'Only' timber-clad shop on Chatham High Street earmarked for 18 flats

7 May 2024In Chatham2 Minutes
A computer generated image of the proposed building. Photo: Simplicity Designs

Plans have been submitted to redevelop historic shops in Chatham.

The former AF Smith and Varley Electrical shops on the High Street are earmarked for 18 flats.

The proposed block would be four storeys in height and includes two retail units, as well as 25 bicycle parking spaces.

The existing historic shops on the site. Photo: Google Maps

An existing building – previously Varley Electrical and now part of Tulip food store – is believed to be the only surviving example of a weatherboarded shop in Chatham.

Planning documents suggest that Medway Council had concerns over the developer’s plans to demolish the historic shop during pre-application meetings.

Although it dates the early 19th century, the shop is not listed or located in a conservation area.

The weatherboarding on the former Varley Electrical shop. Photo: Simplicity Designs
It is thought to be the 'only' timber-clad building on Chatham High Street. Photo: Simplicity Designs

The architect behind the plans, Simplicity Designs, says the building suffers from rotting timber, wall cracks and fire damage.

In the documents, Simplicity Designs said: “The Council had an issue with the demolition of the building, and particularly the loss of the weatherboarding, however at one point or another, the weatherboarding was hidden by a large billboard that covered it up.

“Furthermore, the building is in such a bad condition that any extensions or alterations to the building would be impossible as the building is in no state to be used for anything else.”

A computer generated image of the proposed building as seen from Church Street. Photo: Simplicity Designs

A decision on the planning application is due by 4 June.

Residents can to submit a representation in favour or against the plans online.

View the plans on Medway Council’s Planning Portal here or by searching MC/24/0325.