Published: 00:01, 11 August 2016
Two well-established business owners fear a block of flats being built in front of their shops will cause trade to drop.
Shepway District Council has unveiled plans for six one bedroom homes on the site next to Roman Way and Horn Street in Cheriton.
They will add to the council’s affordable housing portfolio and are in addition to the Taylor Wimpey development across the bridge, which is under way to provide 1,300 homes.
Gordon Banks, who has co-owned Banks Engraving Services with his wife Susie for 20 years, and lives above his shop, said this could hinder his retirement plans.
He said: “Obviously one of my concerns is that it will be a three-storey building so I will no longer be on the street side and people will be looking down onto my private property.
“I’m not going to be able to sell this place, I’m in my 70s and I was going to sell it as a going concern.
“We are going to have problems with parking with customers and deliveries.
“But I do fully understand they [SDC] need more housing.”
His concerns are shared by his neighbour, Paul Curd, who co-owns Buddies Pet Supplies with his wife Sharon.
He said: “Parking is my main concern and the fact that I am not going to be seen from the main street.
“Where are all the dog walkers going to go?
“I have another seven years left on my mortgage and people are not going to be able to park anywhere.
“We usually carry sacks of dog food to people’s cars, but at this rate we’re going to have to walk to the Tesco car park.”
'We usually carry sacks of dog food to people’s cars, but at this rate we’re going to have to walk to the Tesco car park.' - Mr Curd
Mr Curd said the development could make the area feel claustrophobic and that when motorists queue to go over the nearby bridge, they often look over and see the shops.
The flats are proposed to go on the small grassland outside the shops, next to Herne Court.
The design, the council said, would be in keeping with that of the neighbouring flats.
A planning application has gone in to SDC and a decision is expected to be made this year.
SDC has been gauging opinion on the proposal and people can share their views by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
More by this authorVictoria Chessum