Canterbury City Council’s 6.9 acre main office site in Military Road has gone on the market.

Earlier this year, city councillors agreed to move the council’s offices into vacant space within the Whitefriars shopping centre, including above the former Top Shop unit, above Flying Tiger and in the former RBS building in Rose Lane.

Council offices in Military Road

The ‘completely unsuitable’ site in Military Road Photo: Canterbury City Council

With that move set to be completed by early 2024, the current offices in Military Road will be surplus to requirements, so marketing of the site has now begun.

In total it covers around 6.9 acres (2.79 hectares), approximately equivalent to seven full sized football pitches, and includes the 1980s-built main office, two outbuildings and car parking.

The council’s existing Local Plan states that the site is considered to be a longer-term prospect for new housing. Should residential be its future use, planning permission would be required as it is currently classed mainly for office use.

The council is working towards completion of the sale by the end of this year, which would then give the new owner time to develop its plans, and seek planning permission if required, while the council makes its preparations to move out.

Council Leader, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “Military Road is now completely unsuitable for our needs, being far too big and expensive to maintain, with major challenges to make it a more environmentally friendly building.

“Our exciting plans to be in the heart of the city centre, where we can serve our residents far more easily and our staff can support the local economy to a much greater extent, are progressing well, so now is the right time to be going ahead with the sale of Military Road.

“Although we do not yet know how much we will receive for Military Road – the market will dictate the final figure – expectations are that it will at least cover the cost of the work required to repurpose the spaces in Whitefriars that we will move into.

“As a brownfield site in an existing residential area, redevelopment of Military Road could be an excellent way of helping the district to meet its housing needs in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. We will look at the bids that come in over the next few weeks and then make a decision on the right way to proceed.”

The Military Road site is being marketed by agents Avison Young and the closing date for bids is Tuesday 5 July.

By Ed

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