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Londis in Canterbury could become dental practice

By Joe Wright

A Londis store is set to be transformed into a dental practice, while another city branch of the convenience brand is due to be flattened.

Separate planning applications have been submitted to Canterbury council - the first being for a change of use at the Londis in Longport.

Kirti Patel, who has run the store opposite St Augustine’s Abbey for 37 years, says the Post Office will continue to operate from the Grade II-listed building despite it becoming a dentist.

Canterbury Longport Londis Post Office. Picture: Paul Amos
Canterbury Longport Londis Post Office. Picture: Paul Amos

Mrs Patel says she is also hoping to still run a small shop on site - but it will not be a Londis.

The proposals, which have gained the support of the Canterbury Heritage Design Forum, detail two surgery rooms, two cosmetic rooms, a waiting area and X-ray room.

A report by Paradigm Design Solutions states the city is “constantly in need of such facilities”. The dentist taking on the site currently has a practice in London.

Just under a mile away, another city convenience store could be demolished and replaced with a bigger shop and five new flats.

Nish Patel, who runs Londis in St Dunstan’s, wants to build a more thriving business, create job opportunities and increase profit.

A design of how the Londis store and flats in St Dunstan's could look. Credit: Clague Architects. (14023931)
A design of how the Londis store and flats in St Dunstan's could look. Credit: Clague Architects. (14023931)

It is not known if the new, larger outlet will remain as a Londis or if it will operate under a different brand.

An initial plan to refurbish the shop was approved by city planners last year, but when inspection work started a number of significant structural problems were found.

Mr Patel says there is no merit in keeping the original structure as various parts have deteriorated beyond repair.

Instead he is seeking permission to demolish the shop in St Dunstans Street altogether, build a bigger store and create three one-bed and two two-beds flats.

“It is primarily required to help increase profit in the shop and create a small lettings venue,” he said in planning documents submitted to the council.

Londis in St Dunstan's Street (12941304)
Londis in St Dunstan's Street (12941304)

“Increasing the size of the shop and its facilities will create job opportunities and allow for a more thriving retail unit.

“The alterations internally will also improve the working environment of the current employees within the shop,” he says

He says the creation of five apartments will also help alleviate housing pressures within the city.

Police want to meet with the applicant in order to discuss ways of curbing crime and to ensure the development does not have a “knock-on effect” on the area.

Canterbury currently has six Londis stores spread across the city and outskirts.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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