His­toric barn sold be­fore it could be auc­tioned

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Rep­ton Manor Barn - By Vicky Cas­tle

A his­toric Grade II listed build­ing has been snapped up by an anony­mous buyer be­fore it had a chance to be auc­tioned.

The his­toric Rep­ton Manor Barn, in Sir Bernard Paget Av­enue, Rep­ton Park, Ash­ford, was bought for an un­known sum.

The free­hold guide price for the 0.69-acre site was £350,000 to £360,000, but auc­tion­eers Clive Em­son bro­kered a deal be­tween the ven­dor and a mys­tery buyer prior to the site be­ing put up for sale at auc­tion for the sec­ond time last week.

The site’s orig­i­nal guide price had been around £450,000.

It is not known ex­actly what the new owner, who wishes to re­main anony­mous, will do with the empty site but it comes with full plan­ning per­mis­sion for con­ver­sions.

Although the de­tails of the plans are sub­ject to con­di­tions, the green light was given ear­lier this year to con­vert the his­toric “long barn” and the other for­mer farm build­ings into a restau­rant or bar, cof­fee shop and eight re­tail units.

The ma­jor site was up for auc­tion and among 146 lots listed by Clive Em­son for an auc­tion in Detling, near Maid­stone, but the land and prop­erty auc­tion- eers bro­kered a deal be­tween the ven­dor and new owner be­fore the ham­mer fell.

Auc­tion­eer Kevin Gil­bert said: “The com­plex in­cludes the long barn, which is Grade II listed and is thought to date from the early 19th cen­tury – it is ex­cep­tion­ally long and a mag­nif­i­cent ar­chi­tec­tural fea­ture.”

The barn, which has been empty for many years, is on the for­mer Tem­pler and Rowcroft Bar­racks site, most of which has al­ready be­ing de­vel­oped.

Rep­ton Manor, to the west of the barn, has been con­verted into of­fices while the Waitrose su­per­mar­ket is to the east, and houses have been re­cently built to the north and south.

Artists’ im­pres­sions have pre­vi­ously been drawn up to show how the com­plex could look, in­clud­ing the use of out­door seat­ing.

BTL De­vel­op­ments, based in Great Chart, submitted the ap­pli­ca­tion to Ash­ford coun­cil in June, af­ter buy­ing the site from Shep­herd Neame early in the year.

Be­fore the sale, Mal­colm Gomez, from BTL, said: “The site has sat derelict and redundant for a num­ber of years and so the op­por­tu­nity for the site to be brought ‘back to life’ is some­thing that the lo­cal res­i­dents and com­mu­nity it would seem are keen to see hap­pen.”

‘The barn… is ex­cep­tion­ally long and a mag­nif­i­cent ar­chi­tec­tural fea­ture’

In­side Rep­ton Manor Barn; inset, auc­tion­eer Kevin Gil­bert

An artist’s im­pres­sion show­ing how Rep­ton Manor Barn could look

Pic­ture: sjb@si­mon­burchett.co.uk

The Rep­ton Manor Barn site

Rep­ton Manor Barn has been sold

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