Go-ahead for Rimmel redevelopment

Go-ahead for Rimmel redevelopment

Plans to redevelop the former Rimmel factory site at Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate, Ashford, have been given the green light by Ashford Council.

The development will see the construction of a grounds maintenance depot for Ashford Council, a ready-mix concrete plant for Gallagher Aggregates and 70,000ft2 of warehouse units.

At least 200 jobs can now be created on the site, which has been derelict for nearly a decade after it was destroyed by fire.

Maidstone-based Gallagher Properties acquired the five-acre site late last year from the Homes & Communities Agency, and this represents the company’s first property venture in the Ashford area.

Nick Yandle of Gallagher Properties said: “The grounds maintenance depot is already under way, to be closely followed by the ready mix concrete plant. The precise make-up of the industrial development is yet to be finalised following a review of the market, although it seems certain it will include some starter units of around 1,000ft2.

“The decision sends a very positive message that Ashford Council is keen to promote employment opportunities and bring forward modern, new business premises in the town to support the growing local population.

“This site is well located and can now be redeveloped to meet market demand for construction materials and new commercial properties. Development opportunity in the Maidstone area is unfortunately impeded, so it makes sense for us to spread our wings and cover a wider area.”

Construction work has already started on site and will be carried out in phases over the next couple of years.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford Borough Council, added: “We are pleased that this site will be brought back into use and welcome these sustainable construction jobs.

“Ashford is the number one business location in Kent and this endorsement of Ashford’s success in encouraging investment and economic growth should emphasise to all that our borough is a real draw to significant stakeholders.

“I see similarities between the way that we and Gallagher Properties do business – innovatively, proactively and professionally – and I hope that this is a public-private partnership that can flourish in the long-term.

“As with all projects, this has involved officers and members from across the council, notably Neil Shorter from a financial perspective and Clair Bell in terms of landscape management. This is how committed this administration is to delivering on our corporate plan.”