Housebuilder and BioRegional Quintain are preferred developer for the first 600 homes in Thames Gateway

Crest Nicholson and green living specialists BioRegional Quintain have been selected as the preferred developer for the first 600 homes on a regeneration site in the Thames Gateway.

The estimated construction cost for the houses on Rochester Riverside is £108m, and the 7-hectare site will also include parks, shops, offices and cafes to provide a sustainable mixed-use community.

Some of the site will be built to level 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes – the government’s highest rating.

A quarter of the residential development, designed by HTA architects, will be affordable housing, provided and managed by registered social housing landlord Hyde Housing Group.

Crest Nicholson chief executive Stephen Stone said: “We are delighted to be involved in Rochester Riverside, it is an exciting flagship regeneration scheme which underpins the government’s strategic growth plans in the Thames Gateway.

“Our approach at Rochester Riverside will not only create a new, vibrant and highly sustainable community for Medway, but it will also link closely with the existing community, heritage and facilities of Rochester town.”

Preparatory engineering works have almost been completed, with 30 hectares of land cleared and flood-defended at a cost of more than £32m. The designs will be agreed in 2008 and construction is set to start in 2009.

Plans for Rochester Riverside approved by Medway Council include up to 2000 homes, shops, cafes, bars, office, hotels, community facilities including a new primary school and health centre and parks.

Crest Nicholson and BioRegional Quintain were chosen from a shortlist of four developers by landowners and project partners Medway Council and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA). Selection is subject to ratification by Medway Council in January 2008.