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Carl Turner’s Coachworks complex in Kent wins planning

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Carl Turner Architects has won planning approval for a £650,000 food hub and business centre in Ashford, Kent

The temporary scheme – to be called The Coachworks – will be built on a site that currently contains a four-storey disused corn mill and a large building formerly home to the Ashford Youth Theatre.

The competition-winning project near the Ashford International Station features a co-working area, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and retail units.

Planned to open next summer, the ‘light touch refurbishment’ includes a food and drink centre with a mezzanine bar, a three-storey ‘business incubator’ with start-up workspaces.

There will also be a large open-air space and an event area for theatre, cinema and live sports screenings.

The project only has a five-year lifespan as the land is due to become the second phase of the Commercial Quarter in later years

Carl Turner’s design was chosen ahead of a rival bid by Fluid Design with Meanwhile Space to win the Ashford Borough Council-backed scheme.

The competition invited ‘insightful and creative architect-led teams’ to submit applications for the commission. 

The Commercial Quarter project aims to revitalise the area surrounding Ashford International Station and includes a new home for Ashford College by HNW Architects, an expansion of RSHP’s Ashford Designer Outlet by Chapman Taylor and a new retail hub named Elwick Place by Guy Hollaway Architects.

Work on the Coachworks complex is expected to start on site next month.

Project data

Location Ashford, Kent
Type of project Meanwhile (5 years) food hall, event space and co-working space
Client Ashford Borough Council
Architect Carl Turner Architects
Structural engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan
M&E consultant Max Fordham
Quantity surveyor Jackson Coles
Start on site date Feb 2019
Completion date Summer 2019
Gross internal floor area 1,000m²
Form of contract Design and Build
Total cost £650,000

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