New plans for former Silver Spring site in the Park Farm industrial estate in Folkestone unveiled

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Shops, a drive-thru and business units could be built on the site of a former factory that was demolished nearly a decade ago.

A pair of mid-range hotels – potentially an Ibis and a Hampton by Hilton – had been earmarked for the so-called ‘Folkestone Gateway’ development at the former Silver Spring soft drinks factory in the Park Farm industrial estate in Folkestone .

What the new business development might look like. Photo: Corstorphine and Wright

The proposals were unveiled in 2018 but plans for the two new hotels near the Channel Tunnel terminal were scrapped after the Covid pandemic blew a hole in the business case.

Landowner Channex Project Management, which acquired the site from previous developers Ravensbourne Investments, is now offering to redevelop the land with a mix of commercial, food and commercial units.

Alistair Ingram, managing partner at Savills, which represents Channex, said: “The previous hotel program has not progressed due to market developments and the commercial viability of this program, particularly due to the Covid pandemic. .

“The present request was then formulated in order to propose a quality, durable and deliverable device on this vacant site.

“The planning statement sets out the wide range of benefits it will have for Folkestone and the district, in particular the creation of new retail and employment space and associated new jobs.”

The new commercial development could include a drive-through restaurant.  Photo: Corstorphine and Wright
The new commercial development could include a drive-through restaurant. Photo: Corstorphine and Wright

Plans submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) show the north of the site consisting of four retail units arranged in a row overlooking a car park and a drive-through restaurant.

To the south there would then be a number of units for business. At this stage, the identity of the potential occupants is not yet known.

The site was vacated by the Silver Spring Mineral Water Company after production ceased about a decade ago, and the plant buildings were subsequently demolished.

Earlier plans for two hotels were drawn up, which were to be completed by the likes of food and beverage companies Costa Coffee and KFC.

The latest design and access statement, written by architects Corstorphine & Wright, says the new plans “aim to regenerate an underused environment into a productive and vibrant area of ​​the city”.

Hotels had been planned on the site of the former Silver Spring factory in Folkestone.  Photo: Corstorphine and Wright
Hotels had been planned on the site of the former Silver Spring factory in Folkestone. Photo: Corstorphine and Wright

He concludes: “The regeneration of this site into an appropriate mix of uses, types and employment densities is a positive outcome. Plus, boosting the local economy by creating additional jobs is another invaluable benefit.

In April, plans for 30 industrial units on land south of Barnfield Road – proposed by developers not involved in the proposals for the main Silver Spring site to the north – were approved by FHDC advisers.

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