Shops and homes to replace precinct
THE shopping precinct in Brookfield Court is to be demolished and replaced by new shops and affordable homes.
Ashford borough councillors have given the go-ahead for the redevelopment of the late 1960s site in South Ashford, which has seven shops with maisonettes.
It is being sold by the council to social landlord Downland/ Affinity, which proposes building four or five larger shops and up to two dozen affordable homes.
Members of the council executive were told that at the end of 2004, the Co-op opened a supermarket in the former burnt out community centre and the adjacent filling station and shop were refurbished.
Both were welcomed but despite these improvements, ward members have been concerned about the tired and rundown appearance of the area.
Cllr Jill Hutchinson called for balconies on any proposed flats on the site, as they would provide more space for residents and colour to the area.
Two of the shops are empty. The others are a fish and chip takeaway, hairdresser, pharmacy, kebab shop and newsagent.
Tenants have been advised that the council will not renew leases when they expire in 2008.
Senior council property surveyor Ian Barnes said: “The council will shortly be in discussions with existing tenants about the possibility of taking new shop leases in the redeveloped scheme.
“The retail provision will be reduced while the redevelopment takes place.”