridor that runs through the town centre, Pencester Gardens and along the River Dour corridor to deliver public realm improvements, improve connectivity, and enhance the attractiveness of the town centre as a place to live, work and socialise. A key element of the strategy is also to improve the connectivity of the town centre with the seafront and this will be facilitated in part through the development of Dover Waterfront.
Dover Town Centre in particular offers opportunities for significant change through the redevelopment of vacant sites and replacement of poorly designed buildings. Developments with innovative layouts which maximise the use of a site and, where appropriate, make use of multiple levels are encouraged, having regard to local context and the historic setting of the town. Proposed schemes that aim to achieve landmark buildings should be of demonstrably outstanding architecture.
In order to deliver the strategy for Dover Town Centre a a co-ordinated, multi-partner, approach is required. Further design guidance will also be produced to expand upon the policy approach below and provide more detail to guide the regeneration of the town centre.
Strategic Policy 11: Dover Town Centre
The Council will support proposals, in principle, that help to deliver the regeneration and development of Dover town centre, in accordance with the vision and town centre strategy plan above, and the principals set out below.
Dover Town Centre Uses
The primary shopping area in the town centre comprises St James St, King St, Cannon St, Biggin St and Pencester Road and this should be the focus for E class uses, in addition to pubs or drinking establishments, food and drink takeaways, and other main town centre uses, in accordance with Policy DM 25 Primary Shopping Areas.
In the wider town centre area (as defined on the town centre strategy plan) a broader range of uses will be supported including commercial, business and service uses (class E), main town centre uses, residential, and community (as set out above) so enhancing its attractiveness as a centre, extending its life into the early evening and providing a broader range of services for local people.
Opportunity Areas have been identified on the town centre strategy plan at Bench Street; the former Co-Op Site; Stembrook Car park; and Mid Town area. These sites provide the opportunity for mixed use re-development in the town centre area to enhance the retail and leisure offer, support the local economy, promote tourism and provide residential accommodation. Further opportunities for mixed use development have also been identified adjacent to the Town Centre boundary at Dover Waterfront and the former Leisure Centre Site.
The council will also support the expansion of further and higher education facilities at the Kent College campus subject to design and other site specific considerations.
Opportunities to enhance the public realm and improve connectivity in the town centre area have been identified at Market Square; along the section of the A20 corridor that runs through the town centre; Pencester Gardens; and along the River Dour corridor. A key element of the strategy is also to improve the connectivity of the town centre with the seafront and this will be facilitated in part through the development of Dover Waterfront.
New development should make a positive contribution to improving the town centre’s viability and vitality, support the creation of a safe, attractive, accessible and high quality environment, improve the overall mix of land uses in the centre and enhance connectivity, both within the centre and to adjoining areas. This will be achieved by:
1. Requiring all schemes to demonstrate a quality of design that makes a significant contribution to the character of the town centre, including any proposed buildings and public realm.
2. Ensuring the most effective use of land in the town centre, through the promotion of high density development where appropriate, making use of space above shops for residential, and re-using or re-developing existing buildings.
3. Encouraging the provision of flexible office space, to capitalise on the Town Centres sustainable location and excellent transport links.
4. Improving access to the town centre, and connectivity between the different areas of the town centre, to create a more legible environment and promote ease of movement.
5. Recognising the rich historical landscape in the town and ensuring that proposals conserve and enhance the setting and character of these important Heritage Assets.
6. Enhancing the quality of the environment in the town centre; improving public realm; investing in existing and establishing new green infrastructure; and enhancing visitor experience.
7. Providing opportunities for shopping, community and leisure events to encourage more people to visit the town centre.
8. Taking a balanced approach to car parking provision, that acknowledges the sustainability of the town centre and its rail and bus connections, informed by a town centre parking strategy.
To support the development and regeneration of the Town Centre further design guidance will be prepared.