Published: 08:19, 23 January 2018
Controversial plans to demolish a hotel in Kennington have been turned down by the council.
Developers wanted to build nine four-bedroom homes on the site of The Croft Hotel in Canterbury Road, which is opposite the junction with The Street.
But planning officers at Ashford Borough Council (ABC) have turned down the proposal, calling the hotel a “valuable tourist facility” which should not be lost.
Cllr Phil Sims, who represents the Kennington ward, said: “I think it is great that The Croft application has been refused because it would be an absolute blight on the area.
“The residents think it would be absolutely stupid to put something there. The hotel could be an excellent venue as a restaurant – many of us have used it as a restaurant and would like to continue to do so.
“To turn the hotel into a housing estate, or an access point to a housing estate, at the crossroads with Canterbury Road would be utterly ridiculous.”
The Croft has 17 rooms and a lounge and bar.
It also contains the La Dolce Vita Italian restaurant and is a popular venue for weddings and special family celebrations and occasions.
In their report, an ABC planning officer said: “The proposal, which involves the demolition of a well proportioned and attractive building and its replacement with standard house types, would represent an unsympathetic and incongruous form of development that fails to respond positively to its context and the established character of the street scene.
“Consequently, it would result in a visually intrusive and harmful form of development.
“Further, the proposal would result in the loss of an employment site for which alternative appropriate employment uses have not been adequately considered or discounted.”