Developers face opposition over plans for homes on pub sites
The fate of two historic Ashford pubs hangs in the balance after new documents were submitted to the council.
The British Volunteer closed last summer and developers now hope to convert the pub into six one-bedroom flats and build three two-bedroom homes behind it.
Meanwhile the nearby derelict The Prince Albert pub could be de-listed to make way for its demolition and replacement.
Both pubs are in New Street, which is seen as an important gateway for visitors entering Ashford from the M20 at junction 9 and from the villages to the west of the town.
Galahad Developments Ltd is behind the plans to turn the British Volunteer into new homes but has faced opposition from neighbours.
They fear it could lead to further parking problems and issues for lorries trying to access the site.
Kent Avenue resident Susan Perry said she had recently refurbished her property and said it was a challenge for builders and deliveries to navigate through the area.
She commented: “Ours was only a very small project, so this would be impractical on a larger scale. It seems a shame to lose yet another community based centre in the heart of Ashford and espe- Prince of Orange public house during its heyday cially one that is steeped in the “The proposed houses would history of the area. be beyond the current building
“The proposed development is line. The rear pedestrian and over intensive for the site and vehicular accesses for properthe existing conservation area ties in Kent Avenue and indeed should be protected. New Street must be maintained.”
Galahad submitted new site plans and drawings on Thursday last week which shows slight changes to parking provision and garden space.
The company states that the new homes at the rear of the pub are essential if the housing scheme is to be successful, and believes its plans should be approved.
It stated: “Without planning permission it could become a derelict building on a main street in Ashford.”
Meanwhile there are fears that the Prince Albert pub could be de-listed to make way for its demolition.
Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con. Godinton) has opposed plans to knock down the pub which used to be known as the Prince of Orange, and has links back to the Barrow Hill barracks used during the Napoleonic Wars.
He said: “In Ashford we have lost so many buildings of historical importance. It does look terrible, but that’s not an excuse to de-list it. I think it could be done up and converted into something very acceptable.”
Cllr Graham Galpin said the restrictions on the pub are still in place, but that if the building were to be de-listed, it is currently listed as a Grade II building, it could remove some of the barriers preventing it from being demolished.
To view the plans for the British Volunteer visit www.ashford. gov.uk and search for 15/01250/ AS.
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email email@example.com
The Prince Albert and British Volunteer pubs
Cllr Graham Galpin