Ashford Borough Council’s planning committee met virtually yesterday using Microsoft Teams Live Event and approved the Newtown Works plans submitted by developers U+I and Quinn Estates.
The plans will transform the site, which includes a Grade II* Victorian engine works, and a variety of other listed buildings, into a mixed-use scheme with film and studio floorspace, 300 homes, offices, a 120-bed hotel and a 383-space multi-storey car park.
Borough councillors were lured by the promise of the likes of Netflix and Amazon using the town to shoot films. The development is set to have 80,000 sq ft of TV and film studios as well as a 27,000 sq ft Media Village with commercial space for SMEs and freelancers.
U+I chief executive Matthew Weiner said: "In spite of continued external challenges, we are continuing to make progress as a business. Securing resolution to grant planning at Newtown Works is a key milestone, as significant planning delays had halted our progress in bringing forward this site, full of character and heritage. Importantly, when completed, the scheme will deliver much needed homes, film studio space, offices, a hotel and parking to the Ashford community.”