Land with planning permission for a town centre medical centre and almost 200 apartments is on the market for £4.5 million.
The former Bell Centre, in Sittingbourne, is a vacant site occupied by a derelict old nightclub building and three-storey commercial units.
However, the 2.2-acre area is earmarked to become “much-welcomed” homes and medical facilities.
Planning permission for 165 residential units, 90 being one-bed flats and 75 being two-bed flats, and a new medical centre has been given the green light by Swale council.
In 2021 the Aria Group was granted planning permission in 2021 to redevelop the eyesore.
But in November last year the applicant made "minor amendments" to its plans – including having fewer parking spaces for residents.
Changes to the plans also include the expansion of the proposed medical hub and pharmacy.
Previously, the permitted scheme included 100 parking spaces but it was reduced to 92.
Changes to the parking layout include the removal of one level of basement parking under block two.
Malcolm Moore, vice chairman of the Sittingbourne Society, wrote to the council to share the group’s concerns.
In his objection, he said: “While the Sittingbourne Society welcomes the additional housing and the medical facilities provided by this proposed development we are concerned to see that the developer is proposing to reduce even further the inadequate number of parking spaces to be provided for the occupants of the flats.
“This would increase the pressure on on-street parking in the nearby streets and cause problems in areas such as Chilton Avenue, Bell Road and Millfield.”
However, in their report, the planning inspector said they had “no objection to the reduction of parking spaces”.
They wrote: “The loss of the previously approved basement level parking is unfortunate in terms of the knock-on effects it will have on the central square, but given the stated reasons for the change in this respect and the additional tree and shrub planting that has been worked into the revised central square space to compensate/mitigate I confirm I have no objection on balance to this change from a conservation and design perspective.”
At the time, speaking on behalf of the Aria Group, JTS Partnership said: "The permitted scheme allowed for two floors of underground parking in block two which risked disturbing the water table.
"The parking area has been redesigned on one level only, 25 spaces would be dedicated to the medical centre and the remaining 67 would be available for residents.”
Out of the 165 planned apartments, 12 are to be allocated for affordable rent with the remaining 153 available for private sale
The lot is up for sale on Rightmove and is located less than half a mile from from Sittingbourne railway station.
Offers are invited in excess of £4,500,000 for the freehold interest (reflecting £27,272 per plot) subject to the proposed medical centre being handed back to the vendor.
Adjoining the property is Bell House, a three-storey office building which does not form part of the sale.
Bell House's existing offices were set to be refurbished for commercial use only.
The office space is being marketed by Regus and was due to be available from April this year.
When discussing why changes had been made to the planning application JTS Partnership explained: "The medical centre footprint has been extended to front Bell Road and would be located over three floors.
"The requirement for a larger medical centre is strongly supported by the NHS and Chestnut Surgery which is not fit for purpose.
"The pharmacy space would occupy the available space at the third and fourth-floor levels."
The Bell Centre was built in the 1970s and was once home to Sainsbury's.
The building was demolished in stages in the mid-2000s and has been the subject of at least two major plans that never saw fruition, including a Travelodge hotel.
For more on Aria Group's plans, visit Swale council's planning portal here and enter reference 22/504697/FULL.
The Aria Group has been contacted for comment.