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The Shard of Ashford plan submitted for HomePlus furniture store site

Full plans for a 16-storey skyscraper dubbed 'The Ashford Shard' have been unveiled.

The HomePlus furniture shop in Beaver Road will be demolished to make way for the eye-catching block if a planning application submitted earlier this month is approved.

The tower block will go over 16 storeys - this view shows it from Victoria Road. Picture: Blur Studio Ltd
The tower block will go over 16 storeys - this view shows it from Victoria Road. Picture: Blur Studio Ltd

In total, 214 flats and nine townhouses will be installed alongside three commercial units in the proposal, which was first revealed in May.

Offices will also be built as part of the On Architecture-designed plan, as well as a cafe on the bottom level and a "destination" restaurant on the top two floors of the structure, offering 360-degree views of the town.

A central courtyard garden called 'the quad' will join the apartment blocks with the townhouses and commercial properties.

A Better Choice for Property - the property investment company owned by Ashford Borough Council - is behind the project after it bought the ex-B&Q site from the Southern Housing Group earlier this year.

There will be 200 parking spaces underneath the 66 one-bed apartments, 124 two-bedroom apartments and 24 apartments featuring three bedrooms.

The HomePlus store will be demolished to make way for the scheme. Picture: Blur Studio Ltd
The HomePlus store will be demolished to make way for the scheme. Picture: Blur Studio Ltd

All of the townhouses will be equipped with a balcony and an ensuite.

In the application's design and access statement, bosses say: "The 16-storey tower element to the design creates a visual landmark to Ashford, allowing the building scale to rise from the other apartment blocks and gives the proposal a restaurant with 360-degree views over the newly developing town."

Flood consultation agency Betteridge & Milsom stated in its viability report how the plan for the site, which sits next to the river, does not increase flood risk.

It said: "In flood risk context, the proposals are safe and appropriate and do not cause increased flood risk and there are feasible solutions for the discharge of the surface water generated by the site."

HomePlus is owned by businessman Martin Rose, who says there is "no change to report" and it is "business as usual".

In September, a spokesman for A Better Choice for Property Ltd confirmed HomePlus had been granted an extension of three months to its lease on a rolling basis while the property company "continues to finalise its plans for the Beaver Road site".

In May, David Weir, director of On Architecture, said the company wants to "go big" with the development, building a tower similar to The Shard in London, which is 95 storeys tall.

To view the scheme, search for the 19/01597/AS reference on the council's planning portal at www.ashford.gov.uk

Comments on the plan can be lodged until Thursday, December 12.

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