The Role of Chatham Maritime Trust
Chatham Maritime Trust was established by English Partnerships, the government regeneration agency charged in the early 1990’s with the regeneration of the major part of Chatham Dockyard.
English Partnerships role was to facilitate regeneration, but not to remain as a long-term Estate Owner. It therefore needed to identify an exit strategy which would enable it to make the cleanest possible break from its obligations at Chatham Maritime, and English Partnerships expressed its objectives as:
To put in place an appropriate and effective estate management organisation which will have the confidence of occupiers and investors.
To ensure that the Estate is maintained to a high standard, thus safeguarding the long-term future of the site, and its value.
To make appropriate financial provision for anticipated outgoings, thus safeguarding the economic future of the site.
To enable residential occupiers and commercial lessees to have a voice in the management of the Estate.
English Partnerships was replaced by South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) in 1999 and subsequently by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) which is now known as Homes England.
Homes England continues to develop Chatham Maritime, and as developments and infrastructure are completed, responsibility for them is transferred to Chatham Maritime Trust. This transfer process will continue for the next five to ten years until the Trust becomes the owner and manager of the entire completed Estate.
Chatham Maritime Trust has extensive landownings on the Estate, mostly of the public domain and key infrastructure, including much (but not yet all) of the parks and play areas, unadopted estate roads and footpaths, signage and street furniture, public art and scheduled ancient monuments, dock basins, and flood defences.
The Trust is (or will become) landlord to the non-residential developments on South Maritime and the rentcharge owner for residential property on St Mary’s Island.
In addition, Chatham Maritime Trust supports the development of the local community through funding from its Community Fund.
Chatham Maritime Trust therefore has a long-term role to manage and maintain Chatham Maritime, and to ensure that it remains an attractive and desirable place to live, to work, and to visit.
Towards the end of May 2018 Chatham Maritime Trust submitted planning applications for two new single storey buildings, south of basins, to Medway Council. One is for the water sports activity centre building on the south side of Basin 2 and the other is for a new estate office for the Trust which is proposed on part of the eastern side of Basin, overlooking some of the historic vessels. Full plans of the proposal are on Medway Council’s planning portal; the reference to insert is MC/18/1520.
The proposal will not reduce the overall number of designated car parking spaces in the area, some new car parking spaces will be provided to replace those lost. Further spaces and a drop off zone will be provided for the water activity centre.
Residents will be reassured to know that none of the costs of the proposed new buildings are coming out of their rentcharge.