Published: 10:37, 25 July 2021
| Updated: 10:39, 25 July 2021
A former garage which stood in Canterbury for about 60 years has been flattened to make way for the construction of luxury flats.
The old Northgate Garage, off Union Street, was sold for £1.5 million in 2018 and has now been torn down by bulldozers ahead of the site’s redevelopment.
Thirty-five flats - designed by award-winning architect Guy Hollaway - will be built in an L-shaped block.
It will face onto Union Street, Victoria Row and New Ruttington Lane and will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom homes, most with balconies or terraces.
Not all the flats are to have parking as just 25 spaces are being allocated.
The developers, named AAG No. 3, stated in the design process that the flats will not house students - a pledge welcomed by surrounding residents.
The old garage and dealership was deemed to offer no architectural merit and was an “intrusive feature” in the city’s historic conservation area - whereas the new, three-storey development is hoped to regenerate the site.
In determining the application in 2019, Canterbury City Council praised the “high quality design” and stated that an “increase in the population within the city centre will have a positive and beneficial effect on the vibrancy” of the area.
The other Northgate Group premises in the city, in Vauxhall Road, closed last year with 21 staff members being made redundant.
At the time, owner Peter Hinkins said: “We closed for the lockdown, and took the decision fairly soon after that that we wouldn’t reopen, as we would have been closing a few weeks later anyway.
“It ends here. I’ve got two children but they took a different route. I warned them off the motor trade - it’s too up and down.
“We’d like to thank everybody for their loyalty to our business - all our customers over the years, many of whom we treat as friends, we’ve known them that long.”