Published: 08:11, 15 September 2017
Striking new images released exclusively to KentOnline reveal ambitious plans to transform Ashford's former Powergen site.
Canterbury-based Quinn Estates gained permission for 660 homes on the land, dubbed Riverside Park, in Victoria Way last summer.
Bosses at the firm completed the sale of the homes before a brick had been laid, agreeing a £45 million deal for 267 flats with Saudi-backed real estate investor GRE Assets.
They have now released further images of the scheme - which will develop the derelict brownfield land last occupied by Powergen in the 1990s.
Quinn Estates managing director Mark Quinn said: “Riverside Park ticks so many boxes. It makes effective use of a long standing brownfield site in an urban area and provides houses and apartments where people want to be in the town centre and by the train station.
“With an exceptional design by Guy Hollaway Architects, the buildings will add to the Ashford skyline and really compliment what Ashford Borough Council are doing with the Big 8 projects.
“Riverside Park will be home to more than 1,000 new residents who will spend money on local services and add to the footfall, vibrancy and vitality of the high street and in the shopping centres, creating jobs for local people and benefitting the local economy in a big way.”
Regeneration giant U+I gained planning permission with Quinn Estates last year, but sold the land to private rented sector investor Neighbour and the Oxford-based GRE Assets.
It means all the homes on the development will be rented out – with Neighbour buying the other 400 apartments.
The sale took about five months to complete and brought to an end the involvement in the project of U+I, the London developer that had prepared the land and got the proposals through the planning stage with Quinn Estates.
Last year, Mr Quinn described the sale as “one of the biggest deals in Kent” – with construction already starting on the foundations of a number of apartments at the site.
The development will feature one, two, and three-bedroom flats and 21 houses, alongside a new public realm and a cafe.
Mr Quinn, whose firm’s construction arm is now building the development on behalf of GRE, said last year: “We are over the moon. GRE are really good to work with.
“It’s pretty compelling – they get to buy some really high-quality apartments overlooking a park and near Ashford International train station.”
It is anticipated residents will move into the first phase of the apartments in the first quarter of 2019.