Year 12 geography students at Strood Academy are currently studying regeneration as a topic and they were delighted to be invited to visit the new Rochester Riverside development as guests of Countryside Properties.
The group of eight A Level students were first taken to the boardroom where they were given a background overview of the development:
Rochester Riverside is being built on brownfield land and is being developed by Countryside Properties in partnership with Hyde. Countryside has significant experience in working closely with local authorities to deliver regeneration schemes such as Rochester Riverside. Homes at site will be tenure blind; where specification of the build is identical for both private and affordable homes.
The development will consist, housing wise, of 1,400 new homes with plans within wider Medway for some 30,000 new homes by 2035. The River Medway is to be put at the heart of new development in the area.
This site will also include an 81-bed modular built hotel, a school as well as local shops and cafés. Connectivity and the local transport links to and from the area is a key selling point, with Countryside and Hyde promoting the use of public transport where possible. Although parking will be available at the scheme, there will also be a ‘car club’ for residents to hire cars when needed and so reduce their carbon footprint.
December 2015 – final bid submitted by Countryside and Hyde
March 2017 – contracts signed
January 2018 – full planning permission issued
February 2018 – breaking of ground and work begins on site
June 2019 – first new homes ready for habitation
Key statistics are:
68% of site operatives are local
Five apprentices on site
110 local people employed
Students were then given an overview of a working day in the life of a site project manager.
Moving onto the construction industry, it was explained that not enough young people are considering the wider industry as a career. Both apprenticeships and graduate schemes are available within a number of disciplines- the range of careers in the sector is wide.
Donning protective clothing, students then took the opportunity to go onto site itself and see for themselves the various stages of build as they currently are.
The group then had the opportunity to visit the sales office and see the model of the development and view the wider area in context to the site.
Students then visited two show properties; a two bedroomed apartment and a four bedroom house.
Moving back to the boardroom (which cleverly is in a two-storey portacabin), students took part in a short Q&A session before departing.
Thank you to Countryside Properties for a useful visit for students. Strood Academy hopes to develop a longer-term relationship, especially in relation to a potential case study for GCSE.