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Plan to restore Leas Pavilion and build new flats to be revealed at public consultation in Folkestone

Plans to restore the historic and dilapidated Leas Pavilion in Folkestone and build new apartments have been unveiled.

The proposed major renovation project will see the sunken building along The Leas - formerly a Victorian tearoom - brought back to its former glory following years of neglect.

The Leas Pavilion in Folkestone needs urgent repair works
The Leas Pavilion in Folkestone needs urgent repair works

The scheme, designed by Hollaway architects, previously known as Guy Hollaway, will also incorporate the two car parks that sit either side of the pavilion in Cheriton Place and Longford Terrace.

An unknown number of apartments have been proposed too.

Details about the plans will be unveiled at a public consultation being held next week, where residents will be invited to have their say on the proposals.

Artist's impressions of the development are expected to be on show.

The news comes after Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes revealed last month that "plans are afoot" to transform the beloved building, first built more than a century ago.

The proposal will see the historic building restored and new flats created
The proposal will see the historic building restored and new flats created

The star, who has a cottage in Dover, is among a number of celebrities to campaign to save the pavilion over the years; Sir Ian McKellen, comedian Vic Reeves, and EastEnders actress June Brown have also shown their support.

Friends of the Leas Pavilion, a not-for-profit organisation set up to address concerns about the deterioration of the site, announced news of the consultation on its Facebook page.

It read: "The Friends of the Leas Pavilion are very excited to be able to expand on Miriam Margolyes' message a couple of weeks ago, to be able to announce that a public consultation is to be held to view the plans for the development and apartments.

"The new developer has for many years been active in coastal developments on the Flemish coast of Belgium and they are in agreement with the owners to bring this site forward.

"They look forward to working very closely with the Friends of the Leas Pavilion in realising this unique restoration of the pavilion and the development of residential units."

The Leas Pavilion opened as a tearoom in 1902 and also housed a theatre, cinema and nightclub, before closing in 2010.

Actress Miriam Margolyes hinted at the plans last month
Actress Miriam Margolyes hinted at the plans last month

Owner Churchgate, who purchased the site in 2007, previously planned to develop it into flats and a gym, but the deadline for this application has long since expired.

In 2019, Folkestone and Hythe District Council issued a legal repairs notice to Churchgate listing six pages of works necessary to protect the run-down building.

But the council has so far held off stepping in further in case another new buyer comes forward.

The name of the new developer has yet to be released, but it is understood Churchgate currently still own the site.

The public consultation will be held in the Channel Suite at the Leas Cliff Hall, also along The Leas, between 2pm and 8pm next Tuesday (March 10).

Representatives from Hollaway will be on hand to talk visitors through the plans and answer any questions.

A planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted after the consultation.

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