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Councillors set to approve plans for escape room in Ashford town centre

Councillors are set to approve a new ‘escape room’ gaming centre next week - just three weeks after the first opened in Ashford.

Plans for the new escape room, called ‘Trapped in Ashford’, follows the recent opening of Pressure Point above Caffe Nero in the town centre on May 29.

If approved, Trapped in Ashford would be just around the corner, located on New Rents, above the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The offices in New Rents where the escape room would be
The offices in New Rents where the escape room would be

Escape rooms are a popular and fast-growing game where participants have a set amount of time, usually an hour, to make their way out of a closed room, using only clues from inside the room.

In a supporting document, agent Tim Parrett at Rubicon Building Consultancy, said: “This business will bring something different to the people of Ashford. It brings another type of entertainment to the town centre.

“I understand that there is also another escape room planning on being opened in Ashford, I do not see this as a negative.”

A floor plan included in the application shows initial concepts for the rooms, with game settings including a prison, laboratory and train.

Each of the six game rooms have the capacity to hold six people.

Mr Parrett notes the potential for repeat customers: “Each of my six rooms will be changed once a year therefore keeping people coming back to the area.”

There has been one resident objection about late night noise and parking from a neighbouring business. However the council notes that noise should not be a problem for this type of business in this area of town.

The attraction is aimed at adults, but children aged 14 to 18 can also take part if they have an adult with them.

In the planning committee report, Rob Bewick, Ashford Borough Council planning officer, said: “There would be no physical alterations to the building. The proposed use would not generate noise or comings or goings that would unacceptably impact upon the residential amenity of nearby residents.

“I therefore recommend that planning permission is granted.”

The escape rooms would be open until 11pm, but won’t sell alcohol.

The plans have been recommended for approval by planning officers, and will be discussed at Wednesday night’s council planning meeting at the Civic Centre.

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