Having taken more than 20 years to evolve into the successful sustainable community it is today, The Bridge at Dartford became independently run for the first time at the end of March. This is an important step in the development of this unique community, which provides an appealing place for local people to live, work and play.
The vision for The Bridge at Dartford took shape in the early 2000s, when property company, Prologis UK, joined forces with Dartford Borough Council to turn a 264-acre former historic isolation hospital site, into a thriving, attractive place for local people and businesses. The site’s regeneration included plans to place residential homes alongside a range of employment uses, effectively bringing jobs into the heart of the community.
The site’s proximity to Junction 1 of the M25 offers excellent access to the London area and this has proved a major draw for businesses. The site also benefits from excellent public transport links, with the Fastrack A bus service, operated by Arriva, which connects Greenhithe, Bluewater and Dartford.
A variety of businesses are located at The Bridge, including Sainsbury’s, and several high-tech engineering businesses including motor tech company, SEM, and bathroom design company, Crosswater. The Nucleus Business and Innovation Centre is also onsite alongside a number of prestigious dealerships, including Mercedes, a Premier Inn and a Beafeater restaurant.
With 1,500 new homes and 80 acres of public open space, including three lakes with excellent biodiversity, the site benefits from a range of education and leisure facilities, including a local triathlon club, a primary school, Leigh University Technical College and SusCon, a sustainable construction training and research centre. There will soon be a new care home and new play park, both currently under construction.
Paul Weston, Regional Head at Prologis UK, said: “The Bridge as it is today is even better than we could have imagined 20 years ago, and I am delighted that the community is now taking this important step towards a self-managed future. With two primary schools and a university technical college for 14-18-year-olds on site, The Bridge is particularly well served with amenities that are attractive to families in the area and the lifestyle benefits that come from living and working in the same place are highly valued by local residents.
“I am proud of the legacy that Prologis UK and Dartford Borough Council have left at The Bridge and hope that it will inspire similar regeneration projects across London and the South East.
“I wish the community at The Bridge every success as they continue to pursue their path to a more self-sufficient and sustainable future.”