Masterplan revealed for £323k revamp of Town Hall Gardens, Chatham

11 December 2023In Chatham2 Minutes
Town Hall Gardens in Chatham

Plans to improve a historic green space in Chatham have been revealed.

Medway Council is set to give Town Hall Gardens, behind the Brook Theatre, a £323,653 revamp.

The work includes resurfacing footpaths, installing new benches and interpretation panels, and upgrading the children’s play area.

A view of Town Hall Gardens before improvements begin

New entrances will also be created at the corner of Rope Walk and Whiffens Avenue, and at the end of King Street.

The council has launched a consultation to hear the public’s thoughts on the masterplan.

An online survey runs until Monday, 18 December and can be completed by clicking here.

A damaged footpath in Town Hall Gardens

The improvements will be paid by a Section 106 contribution from the 115-home development on Whiffens Avenue car park, called Garrison Point, which is being delivered by the council-owned Medway Development Company (MDC).

It follows a sharp U-turn after MDC claimed it couldn’t afford to pay its full Section 106 contribution last October.

At the time, MDC asked councillors to approve plans to reduce its total Section 106 sum of £645,408 down to just £70,000.

A report explained how MDC was facing viability issues from higher construction costs and drainage charges.

The request faced heavy criticism from local residents and councillors, until MDC withdrew it before it was discussed at a Planning Committee meeting on 19 October.

Garrison Point on Whiffens Avenue car park is nearing completion

The site of Town Hall Gardens was initially used for making rope in the 19th century, before becoming an overspill graveyard in 1828.

It then became formal gardens in 1903, representing one of the first public green spaces in Chatham.

Work on the improvements is set to begin next summer.