Plan to de­mol­ish for­mer listed pub and put up block of flats

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - By Molly Mile­hamChap­pell

Plans have been sub­mit­ted to knock down an his­toric pub to make way for more flats near Ash­ford town cen­tre.

The Prince Al­bert pub be­came derelict af­ter clos­ing in 2008 and was gut­ted by fire in 2014.

But now de­vel­op­ers have sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion to Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil to de­mol­ish the for­merly listed Ge­or­gian build­ing and re­place it with a block of mod­ern flats.

Ap­pli­cant White­haven Es­tates Lim­ited has put for­ward the scheme, which pro­poses 14 twobed­room apart­ments, 14 car park­ing spa­ces, bin and cy­cle stor­age and a plant area on the ground floor plus 900 sq ft of ground floor com­mer­cial space, which could be used for shops or of­fices.

The ap­pli­ca­tion says: “The site lies within the Ash­ford Ur­ban Area in a highly sus­tain­able lo­ca­tion, close to the town cen­tre, lo­cal ser­vices and pub­lic transport links in­clud­ing Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional Rail­way Sta­tion.

“The site is ad­ja­cent to listed build­ings. How­ever, the poor and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing con­di­tion of these build­ings means that their re­moval and re­place­ment with the high qual­ity de­vel­op­ment pro­posed will im­prove the set­ting of the ad­ja­cent build­ings.

“Four­teen ad­di­tional res­i­den­tial units will help to con­trib­ute to­wards Ash­ford bor­ough’s five year housing sup­ply deficit.”

The pub was pre­vi­ously known as The Prince of Or­ange. It was known lo­cally as The Three Ones, be­cause it sits on 111 New Street along­side the for­mer Bar­row Hill Bar­racks, which also has sev­eral listed build­ings from the Napoleonic pe­riod.

Orig­i­nally, The Prince Al­bert was on the left, and The Prince of Or­ange was the main pub on the right, be­fore be­ing joined un­der the same name.

The 2014 blaze caused dam­age to most of the his­toric fea­tures which had been pro­tected by the his­toric list­ing and the Doric col­umn door­way was then stolen.

The site was de-listed from the Grade II reg­is­ter by His­toric Eng­land on the May 10 2016 “as lit­tle of the his­tor­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant fab- ric re­mained”.

For more in­for­ma­tion, search plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion 17/01118/AS on plan­ning.ash­ford.gov.uk Ash­ford Mu­seum cu­ra­tor Ian Sharp has been at the fore­front of the cam­paign to save the build­ing. He said: “We need to keep Ash­ford’s her­itage... preser­va­tion not de­mo­li­tion.

“At this time Ash­ford bor­ough is recorded as hav­ing more listed build­ings than Can­ter­bury or Maid­stone.

“The way things are dis­ap­pear­ing, this record will not last.

“The Prince Al­bert was an old ale house and could be re­stored. The Prince of Or­ange, or The Three Ones as it was known as on 111 New Street, was named af­ter the Prince who fought for the Bri­tish at the Bat­tle of Water­loo.”

Cam­paign­ers say they hope that pres­sure can be put on coun­cil­lors to re­ject the plans.

Ru­ins of The Prince Al­bert pub and, right, an artist’s im­pres­sion of how the flats could look

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