The future of Ashford’s town centre regeneration plan has been revealed amid public furore over the failure to list the Mecca Bingo building.
KentOnline revealed last week how the Lower High Street former cinema was not deemed to meet the necessary criteria to be listed by Historic England.
Campaigners had seen the listing application as the last line of defence as Ashford Borough Council prepares to partially demolish it to make way for the Odeon Square scheme, comprising an outdoor cinema, 61 homes, retail units and eateries.
They hope to flatten the rear of the property and knock through the former entrance in the Lower High Street to make a pedestrian route leading to the public square on the Vicarage Lane car park.
Speaking after the listing decision was confirmed, council leader Gerry Clarkson (Con) said: “Historic England took a full assessment of the building and its recommendation was not to list.
“It was helpful that it wasn’t listed but that doesn’t detract from the fact that we want to preserve the facade because of the value it holds as part of Ashford’s history.”
It has now been noted that a wider public consultation on the scheme will be held in the spring with a planning application being submitted by the end of summer.