A major Canterbury building that has stood largely unused for a decade could be brought back to life if proposals are given the go-ahead.
Plans to redevelop Newingate House, which stands at the junction of Lower Bridge Street and St George’s Place, have been submitted to Canterbury City Council.
The proposal is to refurbish the exterior of the currently tired building, upgrade most of the existing office space, create a destination rooftop restaurant and develop 10 apartments, including a penthouse.
The Newingate House redevelopment has been designed by Canterbury-based Clague Architects on behalf of the building’s owners Girne American University Canterbury.
Only one floor of the five storey building is occupied as office space, and the owners have been unable to attract other tenants due to the current state of the late 60s/early 70s building. The refurbishment will improve the insulation and environmental performance, as well as make it suitable for full wheelchair access.
The plans include the demolition of one wing of office space at the rear of the existing building, replacing it with 10 residential apartments. The residential buildings would be three and four storey in height and create a more appealing tie into the cottages on Ivy Lane. The apartments would not be for student accommodation but for sale on the open market with the proceeds fund the refurbishment of the building.
With demand high for social entertainment space, the owners are also proposing to develop the ground and first floor. The space could become a table tennis, social darts or indoor crazy golf, aimed at 18-35 year olds, on a temporary licence as part of the planning permission.
Karl Elliott, Managing Partner at Clague, said: “The time is right to redevelop Newingate House as the supply of good quality office space is low in Canterbury, and demand is strong.
“The development of the apartments, the new social venue and the rooftop restaurant will enable the office space to be brought back into use and provide a visually more appealing site on the edge of Canterbury’s historic city centre.”
A decision on the Newingate House proposals is expected December 2019.