De­vel­op­ers face op­po­si­tion over plans for homes on pub sites

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Putting On A Show - By Ai­dan Bar­low

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. and search for 15/01250/ AS.

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

The Prince Al­bert and Bri­tish Vol­un­teer pubs

Pic­ture: Wayne McCabe FM4013503

Cllr Gra­ham Galpin

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