Plans for The Residence luxury homes on Hythe seafront leave residents in limbo as they await eviction date

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Three “tired” blocks of flats are set to be turned into luxury seafront homes – but some residents feel left in limbo as they await an eviction date.

‘The Residence’ development will see Marlborough Court and Pensand House in South Road, Hythe, transformed into 58 “immaculately presented” apartments.

Hoardings advertising The Residence surrounding Marlborough Court, in South Road, Hythe, which is being turned into 20 new apartments under the first phase of the plans
An artist's impression of the interior of the homes at The Residence in Hythe
An artist’s impression of the interior of the homes at The Residence in Hythe

The “premier” new two- and three-bed homes will have balconies or private patio gardens – as well as high-specification interiors, including underfloor heating.

Hoardings advertising the multi-million pound scheme have been put up around the two blocks that form Marlborough Court, located next to the town’s swimming pool.

People living in these flats – which back onto the road – were evicted last year, with work on the first phase of the plans set to start.

Marlborough Court will be turned into 20 new apartments, with views across the South Road football pitches to St Leonard’s Church.

A two-bed flat here is currently being advertised on Rightmove for £350,000.

Aerial view of Marlborough Court and Pensand House. Picture: Folkestone & Hythe District Council
Aerial view of Marlborough Court and Pensand House. Picture: Folkestone & Hythe District Council

Meanwhile, no hoardings have yet gone up around Pensand House, which backs onto the promenade and is still occupied with tenants.

But this block will eventually be transformed in phase two of the project, which will provide a further 38 apartments, including six glass-fronted penthouses.

The current tenants at Pensand House say they are feeling anxious about the future.

Plans were first submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council in 2017, but one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told KentOnline: “We have no idea what’s going on. We have had no help with finding new housing in any way.”

Another tenant, Milton Gotora, said: “It’s affecting us all massively, I understand people have to make money, but they are displacing families in the process.”

CGI of plans for Pensand House, which is currently still occupied by tenants. Picture: Folkestone and Hythe District Council
CGI of plans for Pensand House, which is currently still occupied by tenants. Picture: Folkestone and Hythe District Council

The website promoting The Residence says landlord Chelsea Portfolio Ltd first acquired Marlborough Court and Pensand House in 1996 – but it is now “untenable” for them to carry on renting the flats out.

It says: “At the time it was neglected and poorly managed, and we turned it around to provide 56 prime location rental apartments with an on-site manager.

“Having provided high quality rental accommodation to the area for more than 25 years, to working tenants and those claiming benefits, we are now moving the building to the next stage.

“The rental market has changed a great deal over the years and, as we are a family-run business, it is now untenable for us to continue to let the apartments.

“The building has become tired and in need of improvement. We therefore made the decision to completely renovate it, creating a stylish and unique coastal landmark […] with unparalleled views of Hythe’s coast and picturesque town.”

This hoarding around Marlborough Court in South Road, Hythe, shows the plans for the first phase of The Residence
This hoarding around Marlborough Court in South Road, Hythe, shows the plans for the first phase of The Residence

It says that having received planning permission, Chelsea Portfolio Ltd “worked closely with the local housing department to ensure the tenants did not feel under pressure to find a new home at once”.

“As a result, we delayed the development work for more than three years, enabling tenants to re-house over time,” it adds.

Chelsea Portfolio Ltd says it is now in a position to start work on the “multi-million pound upgrade”.

KentOnline attempted to reach the company for comment but did not receive a response.

Estate agents C R Child & Partners told KentOnline that plenty of interest has been shown in the luxury apartments.

“We are building a list of interested parties and we have had a very strong level of interest over the Christmas period,” managing director Keith Rogans said.



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