‘Ugly mod­ern of­fice block’ con­ver­sion plan ap­proved

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Comingsoon...isyourchil­dthecutest? -

An of­fice build­ing in the cen­tre of Can­ter­bury is to be re­born as an up­scale de­vel­op­ment of of­fices and flats in just over a year.

Plan­ners unan­i­mousl y ap­proved an ap­pli­ca­tion to con­vert the for­mer Kent High­ways build­ing at the cor­ner of Beer Cart Lane and Stour Street.

Chartham firm BDB De­sign drew up plans for the build­ing, which Quinn Es­tates will trans­form into eight of­fices and 14 apart­ments.

The de­vel­oper said it will start work on the con­ver­sion within 10 weeks and in­tends to have the build­ing ready by au­tumn of 2014.

A re­port be­fore the coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment man­age­ment com­mit­tee on Tues­day night stated: “The cur­rent build­ing is an ugly mod­ern of­fice block that sits un­com­fort­ably within this sen­si­tive lo­ca­tion in the his­toric area of Can­ter­bury.

“The scheme is con­sid­ered to en­hance the char­ac­ter and ap­pear­ance of the con­ser­va­tion area and the set­tings of nearby listed build­ings.”

The build­ing has been empty for four years. Its Beer Cart Lane side will com­prise the of­fices while the Stour Street side will house the flats.

Bob Jones, chair­man of Can- ter­bury City Cen­tre Part­ner­ship, praised the de­vel­op­ment.

He said: “The plans to bring a build­ing back into use which has lain dor­mant for all this time is most wel­come.

“We are pleased with both the scale and qual­ity of the de­velop- ment and we wel­come the high qual­ity apart­ments. This will act as an eco­nomic gen­er­a­tor.”

John El­laby, of the St Mil­dred’s Area Com­mu­nity So­ci­ety, added: “This is an in­tel­li­gent use of a build­ing which has been empty for sev­eral years. It com­prises of­fice and res­i­den­tial use and we recog­nise the value of that.”

At the plan­ning meet­ing, there was one ob­jec­tion from Richard D’Ath, of Stour Court, who com­plained the build­ing would be too high and too near homes on the op­po­site side of the road.

The for­mer Kent High­ways of­fice block in Can­ter­bury is set to be trans­formed

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