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The derelict Bun Penny pub has been sold and is set to be turned into a family restaurant and flats.
The new owners are local family duo Ernie and Dean Tevik, who run fish ‘n’ chip shops in Herne Bay and Whitstable.
This week they completed the purchase of the eyesore building, which has blighted the seafront since it was gutted by fire in September 2011.
Dean Tevik, who runs Dean’s Plaice in Central Parade in Herne Bay, said: “We have bought it as a family venture because we were sick of seeing the burned out pub on the seafront.
“We thought it was about time something was done, so we grabbed it. It had been an eyesore and nobody seemed to be looking to do anything with it.
“It was about time someone got something done. We’ve asked one of our builders to look at it, and I have secured it with new locks today.”
The news comes just weeks after planning permission was approved for father Ernie Tevik’s new 25-bedroom hotel and restaurant opposite the Long Reach pub in Whitstable.
Estate agent Peter Goodwin, of Wilbee and Son, handled the deal. He said: “We’re waiting for the council to rubber stamp the deal. The previous owners have been very cooperative and have helped with the quick sale.
“The plans are for a commercial use at the bottom, perhaps a family restaurant to make use of the garden, and some flats above.
“It’s fantastic news for the town, and will put an end to the saga. I’m very pleased to have been a part of it, it’s been a real team effort.
“It is a gateway to the town and is very important for regeneration.”
The sale brings to an end almost three years of speculation about the pub’s future, with the former owners hampered by a long-running dispute with their insurance company.
Its state of disrepair had even sparked a petition set up by Nigel Hancock, of the Bay Independent Retail Group, calling for the council to force the owners to take action.
Town centre councillor Andrew Cook welcomed news of the sale today.
He said: "I think it's good news that the owners are now moving on. We want the area to look nice and inviting.
"The Bun Penny is a really important building. We know that the area around the Clock Tower and Bun Penny is one of the key things in the area that needs to be concentrated on.
"I heard that the deal was close, but of course nobody dares breathe until they know the deal is done.
"To hear it has been sold is absolutely excellent news.
"It's very positive news that everything is beginning to come together with other projects like the new Aldi and Sainsburys.
"We seem to really be on a roll now with the positive news, so let's hope it continues that way."
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