Plans for a pub and 21 apartments on the site of the former Aylesham Sports Club need approval

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Plans to replace a burnt-out clubhouse with a pub and 21 apartments are set to be approved – more than two years since the site was destroyed in an arson attack.

Aylesham Sports Club, between Canterbury and Dover, was demolished in April 2020 after a suspicious fire broke out during the first national lockdown.

What the site looked like in April 2020

But on Thursday, councilors are due to vote on a request to build a three-storey building and a small pub on the site.

GBA Designs bosses have provided details of a plan to create 14 one-bedroom apartments and seven two-bed properties.

A total of 27 residents consulted say they are against it – some fearing there will be increased traffic and more parking pressures on Burgess Road.

Opponents also say too many apartments are planned and the project would be over-development and overbearing.

Others fear there will be noise and disruption from the pub, with some saying they would accept houses without the drinking establishment.

The fire at its peak on April 13, 2020
The fire at its peak on April 13, 2020

Aylesham Parish Council is also against the request, believing it would lead to increased demand for parking and overdevelopment.

But Kent County Council motorways officials raised no objections, saying enough parking spaces are being provided that no unacceptable increases in parking pressures are expected.

Dover District Council planning officers have recommended the project for approval.

They say the project would contribute to the authority’s five-year housing target and the design is in line with the area.

The applicants had obtained planning permission from the SDC in August 2018 to enlarge the existing building into 19 apartments, but the work was never carried out before the fire.

What the apartments might look like.  Photo GBA Designs Ltd
What the apartments might look like. Photo GBA Designs Ltd
The gutted clubhouse pictured in April 2020
The gutted clubhouse pictured in April 2020

The fire broke out in the early hours of April 13, 2020, with police suspecting arson.

The original building was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished in order for this new project to be a development from scratch.

The application will be discussed by the planning committee at Dover District Council Chambers at White Cliffs Business Park, Whitfield, from 6pm on Thursday.

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