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HomePlus Furniture in Beaver Road, Ashford, to be knocked down to build homes

By Dan Wright

A huge homeware store is expected to be knocked down and turned into a residential development after being snapped up by Ashford Borough Council.

HomePlus Furniture in Beaver Road - which previously housed the town’s B&Q - has been bought by the authority's property company, A Better Choice for Property.

The International Hand Car Wash next to HomePlus has already closed, but it is not yet known when the furniture shop will shut or if it will move to another site in the town.

HomePlus is expected to become a residential scheme
HomePlus is expected to become a residential scheme

The 1.75-acre site, which has been acquired from the Southern Housing Group, is at the junction with Avenue Jacques Faucheux opposite Ashford International station.

The busy junction is already surrounded by developments, with Chapel Down’s brewery opening in March and a Hampton by Hilton hotel set to go next to the BP petrol station.

Bosses have dubbed the area 'Victoria Point'.

Inside HomePlus. Picture: Steve Salter
Inside HomePlus. Picture: Steve Salter

The HomePlus purchase has been described as a multi-million pound deal, but it is not yet known how much ABC paid for the site.

In 2014, ABC set up the A Better Choice for Property company to buy buildings it could then let out.

Chiefs say the company helps to generate new income to pay for council services.

HomePlus was previously B&Q, pictured here in November 1982
HomePlus was previously B&Q, pictured here in November 1982

A spokesman for the company said more details about its plans for the site will be released soon.

In a separate move, ABC is understood to have snapped up two former town centre offices for £875,000.

Swanton House in Elwick Road and Conyers in Church Road are both expected be turned into a residential development.

The car wash has closed
The car wash has closed

The properties - which back onto each other - were advertised in a Clive Emson auction.

Swanton House was home to Kent Social Service facilities until 2008, when its failure to comply with fire safety regulation forced it to close.

Previously, the pre-1920s building - which had a guide price of £600,000 - was used as a First World War military hospital for war pensioners before being converted to a residential dwelling.

The council has its eyes on Swanton House. Picture: Steve Salter
The council has its eyes on Swanton House. Picture: Steve Salter

A large car park is included in the lot, which also features 30 rooms over its 7,018 sq ft of usable floorspace.

The site garnered interest from neighbouring Ashford College upon its move to Elwick Road in 2017, but college bosses say the site is no longer part of their expansion plans.

The semi-detached Conyers building - which had a guide price of £180,000 - goes over three floors, with off-road parking at the front.

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