New cinema moves a step nearer
Developers see ‘vitality’ added to town centre
More than 400 neighbours are to be consulted on plans for a new cinema, hotel and restaurants in Ashford town centre.
A full planning application for the multi-million pound development, to be built on the wasteland off Elwick Road, was submitted to Ashford Borough Council’s planning committee last week.
It has been put forward by developers Stanhope PLC and includes plans for a new “boutique” style, five-screen cinema and 60-bedroom hotel.
Also included in the £75 million scheme, on the former Ashford market site, is a 270space car park, five restaurants and assisted living flats and retirement apartments.
In total, 428 neighbours, in Bank Street, Regents Place, Godinton Road, Elwick Road, Queen Street and other areas, have been notified.
A further 29 agencies have been consulted, including Stagecoach buses, Kent Police and the Environment Agency.
The consultation opened on Thursday, September 10, two days after the application was received by the council, and will end on Sunday, October 4.
One objection has already been submitted, which states: “Ashford is or was a market town and we should try to preserve its historical theme and not mix too modern with old as has happened with Debenhams.”
The planning statement from Stanhope states: “The provision of a mix of new residential and leisure uses will support the vitality and viability of Ashford town centre by creating a new leisure destination and residential quarter. The residential development plays an important role in ensuring the vitality of the town centre and encouraging economic activity.”
A two-day public exhibition in July was visited by more than 1,000 people.
It was revealed that the project’s cinema, restaurants, car park and hotel would form phase one.
Phase two would include the 57 assisted living apartments, and a retirement living scheme of 36 apartments.
It is not yet known which cinema chain will be opening at the development.
To view the application visit ashford.gov.uk, and search ‘view applications online’ and then search 15/01195/AS.
An artist’s impression of the cinema, hotel and homes development for Elwick Road