Six new homes have been built on the site of a derelict dance studio.
Four two-bed and two one-bed self-contained flats have been created in the centre of Folkestone as part of Kent County Council’s (KCC) No Use Empty scheme which aims to bring empty properties back into use.
Torg Developments acquired the land in November 2021 and received planning permission the following March.
KCC stumped up £820,000 and Folkestone and Hythe District Council £90,000 in loans to get the project in The Bayle, in the centre of Folkestone, under way.
The apartments are on the market for £275-300,000.
Folkestone charity Sunflower House has an agreement with Torg to occupy the ground floor space for community activities.
The council loans are due to be repaid by September 2025 at the latest with the repayments “recycled” to support future housing schemes across the county.
One of its trustees, Jon O’Connor, joined KCC’s strategic programme manager for No Use Empty, Steve Grimshaw for a tour of the building, together with FHDC’s housing strategy manager Adrian Hammond and Cllr Rebecca Shoob, FHDC’s cabinet member for housing and homelessness.
They were shown round the flats by the directors of Torg Developments, Tommy Ould and Ryan Green.
Mr Grimshaw said: “There was a history of planning applications being submitted and refused and the former Dance Easy studio remained closed and in a derelict state.
“Thanks to a joined-up approach from Kent County Council’s No Use Empty scheme and top up funds from Folkestone & Hythe District Council, another redundant building is brought back to life in the district.”
No Use Empty was launched 18 years ago and has created 1,424 homes across the county, with loans totalling nearly £60 million.
These have included a total of 251 housing units in the Folkestone and Hythe district, thanks to NUE loans of almost £12 million and top-up loans from FHDC of more than £2 million.