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Nutmeg Coffee Shop in Ashford high street could become two houses

A former town centre coffee shop could be split into two houses.

A new planning application centres on the Grade II*-listed building which previously housed the Nutmeg Coffee Shop in Ashford high street.

Nutmeg Coffee Shop had been in the high street for two years
Nutmeg Coffee Shop had been in the high street for two years

The shop shut its doors last July, having been in the town for just over two years.

Applicant Nicholas King, who lives in Maidstone, notes it is “a building of significant historical importance to the town and the local community”.

“It is with this in mind that it is important to bring the building back into use,” he added.

“The property is currently unoccupied and is therefore not capable of generating an income to support its own maintenance.

“I am keen to avoid the building laying empty for yet a further winter.”

The Nutmeg Coffee Shop closed last year
The Nutmeg Coffee Shop closed last year

The design and access statement suggests the building was initially built as divided housing - so it would be a return to its origins - and as part of the proposal a long-gone original staircase would be re-instated.

Mr King added: “After careful consideration, I feel that the ideal use for the building would be to reinstate the original dividing party wall in its original location, re-creating two separate dwelling houses.

“Each providing well-proportioned and comfortable, two-bedroomed accommodation and spacious living areas within a town centre environment, within close proximity to public transport and public amenities.

“Each property already has its own separate entrance and access, which would not require alteration.”

“This building’s secondary positioning within the high street, being set back and tucked away or hidden from the main thoroughfare is likely to have been a contributing factor to the continued failure of the premises as a commercial-use building.

A sign announced the closure to passers-by
A sign announced the closure to passers-by

“The fact that it is nestled away from the main footfall of the high street traffic also lends itself to the proposed residential use.”

The Nutmeg Cafe continues to operate out of two branches in Hythe and Tenterden.

Having been lodged on August 3, the application’s target decision date is September 28.

Search for 20/00999/AS at www.ashford.gov.uk

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