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Youth centre plans for Talk nightclub back on track after legal terms relaxed by cafe owner

By Aidan Barlow

Plans for a new youth centre in the former Talk nightclub are back on track after neighbouring cafe owners relaxed the legal covenant agreements that restricted the building’s uses.

This week the Gazette reported that Makcaris cafe owner Hassan Hassan was reviewing the legal terms that said no new cafes or bars could open in the building next door.

He inherited the longstanding document when he bought the seafront cafe in 2007, but following a meeting with promoter Mark Kerr on Wednesday, April 16, has agreed to relax the conditions.

Mr Hassan said: “I hadn’t heard about the project until last week, so was unsure of what it was about, so I left it with my solicitors. The terms of the covenant were drawn up 40 years before I was born.

Makcaris cafe owner Hassan Hassan says he inherited the legal covenant from previous owners

Makcaris cafe owner Hassan Hassan says he inherited the legal covenant from previous owners

“I’ve now met with Mark. He explained what he intended to do with it, so I’ve got more information about what he has planned. It’s something that I would wholeheartedly support.

“I’m looking at relaxing the terms of the covenant and am moving in the right direction, I don’t want to hinder it, but it must be done through the right channels.”

Previously Mr Kerr and business partner Andy Robinson said they were “gutted” when they discovered the restrictions.

At the heart of their enterprise is the ArtsHouse Project, an educational centre for young people in Herne Bay, alongside a bar and bistro.

The duo have been working on the project for several months, and now hope to once again be able to open the project at the end of May, depending on getting consent from current leaseholders EMS Group.

Mark Kerr and Andy Robinson are now looking for alternative sites

Mark Kerr and Andy Robinson are now looking for alternative sites

Mr Kerr said: “I’m relieved because work can go on. This project will benefit the town in a number of ways, so we’re glad to be back on track.

“We’ve had lots of meetings and lots of people have tried to iron out the problems. We’ve had support from the council who have worked hard to help.”

Canterbury City Council’s regeneration manager Patrick Rynne said: “All parties are now working closely together so it’s likely to go ahead.

“Eventually it could be positive for Herne Bay as another empty building will be put back into use. We need more activity on the seafront, filling empty properties helps with regeneration.”

 

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