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Car park set to go

It seems that the King Street multi-storey car park in Maidstone town centre could be more quickly re-developed than previously thought.

Back in October last year, Maidstone council took the decision to demolish the car park, built in the 1970s, because erosion of the concrete structure was threatening a major refurbishment bill, possibly of up to £700,000.

Cabinet members decided it would probably be the wrong time in the current economic climate to attempt to market the land, which the council owns, so they submitted a planning application to demolish the existing structure and to create a surface car park with 64 spaces in its place.

However, before the planning committee has even determined that application, the council confirmed that it has already received "developer interest " in this site, for housing.

Council leader Chris Garland (Con) said any interest was "welcome."

He said the town would not miss the surface car park if that did not go ahead. He said: "Our figures suggest even without the surface car park, the town still has a surplus of around 300 car-parking places over the ideal."

The multi-storey car park currently has 213 spaces. The building also contains a ground floor retail unit, last used by the Co-op, but empty since 2011.

No developer has yet filed a planning application.

The council has estimated that demolishing the old building will cost around £650,000.

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