Home   Herne Bay   News   Article

The story behind the derelict shop in Sea Street, Herne Bay, unsold for three years


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

A long-empty former convenience store continues to remain unsold - despite sitting on the pages of property websites for the last three years.

What used to be the Kind Hearts charity shop in Sea Street, Herne Bay, has sat vacant since the death of former owner Paddy Rayner in 2015.

Kind Hearts charity shop in Sea Street, Herne Bay, has been on the market for about three years. Picture: Wilbee and Son
Kind Hearts charity shop in Sea Street, Herne Bay, has been on the market for about three years. Picture: Wilbee and Son

Despite changing hands months later, the dishevelled shell of the building has until recently been surrounded by overgrown weeds as estate agents market it for £430,000.

Peter Goodwin, of town centre firm Wilbee and Son, says he takes as many as four calls each week about the unkempt site from potential buyers.

"We've had four cash purchasers willing to pay the asking price, but they've been rejected," he told KentOnline.

"On average, we do have three or four enquiries about that property each week.

"We could have sold it over and over again, but it was the owners' decision not to accept the offers because they have a pending application.

Former Kind Hearts owner Paddy Rayner, who ran the store in Sea Street, Herne Bay, for years
Former Kind Hearts owner Paddy Rayner, who ran the store in Sea Street, Herne Bay, for years

"They're businesspeople. They're not going to throw the towel in and sell it, and let someone else make a fortune out of it, so quite rightly they've held back."

The shop was initially run by Paddy's father as a greengrocers, after the family moved to West Cliff Drive in Hampton during the 1930s.

His daughter became well-known for taking sandwiches to workers in local factories and for serving children sweets on their way home from school.

She then converted the premises into Kind Hearts, which raised funds for the town's elderly and supported Herne Bay’s hospital and ambulance station, while her husband Ted ran a workshop next door.

"The current owners bought it at auction six years ago," Mr Goodwin continued.

Kind Hearts charity shop in Sea Street, Herne Bay, photographed in 2015
Kind Hearts charity shop in Sea Street, Herne Bay, photographed in 2015

"During my lifetime, it was always a shop. It's unlikely it'll be run as a shop again.

"I've got a feeling the owners will either re-market it at a higher figure or will develop it themselves, once they get planning permission."

Site owners Jian and Kiko Lin, whose portfolio includes the old Share and Coulter pub in Owls Hatch Road, had three bids to flatten the building and replace it with five homes snubbed between 2016 and 2018.

Canterbury City Council described the last set of proposals three years ago as "unacceptable" due to its location within a floodplain.

The couple have since revealed new plans to instead split the closed-down business into two three-bedroom homes.

"We are in the middle of the planning process," Mrs Lin explained.

"We are not sure what we will do until we get the permission."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More