I really want the majority of this project to be positive – to open all our eyes to the amazing buildings in this area. To this end, I have been asking people joining the Facebook group about their favourite local buildings and have been delighted that many have responded with buildings which I never knew existed. Such places are now entered in the timelines (51 buildings in there at the last count).
However, on applying to join the Facebook group, I also ask people about their least favourite local building. Not surprisingly perhaps many have already mentioned Charter House (the Panorama building). It is certainly dominating, brutalist, a real symbol of its time.
But I think that the recent improvements have made a difference. At least one of its huge faces looks as if it will be partially hidden.
My own least favourite is Northgate House, the former Kentish Express building which spans the end of North Street. This was built in 1990 when the Council should have known better.
Driving into Ashford along the A28 it completely obscures the view of North Street itself and of St Mary’s Church. According to a builder who I met yesterday, it also blocks off the view from one of the windows of the Masonic Hall.
Although only 30 years old, it looks tired and dated. A few years ago I believe it was converted into flats. I wouldn’t miss it…