U+I and Quinn Estates granted planning permission at former Powergen site in Ashford

– Planning permission secured at one of two new schemes in Victoria Way, Ashford
– 660 new homes, new public realm and a café will be delivered in the centre of Ashford by U+I, in partnership with Quinn Estates and Neighbour

Property regeneration company U+I has been granted planning permission to deliver a new mixed-use regeneration project at the old Powergen site at Victoria Way in Ashford, Kent.

The scheme will be delivered by U+I, in partnership with Canterbury-based developer Quinn Estates and specialist private rented sector operator, Neighbour. Ashford Borough Council’s planning committee approved the scheme last night (15 June).

Previously occupied by Powergen in the 1990s, the scheme will see the addition of 660 new homes, new public realm and a café built on a brownfield parcel of land that has lain derelict for well over a decade.

The residential units will consist of one, two, and three-bedroom flats and 25 houses. Designed by RIBA award-winning architect, Guy Hollaway, and the development includes 400 apartments that will be delivered by Neighbour, a specialist provider of private rented sector homes.

The site, located close to Ashford International Station with direct fast trains into central London, is an important destination within the London City Region. This strategic regeneration project will help to link Ashford town centre with Victoria Park to the south, creating a new residential community and injecting new life into a currently unused site.

As previously announced, U+I has also exchanged contracts to acquire a second site located opposite Ashford International train station, from the Homes and Communities Agency. Almost six acres in size, a masterplan is currently in progress for a significant regeneration project that will create over 165 new jobs.

The proposed development would house approximately 200 residential units, a 120-bed hotel, an Aldi food store and a new brewery and visitor centre for local wine and beer maker, Chapel Down.

Richard Upton, Deputy CEO of U+I, said: “It is great news that planning permission for the first of two sites at Victoria Way has been granted. Ashford’s thriving local economy, excellent transport links and the council’s ambitious regeneration plans reinforce its position as an important town within the London City Region and we’re excited to be working here. U+I is an established regeneration partner and we’re looking forward to providing much needed job opportunities and high quality housing for the local community in Ashford.”

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “We welcome the planning consent on this key town centre project, which has excited residents. Ashford continues to be a real draw for the very best commercial enterprises and remains the obvious choice for expanding, thriving and established businesses. This housing development on a brown field site, so close to the International Station, should greatly assist the revitalising of Ashford town centre.”

Mark Quinn, Quinn Estates said: “Ashford is a dynamic and growing town and this scheme will give the community a real economic boost. The site itself has long been derelict and ticks all the boxes in terms of building in brownfield land. We have consulted heavily with a variety of stakeholders so that now we have consent we can move swiftly into the delivery phase of this exciting project.”

Kirk Pickering of Neighbour said: “We are looking forward to delivering our first 400 units of a 1000 rental unit pipeline in Kent alone. The Neighbour component of the Ashford project will comprise a mix of one, two and three bed apartments purpose-designed for long-term rental according to the “Neighbour Design Code” taking best in class design elements from rental product in the US and across Europe.”

For more information about economic development in Ashford visit www.ashfordfor.com.