Jobs, shops and homes – town’s chang­ing look

Ev­ery­where you go in Ash­ford there seems to be cranes, dig­gers and brick­lay­ers. It’s a boom time for con­struc­tion firms and in this spe­cial fea­ture Kristina Cur­tis looks at how some of the big­ger projects are pro­gress­ing

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Development Update -

Dover Place

This de­vel­op­ment is one of Ash­ford’s Big Eight projects and will be part of the Com­mer­cial Quar­ter, a new busi­ness hub close to the town cen­tre.

The con­struc­tion of the new of­fice block in the Dover Place car park be­gan in Au­gust 2016 and meant the loss of hun­dreds of park­ing spa­ces. How­ever, 180 of th­ese will be re­placed due to an ex­ten­sion on the South Park car park near the Stour Cen­tre.

The skele­ton of the five­storey build­ing is now al­most com­plete and the of­fices are set to be fin­ished in Fe­bru­ary 2018. Ash­ford Col­lege

The nearly-com­pleted Ash­ford Col­lege will wel­come its first in­take of stu­dents in Septem­ber.

Work on the £26 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment, which is lo­cated on the cor­ner of El­wick Road and Sta­tion Road, be­gan in late 2015.

The mod­ern cam­pus in­cludes a teach­ing block, din­ing hall, lab­o­ra­to­ries, hair and beauty sa­lon, plus an art and me­dia stu­dio and has space for more than 700 stu­dents. El­wick Place

Con­struc­tion work on the El­wick Place cin­ema/ho­tel/ restau­rants scheme has started.

Plan­ning per­mis­sion for the mas­sive £75m project was granted in De­cem­ber 2015 and the site will in­clude a 1,000-seat, six-screen cin­ema, seven restau­rants, a 58-room ho­tel and 282 ad­di­tional car park­ing spa­ces.

Pic­ture­house, part of Cineworld, will oc­cupy the cin­ema site when it opens in sum­mer 2018. Vic­to­ria Road

Va­cant land ei­ther side of Vic­to­ria Road, op­po­site Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional train sta­tion, is to un­dergo a ma­jor re­ju­ve­na­tion.

Around 660 homes will be built in the area, in­clud­ing on the brown­field for­mer Pow­ergen site, as well as 120-bed­room ho­tel, cafe, an Aldi su­per­mar­ket and Chapel Down vine­yard’s £1.7m Cu­ri­ous Brew­ery which will also fea­ture a shop, restau­rant, bar and guided tours.

The brew­ery is ex­pected to open in 2018. Co-op God­in­ton Park

Con­struc­tion of the new South­ern Co-op in Loudon Way, God­in­ton Park, is well un­der way, with the roof cur­rently be­ing tiled.

The sin­gle-storey shop is be­ing built in the car park be­tween the New Chim­ney’s pub and the vil­lage hall, which caused up­set with the res­i­dents due to the loss of park­ing spa­ces.

It is sched­uled to open in Novem­ber/De­cem­ber this year. De­signer Out­let

Ash­ford’s McArthurGlen De­signer Out­let is be­ing re­vamped and ex­panded.

The Out­let, which has been open since March 2000, will be adding an ex­tra 38 new shops to the ex­ist­ing 80 shops in the re­tail cen­tre, cre­at­ing an ad­di­tional 500 jobs.

Work on the ex­ten­sion is due to start this year and be com­pleted in 2019. Rep­ton Park

Con­struc­tion of the new com­mu­nity cen­tre at Rep­ton Park is well un­der way.

Rep­ton Connect, lo­cated in Rep­ton Av­enue, will pro­vide space to host clubs, cour­ses, work­shops, so­cial events and will also have an out­door games area.

It is hoped that the cen­tre will be fin­ished this year.

Plans for a new of­fice block in Ash­ford have been put for­ward by Quinn Es­tates and Ge­orge Wil­son Hold­ings

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