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Ashford: New image of Prince Albert apartment plan revealed

By Dan Wright

Developers want to build a five-storey apartment block in place of the neglected Prince Albert in New Street, which became derelict after closing in 2008.

They have now revealed a new image of their scheme after first submitting the plans to Ashford Borough Council (ABC) earlier this year.

Developers have revealed a new image of plans for the former Prince Albert

Developers have revealed a new image of plans for the former Prince Albert

Applicant Whitehaven Estates wants to build 14 two-bedroom apartments and commercial space for shops or offices on the ground floor.

But angry nearby resident Joanna Perkin said: “I fail to see any difference in the amended plans other than pedestrian access.

“I still strongly object to the plans for this proposed building which is totally out of character with the existing buildings. Parking will remain an issue, as will the safety on this busy roundabout. I am also concerned about access to Barrow Hill while the demolition and building works are carried out.”

The derelict pub in New Street

The derelict pub in New Street

The plans are expected to be decided by ABC’s planning committee at its next meeting or in December.

Despite the criticism from some neighbours, supporter Steve Moore said: “I have lived in and around Ashford for 55 years and while the town has lost some historic buildings in the past, this one has been an eyesore pretty much all of that time. It can no longer be viable to restore and the Grade II listing has been removed.

“This building is on the gateway to Ashford, coming from the Maidstone area, and I now feel that it would be much more appropriate to have a prestigious and attractive building as the first thing visitors see on arrival.”

The pub, which was previously known as the The Prince of Orange, was gutted by fire in 2014.

KentOnline contacted the Lee Evans Partnership, which is working on behalf of Whitehaven Estates, but did not receive a response.

To view the scheme, visit www.ashford.gov.uk and search for the 17/01118/AS application. The deadline for public comments is Friday, November 24.

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