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Developers U-Turn on Shop Front

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Developers have u-turned on plans to open shops or a restaurant in a prime Canterbury city centre spot.

They now want to build a reception for new student flats, with business leaders highly critical of the decision.

Locals have argued that the former Barretts showroom at the end of the high street is a gateway to the city and should be protected for retail use.

A purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development situated to the rear of the site and containing 143 beds has already been granted planning.

The original plans said the ground floor would be transformed into a commercial unit but this has now been withdrawn, with the developers looking to create a reception area for the student accommodation instead.

Documents submitted as part of the latest application said: "The reception building will function very much as a visual and functional focus for the purpose-built student accommodation, linking it with the city centre and providing a place where resident students can meet, interact and socialise."

"The space also gives the opportunity for more formal activities like meetings and informal activities such as entertaining small groups of friends, relatives and fellow students."