Innovation Centre provides healthy boost to local economy

An injection of £120 million of additional gross value will be created for the local economy over the next decade, after planning permission was granted for the proposed Innovation Centre at Kent Medical Campus in Maidstone.  The four-storey building will provide 3,482 m2 of offices and facilities for small- and medium-sized businesses, generating 270 new jobs in the life science, healthcare and medical technology sectors.

Motion assisted Maidstone Borough Council with a transport assessment and travel plan, together with design advice for parking and access arrangements.  The application concerned a parcel of the Kent Medical Campus which was previously granted outline consent.  Associate Director Chris Saunders explains, “The project required a different approach, in terms of vehicle trip assessment, given a total acceptable trip generation for the entire campus had been agreed at outline stage.  The legal agreement for the outline application included trigger points for off-site mitigation works, when vehicle movements from the consented development would exceed a certain threshold.”

Off-site mitigation avoided

Following detailed analysis of consented and completed development on the campus, Motion showed that vehicular movements from the proposed scheme would not lead to the threshold, which was agreed as part of the outline permission, being exceeded.  Chris Saunders adds, “The challenge, in this case, was to assess the scheme as part of a larger whole, considering the trips generated by parts of the campus already constructed, under construction and consented alongside the proposals.  We successfully demonstrated that no off-site mitigation was required.”

Sustainable travel

Proposals made suitable provision for servicing, car and cycle parking, and established that the new development would not adversely impact on the local highway network.  Studies revealed that the accident rate on adjacent roads was low and, therefore, presented no significant safety concerns.  The new development is accessible by sustainable modes of travel including walking, cycling and public transport.

Located at junction 7 of the M20, Kent Medical Campus is establishing itself as a fully integrated centre of excellence for health, science and education in the South East.  The 30-acre landscaped site includes headquarter buildings, research and development organisations, specialist residential and rehabilitation care, as well as higher education facilities for medical and health professionals.

Designed by Bond Bryan Architects, the Innovation Centre is expected to be ready for occupants during 2021.

 

This article first appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Insight.

Image credit: © Maidstone Borough Council


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