Wet weather de­lays hous­ing com­ple­tion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Ready For Christmas - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

Twenty-seven new homes in Ash­ford town cen­tre are tak­ing shape.

Work con­tin­ues de­spite the re­cent wet weather at hous­ing de­vel­op­ment Bak­ers Court, on the cor­ner of North Street and Hardinge Road.

The site, for­mally known as Ash­down Court, is cur­rently sur­rounded by scaf­fold­ing while the con­trac­tors fin­ish the roof and work on the apart­ments, start­ing with the ground floor.

Once com­plete, the site will con­sist of 20 two-bed and five one-bed flats over four floors.

Each flat will also in­clude a bath­room, lounge area and kitchen as well as a bal­cony or a lit­tle gar­den area for those on the ground floor.

Two three-bed­room houses will also be built on the side fac­ing Hardinge Road.

Con­struc­tion man­ager Michael Wright, from Durkan Lim­ited, said: “We’re cur­rently com­plet­ing the roof­ing.

“We have so­lar pan­els in­stalled on the main roof, and the bal­conies for the flats will be in­stalled from Septem­ber 7.

“There is a lift that’s been in­stalled and is ready to go.

“The ground floor flats’ kitchens have been fit­ted and are at dec­o­ra­tion stage. The first floor flats are hav­ing kitchens fit­ted now, plus plug sock­ets, lights, doors and ra­di­a­tors.

“The third floor flats are be­ing plas­tered and the top floor ones are be­ing boarded.

“The houses are nearly at first floor level.”

The an­tic­i­pated com­ple­tion date for the pro­ject is around Christ­mas time. Ear­lier dates sug­gested it would be ready for sum­mer, but the sched­ule has fallen be­hind due to the wet weather.

On an av­er­age day, there are 40 work­ers on site, in­clud­ing new pro­ject man­ager Ray Denny.

Mr Wright said: “We are here six days a week as we’re try­ing to catch up. We have used lo­cal con­trac­tors where we can, in­clud­ing Cole Iron­craft Ltd, from Bethers­den and Kingsnorth Scaf­fold­ing.”

The pro­ject first be­gan in Jan­uary 2014, when for­mer eye­sore and anti-so­cial be­hav­iour hotspot Ash­down Court was de­mol­ished.

The for­mer block of flats had been empty since 2007.

Owner Affin­ity Sut­ton was granted plan­ning per­mis­sion to re­de­velop the site in 2013, and last year an­nounced that it would be re­named Bak­ers Court in homage to the site’s history as a bak­ery.

All units will be for rent.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of new hous­ing at Ash­down Court

FM3993637, FM3993639

Far left, a kitchen ready to be fit­ted; and left, re­porter Sam Wil­liams with con­tract man­ager Michael Wright in one of the new apart­ments

Pic­tures: Gary Browne FM3993625, FM3993628, FM3993630

Bak­ers Court should be com­pleted around Christ­mas; and be­low, pro­ject man­ager Ray Denny and con­tract man­ager Michael Wright

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