£180m plan for Aldi, hotel and homes
Discount supermarket Aldi is set to come to Ashford, along with more than 800 homes and another new hotel.
They are all part of a major regeneration project planned for Victoria Way, a short walk from the town centre.
The ambitious plans for the £ 180 million scheme were unveiled by regeneration company U+I, based in London, last week.
If planning permission is granted, the developments will make use of two empty sites along the stretch of road that runs from Ashford International Station to Leacon Road and will cover 14 acres.
As well as the Ashford International Station, the two sites will be close to the new brewery being proposed by winemaker Chapel Down, based in Tenterden, and the new six-screen cinema, hotel and restaurants planned for Elwick Road.
The development of both sites – the designs for which have come from Hythe-based architect Guy Holloway – is expected to create more than 200 jobs in the area and “build a new community on Victoria Way”.
A planning application has already been received for one site, and developers U+I say the application for the second plot is expected to be submitted in April this year.
Cllr Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “We welcome more proposals coming forward from the private sector, who clearly see the attractiveness of investing in Ashford.
“Of course, the council will need to carefully examine any application when it comes forward and ensure the appropriate planning process is followed as these two important sites must play a huge part in bringing in added vitality and life into the heart of the town centre and must deliver attractive, high quality investment.”
The first development, on the former Powergen site, will include 660 homes across nine acres.
U+I is working on plans for this site in partnership with developer Quinn Estates, based in Canterbury.
Together they have exchanged contracts with Neighbour, a specialist residential partner, to deliver 400 of these as homes for the private rented sector.
A spokesman from U+I said: “These homes will be of highquality Scandinavian design and will offer affordable longterm rents.”
It will also include shared public spaces, underground parking and a cafe.
U+I says it has also exchanged contracts, subject to planning consent, to acquire a second site, on the corner of Victoria Way and Beaver Road, near the Home Plus furniture shop, from the Homes and Communities Agency. Two hundred homes, a 120-bed hotel and the Aldi food store are proposed for this site, which is almost six acres.
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The first development is for the former Powergen site and will include 660 homes across nine acres: the second site is on the corner of Victoria Way and Beaver Road
Ashford Council leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson said the private sector was seeing the attractiveness of investing in Ashford; artists’ impressions show what the new development along Victoria Way could look like