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Five Developers Shortlisted for Seeda’s Key Mixed-Use Scheme in The Growth Area of Ashford, Kent

30 January 2008

The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), together with partners Ashford Borough Council, Kent County Council and English Partnerships, are delighted to have selected a shortlist of developers from expressions of interest in Elwick Place, a major town centre development site in the designated Growth Area of Ashford, Kent, following the presentation of the opportunity to the market in October 2007.

The site occupies a strategic position between the town’s main County Square Shopping Centre (currently being extended by ING to provide circa 18,500m² of additional town centre retailing including Debenhams and Next) and Ashford’s international / domestic railway stations. Comprising some 2.6 hectares, the area offers the opportunity to create a potential mixed-use development in excess of 54,000 m² featuring retail, leisure facilities, offices and residential accommodation.

A shortlist of five quality developers has been drawn up in consultation with Jones Lang LaSalle, who has been appointed to give advice on the marketing and disposal of the site. The five shortlisted companies are: -

  • Capital & Counties Ltd
  • Modus Ventures Ltd
  • Places for People Homes Ltd
  • St Modwen Developments Ltd
  • Stanhope plc.

SEEDA, in consultation with its public sector partners, will select a preferred bidder by May 2008. The Agency will then work in partnership with the successful party to bring forward the development of the site.

Lee Amor, SEEDA’s Executive Director of Development and Infrastructure, said: "The creation of a quality place, linking the International Station with the town centre, is a critical component in lifting the economic performance of Ashford as a key growth area in the South East."

Cllr Paul Clokie, Chairman of the Ashford's Future partnership, said:

"This site will play an integral part in the town's long term regeneration plans and will create a link between the town centre and the domestic station.

"We also believe it will compliment the work currently happening on the former Ring Road to make the area a vibrant, attractive place to live, work and do business."

The redevelopment of this key strategic site will coincide with the significant improvements in rail connections and the resulting increase in market demand for Ashford that will be created by the opening of the HS1 domestic rail service in December 2009 bringing the town within 37 minutes journey time of London.

As one of the Government’s identified growth areas for the South East of England, Ashford is anticipated to experience significant expansion over the next 25 years. The completion of the greater Ashford’s Development Framework identifies the key components for creating a successful and sustainable town and the delivery of over 31,000 new homes and 28,000 new jobs by 2031.

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