U+I exchanges contracts with Chap Down and ALDI at its 6 acre development site in Ashford


Leading mixed-use regeneration developer, U+I, today announces that it has exchanged contracts with Chapel Down Group Plc and ALDI at one of its development sites in Ashford.

Plans for the 1.6-acre site located in close proximity to Ashford train station, would see a comprehensive redevelopment that delivers a new mixed-use community with over 200 new homes, a 120-bed hotel, a foodstore and a new brewery and visitor centre which could attract up to 50,000 visitors per year.

Contracts have been exchanged with Chapel Down Plc, England’s leading wine producer, for the development of a multi-million pound brewery for its fast-growing beer and cider business, Curious Drinks.  Earlier this year, Chapel Down Group Plc raised £1.7m through a Seedrs equity crowdfunding campaign and share placing for Curious Drinks.  The campaign, which closed in February, offered a comprehensive package of shareholder benefits and attracted 895 investors.  Almost a third of investments came from Curious Drinks’ home county of Kent demonstrating the support from the local community. Separately, contracts have been exchanged with ALDI for the development of an 18,500-sq. ft. foodstore.

Following extensive public consultation, a planning submission has now been made for the scheme, designed by RIBA award-winning Kent architect and interior designers, Guy Hollaway Architects. Pending a positive outcome, construction of the project could start in early 2017.

Richard Upton, Deputy CEO of U+I, said: “Ashford’s thriving local economy, great transport links and the council’s ambitious regeneration plans make it an important town within the London City Region and we’re excited to be working here. U+I is an established regeneration partner and we’re looking forward to providing a fantastic new destination for Ashford as well as new job opportunities and high quality housing for the local community.”

Commenting on the exchange, Frazer Thompson, Chapel Down CEO, said “We are delighted to have exchanged contracts on a freehold site that will see the development of the Curious Brewery in Ashford. The Curious Brewery will be a very exciting development for Ashford, for Kent and contemporary British brewing. We’ve had tremendous support from Ashford Borough Council and are looking forward to working with architects, Guy Hollaway, and regeneration specialist and developer, U+I, to create something exceptional.”

Guy Hollaway, of Guy Hollaway Architects, added “We are delighted to be working with clients, Chapel Down, and regeneration developer U+I, to create a new mixed-use community for Ashford. The bespoke Curious Brewery is set to put Ashford on the map."

The positive news today follows on from the recent announcement that planning consent had been secured by U+I and Quinn Estates on a separate site in Ashford for the development of over 660 new homes on the former Powergen site. Also located within a stone’s throw of Ashford International station, the residential units will consist of one, two, and three-bedroom flats and 25 houses including 400 apartments that will be delivered by Neighbour, a specialist provider of private rented sector homes.