A historic former pub which has sat empty for almost 20 years and deteriorated into a graffiti-strewn eyesore could finally be torn down and turned into flats.
Plans have been re-submitted to demolish the Two Bells in Canterbury Road, Folkestone, and turn the site into a “high-quality purpose-built apartment building containing 12 dwellings”.
Some of those working and living nearby have welcomed plans to get rid of the unsightly “mess” – but others fear the extra homes could cause parking chaos.
Just a few doors down from the derelict pub building, the owner of the Little Fish And Chips shop, Hassan Bingol, said: “It can be quiet down this road, so it will be very good for business.
“The old building is a mess so I would definitely rather it be flats.”
But Sharon Lee, who has lived on the street for 30 years, says parking is already a massive issue and 12 new properties will only make things worse.
She said: “The apartments are only going to increase the traffic.
“Where are they going to park? There is no room for parking as it is.
“I understand the building is an eyesore but 12 flats is way too many.
“They can’t leave the building the way it is. It is a safety hazard.
“But the road is always so busy. You get boy racers speeding down here all the time.
“With even more cars coming to the area I bet there will be a death here soon.”
The site has been subject to a series of planning applications over the years.
In 2021, proposals were approved for 12 flats in place of the pub, but the permission expired due to rising building costs and the approved design no longer meeting national space standards.
Applications were also submitted in 2008, 2014 and 2016.
The latest documents from applicant John Cullum state: “The existing building is in an extremely dilapidated state and in need of demolition.
“The council has recently contacted the new owners to develop the site, which has since become derelict and is currently having a negative impact on the local area and community.”
If approved, the building will include four two-bed apartments and eight one-bed flats.
Within the planning statement, it is explained that on-street allocation for parking at the Two Bells was 15 spaces and tenants will have no greater need for parking than the pub did.
The former inn, which dates back to 1841, has been closed since 2005.
In 2019, its owners were fined £2,000 by Folkestone and Hythe District Council for allowing the garden to become a dumping ground.
Environmental enforcement officers discovered household waste and broken furniture during their visit, and it took two days for the rubbish to be cleared.