The WAY ahead

Huge 660-home plan to re­vamp derelict site gets the green light

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Chris Price Busi­ness Ed­i­tor cprice@thek­m­ @TheChrisPrice

A multi-mil­lion pound hous­ing scheme that will trans­form a huge derelict site close to Ash­ford town cen­tre has been given the goa­head.

Plans to build 660 new homes on Ash­ford’s for­mer Pow­er­gen site in Victo- ria Way have now been ap­proved.

Re­gen­er­a­tion gi­ant U+I and de­vel­oper Quinn Es­tates have se­cured per­mis­sion from Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil for their pro­pos­als to re­vamp the huge site with houses, flats, a “pub­lic realm” and a cafe.

Plans to build 660 homes on Ash­ford’s for­mer Pow­er­gen site have been ap­proved.

Re­gen­er­a­tion firm U+I and Can­ter­bury-based de­vel­oper Quinn Es­tates have now se­cured per­mis­sion for their pro­pos­als to re­vamp the site in Vic­to­ria Way, Ash­ford.

The scheme will fea­ture one, two, and three-bed­room flats and 25 houses, along­side new pub­lic ar­eas and a cafe, de­signed by award-win­ning Hythe-based ar­chi­tect Guy Holl­away.

Th­ese in­clude 400 apart­ments avail­able to rent, to be owned by pri­vate rented sec­tor op­er­a­tor Neigh­bour.

The brown­field land has been derelict for many years and was last oc­cu­pied by Pow­er­gen in the 1990s.

De­vel­op­ers hope to at­tract peo­ple keen to use the nearby high-speed line to Lon­don St Pan­cras from Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Sta­tion.

The plans are the first of two schemes U+I hopes to build in Vic­to­ria Way, af­ter it ex­changed con­tracts with the Homes and Com­mu­ni­ties Agency for an­other six acres ear­lier this year.

It aims to build an­other 200 homes, a 120-bed­room ho­tel, an Aldi su­per­mar­ket and a new brew­ery and vis­i­tor cen­tre for Ten­ter­den-based wine and beer maker Chapel Down, cre­at­ing about 165 jobs.

Richard Up­ton, deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive of U+I, which was formed af­ter prop­erty com­pany De­vel­op­ment Se­cu­ri­ties bought de­vel­oper Cathe­dral Group in 2014, said: “It is great news that plan­ning per­mis­sion for the first of two sites at Vic­to­ria Way has been granted.

“Ash­ford’s thriv­ing lo­cal econ­omy, ex­cel­lent trans­port links and the coun­cil’s am­bi­tious re­gen­er­a­tion plans re­in­force its po­si­tion as an im­por­tant town within the Lon­don City Re­gion and we’re ex­cited to be work­ing here.”

Cllr Gerry Clark­son, leader of Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil, said: “We wel­come the plan­ning con­sent on this key town cen­tre project, which has ex­cited res­i­dents.

“Ash­ford re­mains the ob­vi­ous choice for ex­pand­ing, thriv­ing and es­tab­lished busi­nesses.”

Mark Quinn, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Quinn Es­tates, said: “Ash­ford is a dy­namic and grow­ing town and this scheme will give the com­mu­nity a real eco­nomic boost.

“The site it­self has long been derelict and ticks all the boxes in terms of build­ing in brown­field land.”

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

The for­mer Pow­er­gen site in Vic­to­ria Way, Ash­ford is set to be trans­formed - this artist’s im­pres­sion shows how the site could look

De­signs for the Vic­to­ria Way de­vel­op­ment and, be­low, how the derelict site looks now

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