Two car parks in Gravesend are to close in the next month as work starts on The Charter development.

The development of affordable to rent apartments is to be built on the sites of Market Square and Horn Yard car parks on behalf of Rosherville Property Development, Gravesham Borough Council‘s commercial trading company.

With preliminary works due to start, Market Square car park will close to all vehicles from Monday 15 March, with the closure of Horn Yard to follow from Monday 29 March.

Cllr John Burden, Leader of Gravesham Borough Council, said: “It’s exciting that after so many years of discussions and false starts, work is finally getting under way on this, the important first stage of the redevelopment of the town centre.

“The land has been used for car parking since the 1980s but before that is was historically an area of quite intensive housing.

“Rosherville Property Development is wholly owned by the council and as such The Charter has been designed with local people in mind.

“All the flats and apartments will be affordable to rent and so will be attainable for existing council tenants and for those on our housing waiting list.

“What is about to be built now will see homes return to the area – homes fit for the 21st century, that local young people can call their own and where older residents can downsize to, freeing up larger properties in the Borough and providing a stimulus to the local housing market.”

“Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, our figures showed we had capacity to absorb the lost parking from these areas into our other town centre car parks and a number of spaces will return to the area behind the Borough Market in a multi-storey car park incorporated into the scheme when the development is complete.”

The closest alternative car parks to Market Square and Horn Yard include West Street, St George’s Centre, Rathmore Road and Parrock Street.