Ashford approves £75m hotel and leisure scheme

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ashford approves £75m hotel and leisure scheme

Related tags: Bbc television centre, Bbc

Plans for a £75m hotel, restaurant and leisure complex in Ashford in Kent have been green-lit by councillors in a bid to boost tourism in the local area.

The six acre development includes a four-storey, 60-room hotel, eight new restaurant and café spaces and a six screen ‘boutique’ cinema.

It will sit at Elwick Road - the site of Ashford’s former cattle market - and is expected to create around 250 jobs.

The plans were submitted by Stanhope, the developers behind the transformation of the former BBC Television centre​ in to a hotel, restaurants and flats.

Speaking at the planning meeting, Cllr Mike Bennett said the plans would make Ashford ‘the envy of other towns across Kent’.

"We have before us plans for a spectacular cinema building,” he said.

"The hotel is much needed. It is a quality development on a long abandoned site.”

The cinema building will be wrapped in a gold-coloured, aluminium mesh on to which images will be projected at night.

Leader of Ashford Borough Council, Cllr Gerry Clarkson, said: “We’re delighted to see these exciting proposals move one step closer.

“A town centre cinema, set around a new square with places to eat and drink, will be a real draw and will help to bring extra vitality to the town centre during the day and evening.”

A second phase of the development consisting of up to 200 apartments will be considered by Ashford Borough Council's planning committee in early 2016.

Related topics: Business, Restaurants, Hotels, Venues

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