New cin­ema moves a step nearer

De­vel­op­ers see ‘vi­tal­ity’ added to town cen­tre

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - By Sa­man­tha Wil­liams

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

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