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Savoy Snooker Club in Whitstable could become flats and wine bar

By Chris Pragnell

A seaside snooker club just yards from the beach is set to be demolished to make way for contemporary flats and a wine bar.

If approved, Whitstable's Savoy will be bulldozed and replaced with five apartments and a new ground-floor bar.

Architects' images of the planned new building show a four-floor structure built in the 1930s art deco style - with a penthouse apartment over the top storey.

The building would be a contemporary take on 1930s styling

Lead designer Alex Jackson, of Giarti Architecture, said: "We don't want to produce a pastiche. This is a contemporary take on art deco.

"The finish will be in-keeping with other buildings in the conservation area."

Savoy owner John Kray has teamed up with developer George Wilson to lodge the application to Canterbury City Council.

How it looks now
How the new building could look

The design and access statement submitted along with the plans states: "A gradual decline in the demand for snooker has led to a drop in the number of visitors and members using the ground floor snooker room.

"With the main facilities located on the first floor and only accessible via steps, access to the bar/restaurant is also difficult for those with mobility issues.

"As such, the owner has investigated the potential of renovating and updating the existing building to provide a commercial premises opening onto the pavement of beach walk, with an enlarged private residence above."

The proposal from above
Proposals follow an art deco style

However, according to the application, that option is no longer possible - and the building will need complete replacement.

Mr Jackson said: "The building as it stands has been subject to a number of unsympathetic changes and alterations over the years.

"The resulting structure is a mish-mash of beams and columns with varying internal floor levels which require steps and staircases to navigate the building.

"This severely restricts disabled access and limits the potential of adapting the existing as it currently stands."

The proposals would see each flat benefit from a parking space and enjoy direct sea views.

Side elevation
Side elevation

It is understood the flats could be rented out as holiday homes, with Mr Kray running the new wine bar himself.

Canterbury City Council's planning committee will decide the application in the coming months.

Neighbours in Beach Walk have been invited to give their views on the proposals.

Interior layouts and finishes are yet to be finalised, Mr Jackson added.

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