A fourth bid to transform a vacant office block that developers say has been a magnet for drug crime has been launched.
Care home firm Dyzack Ltd has submitted a fresh application to convert National House in Herne Bay High Street into six two-bedroom flats.
The building, which is opposite the former bus depot, has remained empty since the company bought it in 2007.
In planning documents, the firm says the property has been used as a “hub for drug dealers” over the past 12 years.
It added: “The building has seen evidence of attempted break-ins, needles and substance abuse, placing it at risk of potential squatters and substance misuse.
“Dyzack Ltd has managed to successfully attract investors who are able to fund a change of use. Without this, the company remains concerned for the future for National House.”
The company also says it brought parts of the building back into use to deter squatters.
'The building has seen evidence of attempted break-ins, needles and substance abuse' - Dyzack Ltd
Plans to convert the offices into flats were given the green light by Canterbury City Council in 2014 – but they expired after Dyzack failed to secure funds for the work.
Two more bids were withdrawn in November and last month.
The firm continued: “The company continues to incur excessive financial losses and is increasingly concerned it has exhausted all possible avenues to let the property as offices or to attract a sale.
“This has led to the company funding the building for more than 10 years without any viable commercial prospects.”
Wilbee & Son Estate Agents marketed the building as offices in 2008. Despite being made available for sale or rent in 2012, a deal has not been struck.
Peter Goodwin, the manager of Wilbee & Son in Mortimer Street, says it was almost sold for about £600,000 last year.
“We had several people interested and it went into a bidding war,” he said. “We got far more than its asking price. There were lots of investors around and they wanted to turn it into flats.
“Unbeknown to us the planning permission had expired and that meant the building was not worth as much. Turning it into flats would tidy up a building that’s fallen into disrepair.”