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Former Maidstone Stone Court hotel targeted in prostitution and drugs racket up for Clive Emson auction

A former town centre hotel with a salacious past is to be sold at auction.

The Stone Court Hotel, on Lower Stone Street in Maidstone, was raided by police in 2012 with the aim of busting a drugs and prostitution racket.

Three people were arrested for prostitution offences and a fourth was arrested on suspicion of possessing a weapon but only Danny Knight, 29, of Twydall Green, Gillingham, was charged.

The Stone Court Hotel in Lower Stone Street, Maidstone was the target of a police raid
The Stone Court Hotel in Lower Stone Street, Maidstone was the target of a police raid

He pleaded guilty to supplying controlled substances and was fined £3,435.

Police had targeted the hotel as the root of a rise in petty crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.

In May 2013, the force shut down the 16-bed hotel under the sexual offences act - the first ever use of the legislation in Kent.

The historic venue, once described as the ‘jewel of the town,’ lay empty until September 2014 when it was taken on by Madeleine Rose Estate Agents.

Officers searched the Stone Court Hotel in 2012
Officers searched the Stone Court Hotel in 2012

The company gave the 17th Century building a lick of paint and cleared the courtyard but the structure was never purchased.

In 2015 permission was granted for conversion of the building into 14 self-contained flats, but the apartments were never built and the hotel was left to gather dust.

The planning permission for flats has now lapsed and the former boutique hotel has been stuck back on the market.

It will go under the hammer at the Clive Emson Conference Centre at Kent County Showground, Detling, with a freehold guide price of £550-560,000.

Stone Court Hotel, Maidstone as it was in 2009
Stone Court Hotel, Maidstone as it was in 2009

The auction begins at 11am on Tuesday, July 23.

John Stockey, auctioneer, said: “This is an attractive period property with accommodation over four floors including a basement.

“A new owner might want to run it once more as a hotel or take it in another direction; any changes must of course first require the necessary consents to be obtainable.”

The lot is among 124 listed for sale by Clive Emson, the land and property auctioneers, ahead of its next sale.

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