Wet weather delays housing completion
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
Far left, a kitchen ready to be fitted; and left, reporter Sam Williams with contract manager Michael Wright in one of the new apartments
Bakers Court should be completed around Christmas; and below, project manager Ray Denny and contract manager Michael Wright