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Plans to transform eyesore into arcades

BUN PENNY PROPOSAL

A businessman has unveiled plans to transform the arson-hit Bun Penny pub and a stretch of seafront arcades. Dean Tevfik wants to demolish the burned-out shell of the pub, which has been deemed the town’s worst eyesore since it was gutted by fire in September 2011. It would be replaced by 14 new modern apartments and a ground floor restaurant, which could be home to a big franchise. He also plans to transform Neptune Arcades with a new complex of 19 flats and three shops, with work to begin within a month. Mr Tevfik said:

“I want to get a few big names in for Herne Bay seafront as it will pull people in. Normally to find such big names you have to go to Westwood Cross and to Canterbury. But here we want a big name like Zizzi, Nandos or ASK for the restaurant.”

Mr Tevfik bought the Bun Penny site for approximately £400,000 last summer but his architects Ian Barber & Associates ruled out renovating the building, as it would cost an estimated £800,000. Instead they have plans for a modem new building and have submitted plans to Canterbury City Council. But the plans have divided opinion, with Arkley Road resident Benjamin Day saying he believes the plans would leave the site “overdeveloped”. He added:

“The appearance of the building and its materials do not appear to be in keeping with Herne Bay’s Victorian character.”

Artist Sara Worley said the building “looks cheap and ugly”, adding:

“It looks like a cheap chain hotel and it doesn’t fit in with the surrounding buildings. I don’t think it will weather well given the seafront location.”

But others are impressed with the building. Gosfield Road resident Tammy Foster said:

“The proposal looks classy. As long as the flats are affordable and the restaurant or bar keeps the garden open.”

Seafront resident Ria Clay added:

“It is an obvious significant improvement to the existing burned-out eyesore which has been present on Herne Bay seafront for several years.”

Town centre councillor Andrew Cook is also in favour, saying

“It’s very positive that we have projects coming to Herne Bay at last and it’s a positive step that we have something to go there. If we can get a national restaurant chain interested it would be great for the town and really enhance the sea-front, so fingers crossed. As a council we can’t make big companies come here, but we are trying very hard to encourage the betterment of the seafront and the regeneration of the town”

Mr Tevfik says he cannot understand why some people are objecting to the plans, which he feels will enhance the town. He said:

“We’re trying to da something to bring up Herne Bay. When we’re finished it’s going to look great. It will bring more money into the town, improve the sea-front and improve the property market. But if people keep objecting the town is never going to get better.”

A decision on the Bun Penny proposal looks set to be made in March, with the entire seafront project expected to be complete within 18 months if it gets the go-ahead.

Herne Bay Gazette, January 15th 2015

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