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White Lion pub in Folkestone to be turned into homes

A run-down former pub closed after a shooting will be transformed into 18 new homes and a cafe.

Planning permission has been granted to convert the White Lion in Folkestone, which has been derelict since 2006, into supported living accommodation for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The White Lion pub in Cheriton High Street
The White Lion pub in Cheriton High Street

The building, in Cheriton High Street, will provide 12 bedroom suites each with a kitchenette.

An extension will be added to the building for a new staircase and lift, and a community laundry room will be available.

Part of the ground floor will be used as a new cafe plus rooms for training and an office.

Then, a new building which will include supported living accommodation of three one-bed flats and three two-bed flats, will be built on land behind.

Seven car spaces will be created, plus 12 cycle spaces.

Proposed image of the new build. Picture: Design and access statement
Proposed image of the new build. Picture: Design and access statement

Planning permission was granted for the scheme earlier this month by Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC).

Designs come from Invent Architecture and it will be run by Channel Supported Housing.

Documents for the redevelopment state the pub is in "need of full refurbishment and renovation to restore the building back to its former glory".

The report adds: "The proposals will enhance the viability and operation of Channel Supported Housing business and would fulfil a district requirement for the need of supported living accommodation.

"The new structures have been carefully designed in a traditional style to complement the existing buildings and surrounding neighbouring properties and to make best use of this large period property.

"Careful consideration has been taken while developing the scale, massing and appearance of the proposals.

"The new flats will respect the quality of the surrounding neighbourhood whilst creating a positive contribution to the Cheriton High Street providing new care accommodation as well as a social facility with the adjoining café providing a mix of homes and employment to the area."

The pub - a popular drinking spot in the 1980s and 90s - has been vacant and boarded up since 2006 after former owners Shepherd Neame sold up.

It was the scene of a shooting in May of that year.

Plans emerged in 2017 to redevelop the pub into accommodation for ex-servicemen in 2017, but the application was refused.

Concerns about the state of the building were recently raised by Cllr Nicola Keen (Lab) at a FHDC meeting.

She said the building has fallen into a "state of disrepair" and "residents in the area report issues with rats", and that there are concerns it is not safe.

In reply, Cllr David Monk said that work - such as removing waste and fixing gaps in the fence - have been carried out at the site, and an inspection deemed the building was not a danger to the public.

The council also said there has been no reports of rats.

It is not known when the renovation project will start.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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