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Plans to turn bus station in Herne Bay into homes and shops submitted to council

By Chris Price

Plans to turn a former bus station into 60 homes and shops have been submitted to councillors.

The proposals to create 1,200 sq m of retail space plus houses and flats at the former Stagecoach site in Herne Bay have been submitted by Coastal Developments, also based in the town.

The application, received by Canterbury City Council on Tuesday, features 10 three-bed cottages, 15 single-bed flats, 32 two-bed flats and three flats with three bedrooms.

It would feature parking for about 80 cars and 160 cycles, plus spaces for eight vans.

It follows a two-week public consultation by the developers in May.

Buses ran from the High Street site for 100 years before Stagecoach moved to a new base in Eddington Lane earlier this year.

The site, covering just over an acre, was listed as one of three key regeneration sites in the town by the council in 2010.

Sainsbury’s had looked to build a store there but withdrew plans in March 2009 due to high flood risks.

Developer Anthony Leggatt. Picture Paul Amos

Developer Anthony Leggatt. Picture: Paul Amos

Anthony Leggatt, director of Herne-based Coastal Developments, says he hopes for a quick decision by the council before the plot becomes an eyesore.

He admits he does not have a preference for what retail goes there and that his main concern is ensuring the development provides homes for local people, particularly young families.

“Twenty-five to 40 years ago the town was dead. The only part that was alive was Mortimer Street,” he said.

“Unless we keep young people in the town, in accommodation which is to a very good standard and where they can look after their families, the place dies.

“I would like it to be a mix of some homes to buy and some to rent. The ones I would sell would only recoup the money spent.

“I already own quite a lot of properties in Herne Bay and I rent them out at cheaper prices.

“It’s about creating communities and not about money."

Commenting on the flood risk, he insists measures would be taken to mitigate any issues.

“We would build above so we wouldn’t have anything on the ground floor - all of that will be car parking,” he said.

“We would put in the necessary drainage and take all the necessary precautions.”

He says the public response to the plans has been positive and hopes the council will be satisfied.

“It’s a question now of whether the council wants to approve,” he said.

“Hopefully it should go through straight away. They’ve had long enough. It’s taken nine months to get to this stage.

“We would like to get the building down. It’s already becoming an eyesore and vandalism is happening there.”

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