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Kent: CGIs turned into reality in large-scale developments

Here we look back at a mix of residential, leisure and retail developments across Kent and how they compare to their artists impressions.

Ashford

Ashford Designer Outlet

The Ashford Designer Outlet has been a popular attraction since opening in 2000.

Due to its popularity, chiefs at McArthurGlen - which owns the shopping complex - announced expansion plans in November 2013.

Artists impressions of the £90 million outlet expansion
Artists impressions of the £90 million outlet expansion
The completed outlet along Newtown Road in Ashford
The completed outlet along Newtown Road in Ashford

After two years of construction work, shopping centre bosses cut the ribbon on the £90 million extension yesterday.

It includes 50 new designer brands and eateries, an interactive children's playground and Europe's largest living wall.

Minor changes have been made to the plans as all that appears to be missing is designer labels on the buildings.

CGI of The Garden of England playground. Picture: McArthurGlen Designer Outlet
CGI of The Garden of England playground. Picture: McArthurGlen Designer Outlet
The £400,000 play area opened earlier this year
The £400,000 play area opened earlier this year

Elwick Place

Work on the cinema, hotel and leisure complex finished late last year, and the £75 million pound Elwick Place development threw opens its doors in December - bringing a six-screen Picturehouse cinema and Travelodge hotel to the centre of Ashford.

The initial CGIs of the development closely resembles the final product, with the most obvious difference being the site remains largely unoccupied almost a year after completion.

Artist impressions of the £75 million leisure complex
Artist impressions of the £75 million leisure complex
Ashford Elwick Place. Picture: Paul Amos
Ashford Elwick Place. Picture: Paul Amos

A first-floor balcony and seating area at the edge of the cinema building can be seen in the CGI, but never made it to the final plans.

Ashford Borough Council - who constructed the building on an area of brownfield as part of one of their 'Big 8' projects to improve the town - has since announced Macknade, AIMREC, Recursive Media, Snap Fitness and Dansaki Afro-Caribbean restaurant will be moving into the site.

... click link below to access full article: Kent Online

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