The Kent Thameside Regeneration Partnership will launch its strategic framework for the Kent Thameside Waterfront on the first day of the Thames Gateway Forum today.

It plans to create 5,000 homes and generate around 7,000 jobs along the area’s waterfront. More than £30m is expected to be invested in the area’s waterfront to facilitate mixed-use development, infrastructure improvements and areas of open space.

Areas set for improvement include Gravesend Town Centre, the River Darent, Dartford Marsh, Greenhithe, Swanscombe Peninsula, Northfleet Embankment and the Thames & Medway Canal, along with new water frontages created through the introduction of sustainable urban drainage systems.

Kent Thameside’s Waterfront is one of the top ten housing locations identified in the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan.

The department for communities and local government has prioritised its funding to secure housing programmes in these locations, where extra homes are most urgently needed. A strategic framework is required to set out how this additional housing will be delivered alongside the many different roles Kent Thameside’s waterfront serves.

The framework is designed to complement new developments already in place and underway in the area, including The Bridge, near Dartford, the 900 new homes already built at Ingress Park in Greenhithe and 350 homes completed at the Canal Basin in Gravesend, as well as the 5,000 new jobs created at Crossways Business Park near Dartford.

To enable the masterplanning of waterfront sites to take place within an agreed framework, the future function and nature of the waterfront will form a key part of the emerging local development frameworks for Dartford and Gravesham and the Dartford Town Centre Area Action Plan and discussions will be held with landowners and developers to bring forward the key opportunity sites identified.

Kevin Lynes, incoming chairman of the Kent Thameside Regeneration Partnership, said: ‘In launching this strategy, the Kent Thameside Regeneration Partnership is seeking to maximise all regeneration opportunities and to turn Kent Thameside back towards its river frontage, both operationally and aesthetically.

'The riverfront should become Kent Thameside’s showcase and to achieve this we need positive plans to bring people back to their river with the introduction of mixed-use developments and the creation of a Thames Path as part of the Thames Gateway Parklands.'

The Kent Thameside Regeneration Partnership covers the Dartford, Gravesend and Ebbsfleet areas of Kent. It is responsible for managing the delivery of 50,000 new jobs and 30,000 new homes over the next 20 to 30 years as well as creating a network of open spaces, promoting town centres in the area and achieving a significant shift from car use to public transport.