Plan for flats at old pump house af­ter gym fails

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Housing Conversion - By Ai­dan Bar­low

A prop­erty de­vel­oper says a former vil­lage gym and health club will be con­verted into flats due to a lack of com­mer­cial in­ter­est in the site.

Ac­tive Haus ran the gym at the old pump­ing sta­tion in Char­ing but went bust in March last year, leav­ing prop­erty owner Mark Quinn fac­ing £100,000 of losses in rent ar­rears.

Mr Quinn had built up the gym be­tween 1997 and 2001, and at one stage it boasted 1,400 mem­bers. But he says the mar­ket has since changed, leav­ing him no op­tion but to re­de­velop the site for hous­ing.

Mr Quinn said: “It is the third time a busi­ness there has gone bust so I’m at the end of the road. The num­ber of health clubs has in­creased.

“It’s a shame be­cause it was my first busi­ness and I was re­ally proud of it. I put my heart and soul into it.

“My in­ten­tion is to de­velop it and keep it main­tained so I have a pres­ence in the vil­lage.

“It will also give peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to have some­where de­cent to rent, and will give the build­ing a new lease of life.”

Quinn Es­tates tasked Stafford Perkins Char­tered Sur­vey­ors to find com­mer­cial ten­ants for the 9,000 sq ft build­ing.

De­spite in­ter­est from two po­ten­tial schools and a po­ten­tial gym provider, no of­fers NO OP­TION: Mark Quinn were made for the prop­erty.

Now Quinn Es­tates has re­vealed its plans for the build­ing, and Mr Quinn said he had worked with neigh­bours to make sure the plans work.

He in­tends to knock down the swim­ming pool ex­ten­sion and replace it with two new homes, along with an ex­ten­sion to cre- ate eight new apart­ments in the main build­ing it­self.

His plans, which have been de­signed by Clague Ar­chi­tects, will also see the con­struc­tion of an ex­ten­sion on top of the old pump­ing sta­tion build­ing.

Char­ing Parish Coun­cil will discuss the pro­pos­als at a meet­ing on Thurs­day, May 11.

‘It will give peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to have some­where de­cent to rent, and will give the build­ing a new lease of life’

To view the plans visit the plan­ning sec­tion at www.ash­ford. gov.uk and search for ref­er­ence 17/00530/AS

Pic­ture: Clague Ar­chi­tects

Gym com­pany Ac­tive Haus went bust in March last year

Pic­ture: Clague Ar­chi­tects

Plans for the old pump­ing sta­tion in Char­ing

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