£180m plan for Aldi, ho­tel and homes

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Transforming Ashford - By Sam Wil­liams

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.

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk

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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

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