Plans for a new nightclub have been welcomed by residents who say it could bring much-needed footfall and variety to their town.
The site was previously earmarked for Afro-Caribbean restaurant Dansaki but those plans fell through.
Documents submitted to Ashford Borough Council show the nightclub would be open on Fridays and Saturdays only, from 9pm until 4am.
If approved, it would be just 400m away from Ashford's only current nightclub Cameo in Station Road.
The venue would join sports bar Matches, the Picturehouse cinema and cafe Leo & Sage, among others, at Elwick Place, which opened in 2018, and has seen two high-profile businesses close in that time.
On Thursday, KentOnline asked visitors to the square whether a nightclub would be a good addition.
Repton Park resident Steve Robinson, 30, said: “A lot of people tend to go out of Ashford for a night out so it could be good to have something different.
“Matches is good, and Cameo is targeted for younger people, so if a new venue brings people to town, I think it is good no matter what the business is.”
Michelle Krawczyk, from the Central Ashford Community Forum, says anything that brings businesses and people to the town is a benefit.
The 50-year-old added: "Having empty units filled is always a good thing, and as long as it is managed correctly from an anti-social behaviour standpoint, I think it will be fine.
"We don't want the town to be all residential, otherwise you will lose the town, so inviting new businesses is good.
"I'm not sure what it will mean for the hotel, but I'm sure they will be able to have their say.”
Diane Turner, 46, from Kennington said: "As long as it doesn't get in the way of residents, I can't see it being a bad thing. It's good to see it could be centrally located."
Jackie Kershaw who grew up in Ashford, welcomed the idea, explaining it will be handy for youngsters.
She said: “Young people need somewhere to go, especially after Covid.
“I think kids miss out a lot these days. Elwick Place would be a good location for it. It could cause a few problems for the hotel above but as long as it is policed properly I can’t see it being a bad thing.”
‘Having empty units filled is always a good thing...’
Lorraine Wilson, 40, from South Ashford said as a mother, it is something she would support.
She explained: “My sons come down to Matches, but then they tend to go up to Canterbury which is worrying as a parent so it would be nice if they were closer by. At least you know they can get home more safely and easily.”
While concerns have been raised over the proximity to the Travelodge, Hythe resident Caroline Taylor says it could actually be beneficial.
The 58-year-old explained: “There’s a chance it could attract people to the hotel. People might go on a night out there and then book a night in the hotel.”
Travelodge did not wish to comment on the application when approached by KentOnline. The other businesses in Elwick Place have also been approached.
The complex opened in December 2018 following a £75 million construction project.
In October last year, upmarket food shop and restaurant Macknade closed suddenly. Bosses blamed the cost of living crisis for having to scale back operations.
This was followed by Italian restaurant Unità 4 which shut in February after two years, with owners saying they need to take "time to reflect and reassess the business".
Gaming room Virtual Recreation filled half of the former Macknade unit when it opened last month.
Other businesses in the complex include home and lifestyle shop The Snug and Snap Fitness.
Meanwhile, some 200 flats are set to be built next to the Travelodge, in two seven-storey blocks. If the nightclub is approved, the back entrance would be directly next door to the new homes.