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Developer urges town to reconsider

PUBLISHED: 15:24 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 23 August 2010

SCRAPPED: The latest plans are allegedly a far cry from the original proposal to build a 32-storey tower block.

SCRAPPED: The latest plans are allegedly a far cry from the original proposal to build a 32-storey tower block.

DEVELOPERS hoping to push through a huge overhaul of the Heritage Quarter have sought to calm fears over the project. Fierce resistance from campaign group Urban Gravesham has been fought against the £120 million plan which would affect much of the town

DEVELOPERS hoping to push through a huge overhaul of the Heritage Quarter have sought to calm fears over the project.

Fierce resistance from campaign group Urban Gravesham has been fought against the £120 million plan which would affect much of the town's riverfront.

An initial plan, including a 32-storey tower block, was withdrawn by group Edinburgh House and a new application was submitted in November 2009.

This week Tony Quayle, managing director of Edinburgh House, said: "It has often been overlooked that our revised proposal represents a significant departure from our original plans and is vastly reduced in scale.

"Aside from the very obvious step of removing the landmark tall building, we have reduced the height of both the eastern and western quarters, almost doubled the existing open public spaces and taken measures to ensure that views of St George's spire and the river have been preserved."

To support this, Mr Quayle has said no buildings adjacent to St George's Church will be higher than the existing church roof, from ground level in the High Street no building in the eastern quarter will be visible and proposals for the western quarter will enhance the setting of the church and reinstate its historic setting.

Mr Quayle points to comments by English Heritage that state: "Key visual relationships are maintained, not least that of the church and glimpses of the upper spire will remain."

Martin McKay, vice chairman of Urban Gravesham was unmoved by the claims.

He said: "The only thing I would say to anyone concerned about this development is don't take our or their word for it, look at the application yourself and make up your own minds. The pictures are there for you to see."

A copy of the application, which includes 225 documents, can be seen on the planning section of Gravesham Borough Council's website, reference number 20080696.

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