Published: 12:58, 01 November 2019
| Updated: 13:20, 01 November 2019
Work to finally convert a derelict town centre building into luxury flats is set to begin after Christmas.
New hoardings have been placed around the former Ashford Fabric Warehouse and Club Q snooker club building in Godinton Road as developers prepare to transform the site into 28 one, two and three bedroom apartments.
Two commercial units will be built on the ground floor as consent was granted by Ashford Borough Council's (ABC) planning committee for retail use after it was approved last year.
Forty-one parking spaces will also be provided as part of the scheme, which has been dubbed 'The Market Quarter.'
Bethersden-based Clarus Homes, which is currently building 17 four and five-bedroom detached homes in the village, bought the site in August.
Managing director Chris Dickens said: "We are very excited about this - it will be a landmark scheme in central Ashford.
"We are planning on making a physical start on site after Christmas.
"It comprises 28 one, two and three bedroom apartments all with parking and two commercial units to the ground floor which have consent for A1 use.
"We have yet to let the commercial space but shall take this to market shortly seeking a pre-let.
"We would expect to attract interest from retailers and convenience stores to coffee shops and hairdressers.
"In a prime central location, this is a really exciting project to regenerate this site and further enhance the area following on from other recent regeneration projects within the locality including the Picturehouse cinema, Travelodge hotel and Curious Brewery."
The development is expected to take around a year to complete - with the first tenants moving in next autumn.
Twelve one-bed flats will be built, alongside 15 two-bed and a single three-bed apartment.
The building, called Godinton House, was built in the 1970s as two floors of offices above a shop.
Planning permission for the flats was gained last April after planning consultancy firm Kember Loudon Williams put forward the application on behalf of developer R & W Holdings.
The developer then put the building up for sale and Clarus snapped it up in the summer.
Before it was boarded up last year, the site, which sits next to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, had become a target for squatters, but is now protected by large hoardings.
When permission was granted last April, Cllr Bernard Heyes (Con) said he was pleased to see the majority of flats proposed come with two bedrooms.
Of the 17 homes Clarus is building in Bethersden, six four and five-bedroom detached houses remain for sale.
He said: "Every flat has an off-road parking space, which is adequate.
"I like the way they will use the existing building and modify it - I think that’s a good idea.
“The building does need something doing to it. I don’t see why the ground floor retail part can't be a success.”
Visit www.clarushomes.co.uk/ashford for more information.
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