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Locals angered as 92-bed hotel set to replace high street shops in Ashford, Kent

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A row of shops in Ashford, Kent will be flattened to make way for a new 92-bed hotel, a decision which has angered some locals.

Developers will knock down a row of six shops in New Rents to make way for the hotel, which is set to include a bar, restaurant and spa.

The four-storey project will replace branches of Betfred, PDSA and the British Heart Foundation, as well as the former Argos, KPC Events and Game stores.

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Jim Symes, Founder of Ashford Sewing Centre – the oldest independent shop in the area which will sit opposite the new development – told Kent Online: “The town centre is not like it was.
We really need more small businesses to come in but with how it is now, that’s progress I’m afraid.”

Mr Symes says he has been inundated with questions from worried locals about the future of his business, but has confirmed the shop will remain open.

Plans for the hotel were approved by Ashford Borough Council’s planning committee last month, with 11 votes in favour and two against.

The upcoming hotel has been designed by architect Guy Hollaway – who drew up the scheme on behalf of applicant SPPF Ltd – and the project will also include 10 flats on the top floor.

The operator of the hotel is not yet known, but it will offer three to four-star accommodation.

Earlier this month, KPC Events became the first store to leave New Rents following the hotel’s approval.

The decor studio moved into the unit in February but has now closed its doors with the owner opting to run the business from home and from a storage unit in Bethersden.

Meanwhile, the British Heart Foundation will leave Ashford after 30 years when it closes to make way for the hotel.

Its last day will be Thursday 6 October, with work on the hotel scheduled to begin in late autumn.

Featured image: Holloway

Tags : Kentkent hotelsupcoming hotels
Eamonn Crowe

The author Eamonn Crowe

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