Published: 09:10, 16 May 2019
| Updated: 10:23, 16 May 2019
A huge 16-storey apartment block with a bar and restaurant on the top floor could be built near a town centre, KentOnline can reveal.
Bosses at Ashford Borough Council’s development company - A Better Choice for Property Ltd - plan to knock down the town's large HomePlus store in Beaver Road to make way for the bold new scheme.
They bought the prime 1.75-acre site from the Southern Housing Group earlier this year and hope to build 223 homes - made up of apartments and houses - as well as 1,250 sq m of commercial space.
HomePlus Furniture - which has four shops in the county - is owned by businessman Martin Rose, who says there is no set date for when the store will close but confirmed he is “looking at a number of sites in Ashford” to move to.
He says the business is currently continuing to trade as normal from the ex-B&Q site.
When ABC bosses bought the spot earlier this year, the purchase was described as a multi-million pound deal, but it is not known how much the authority paid for the plot.
The busy junction is already surrounded by developments, with Chapel Down’s brewery having opened last week and a Hampton by Hilton hotel set to go next to the BP petrol station on the other side of Beaver Road.
Bosses have dubbed the area ‘Victoria Point’.
A Better Choice for Property Ltd chiefs will detail their plans at a public consultation this afternoon.
As well as the 16-storey apartment block, bosses say the 1,250 sq m of commercial space at street level facing Beaver Road will create an “active frontage” along the site’s western boundary.
They also propose a landscaped ‘quad’ for residents in the centre of the development, as well as offering a 1:1 parking ratio.
The ‘destination’ bar and restaurant will go over the 15th and 16th floors of the apartment block.
The consultation will run from 3pm to 8pm at the Stour Centre today (Thursday).
A model of the initial scheme for the site will be on display.
A planning application is expected to be submitted in the summer, council bosses say.
In 2014, ABC set up the A Better Choice for Property Ltd company to buy buildings it could then let out.
Chiefs say the company helps to generate new income to pay for council services.
Last month, ABC bought the Matalan store in Brookfield Road in a £5m deal and also snapped up the derelict Swanton House site in Elwick Road earlier this year.
For more details on the HomePlus public consultation, email firstname.lastname@example.org