Architect gains planning approval for mixed-use redevelopments in Dartford and Eastbourne

EPR Architects have won planning approval for mixed-use redevelopments of two recently closed thirties Co-op department stores in Dartford and Eastbourne.

The Dartford scheme aims to revitalise part of the town centre, bringing in a residential element and a pedestrian walkway. The scheme comprises 176 homes, of which 50 are affordable, and 2,200m² of retail space and is divided into two areas by the walkway.

The main building includes apartments around a first-floor landscaped courtyard, with retail units below. A second, L-shaped building contains the affordable element and sits partly within the town centre’s conservation area. The thirties facade of the Co-op on Spital Street will be retained, but otherwise a mix of recycled copper and zinc cladding will be used, with bold colour for windows and balcony reveals.

The Eastbourne scheme, which gained planning approval only after a public inquiry last month, is designed to complement the surrounding conservation area, which includes a listed church. Aimed at the UK retirement market, it comprises 44 one- and two-bed apartments, including penthouses offering sea views, with secure buggy stores provided for half of the homes.

Some 1,200m² of retail space is also included in the scheme, which features white glazed brick on the affordable element of the housing – which comprises 13 homes – as a reference to the fäience cladding of the original thirties store.