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Ashford call centre plan put on hold

An artist's impression of the new call centre
An artist's impression of the new call centre

Six hundred new jobs that would have boosted Ashford’s economy have fallen victim to the economic crisis.

Only days after borough councillors voted in favour for proposals to build a 42,000 sq ft call centre in the town comes news that the company, AXA PPP Healthcare, has put its plans on hold.

The application, by George Wimpey on behalf of AXA PPP Healthcare, would have led to more than 600 jobs on Ashford’s largest brownfield site, Repton Park.

Dean Spurrell, Ashford Borough Council spokesman, said: "AXA ppp Health Care Ltd have put their requirement for a 42,000 sq.ft call centre at Repton Park EMP2 on hold due to the current economic crisis.

"They have indicated that in the future they may pursue this requirement as their circumstances change, as this building has been specifically designed for them and is situated in their preferred location."

The proposals included two new three-storey buildings, 205 parking space and 70 cycle spaces.

The news comes after the announcement that Waitrose will be opening a superstore there by the end of the year, creating an 150 jobs.

Should the planned development be completed, Repton Park will include 1,250 new homes, as well as shops, a school, doctor’s surgery and a community centre.

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