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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 13:41 GMT
Gateway to England 'transformed'
Impression of Dover development
The communications tower is the centrepiece of the development
A multi-million pound makeover that will transform the first glimpse of England for millions of ferry passengers has been given the go-ahead.

The 15m scheme for Dover will have a landmark 60m (197ft) communications tower at its centre.

"I used to hang my head in shame if I was in company coming off the ferry," said Dover MP Gwyn Prosser.

"This is going to be a nice arrival - something pleasant to see - and it is going to really revitalise Dover."

The scheme includes an Asda supermarket, a 100-bedroom Travelodge Hotel, 53 affordable homes and a 600-space car park.


A multi-storey car park, bus depot and Burlington House office block will be demolished.

"That monstrosity of an office block that has blighted Dover for the last 40 years will be replaced by low-rise buildings so people will be able to get a view of the castle," said leader of Dover District Council Paul Watkins.

Plans to redevelop the St James area of the town centre were first put forward 15 years ago.

"The people of Dover are crying out for development here - it has taken long enough, but this is part of a jigsaw," said Mr Watkins.

"When you add the port of Dover's Western Docks development and the current work on Dover Priory you see a transformation taking place."

Mr Prosser, who was a member of the district council in the 1990s, said a 7.5m grant from the South East England Development Agency had helped to move the project forward.

"2006/2007 really will be seen as the turning point for Dover - and about time too," he said.

Planning permission granted by the district council on Thursday night will now be considered by the Government Office of the South East.

It is hoped work will begin in mid-2008.


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