Published: 14:00, 21 March 2021
| Updated: 08:32, 22 March 2021
The long-awaited transformation of a former bus depot is finally on track for completion more than four years after Stagecoach packed up and left.
The site in Herne Bay’s High Street was offloaded by the bus firm in 2016 ahead of its move to a new base in Eddington Lane the following year.
New owner Anthony Leggatt faced issues securing planning permission for a residential and retail redevelopment on the plot, but was given the green light in 2018 after dropping the number of homes from 60 to 50.
The following summer he retired and sold the land to London-based developer Guildmore Ltd, which hoped to start work on the eyesore site in early 2020.
Construction was then delayed for six months by the outbreak of the pandemic, but the company has now confirmed the new homes will be complete by early next year.
It will bring to an end doubts over the long-term future of the prime town centre spot, which was listed as one of three key regeneration sites in Herne Bay by the council in 2010.
The £20 million development - named Bay Square - includes 21 cottages, 29 apartments, and 900 sq metres of retail space.
Guildmore Ltd has revealed the first of the properties will be hitting the market at £230,000.
The firm is also said to be in talks with “exciting local and national businesses” about taking on the commercial units.
Buyers can now register their interest in purchasing one of Bay Square’s first eight properties, including two-bedroom apartments priced from £230,000, and three-bed cottages starting at £345,000.
Miles & Barr has been appointed to market the homes, with prices for the development’s 42 other properties yet to be confirmed.
The estate agency’s land and new homes manager, Kristy Stephanou, said: “At this point, Bay Square is motoring through phase one with buildings coming out of the ground reaching second-floor level construction.
“Guildmore is currently engaging with a number of exciting local and national businesses with a view of revitalising this end of the High Street.”
She added that a show home will be open for buyers to view in July.
Stephen Jelley, divisional director at Guildmore Ltd, described Bay Square as an “exciting development”.
“We are breathing new life into an area that will provide first-time buyers, couples, friends, families and those looking to downsize with the chance to live in the hub of this exciting seaside town,” he said.
“Bay Square will be a great addition to Herne Bay’s community, providing town-centre living within walking distance of Herne Bay’s Memorial Park and the seafront, as well as the train station for an easy commute to London.”
Mr Jelley previously said as many as nine shops could fill the site’s commercial space, but no information is yet available on which businesses could be set to move in.
Rob Sabin, sales managing director at Miles & Barr, said the new homes offer “the opportunity to purchase affordable housing at the centre of the local community”.
“The commercial premises will also provide businesses with the chance to generate additional local jobs opportunities, bringing life back to our quieter than normal high streets,” he added.
The Government’s Help to Buy scheme will be available to buyers looking to join the housing ladder.
Applicants can register their interest in Bay Square via email@example.com or 01304 273340.