Historic tannery makes way for homes

10 July 2008

Williamsons tannery in Canterbury, UK, closed their doors for the final time in March, 2001.  With ever more stringent laws the tannery finally succumbed to pressure from the locals to move away from a site they had occupied for 250 years.

The derelict tannery, near the town centre and a stone's throw from the world famous cathedral is to be converted into homes and an hotel.  According to the BBC, the 18th century tannery, owned by parent company, Connolly, is the last major site within the city walls which can be developed. Most of the site is being used by Belway Homes but the listed warehouse and drying shed will be renovated by the boutique hotel group Hotel du Vin. A Faversham-based developer will renovate the rest of the site. The original tannery buildings on the south side of the River Stour, including a row of ten early 19th Century houses and Victorian cottages, have been empty for several years. Colin Strickland, who specialises in renovations and ‘interesting' new housing, bought the buildings from Belway Homes for about £4 million. The site already has consent for 46 houses and flats, including the Georgian and Victorian houses, but Strickland plans to apply for permission for fewer properties. David Parry, from estate agent Cluttons, said the developers were ‘defying the market'. He added: ‘This site is almost certainly the last serious undeveloped piece of land within the city walls, and signals a long overdue regeneration of this historic area.'

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