Work underway to convert ex-Kuoni offices in Dorking into apartments as second planning application rejected

December 7, 2018
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Photographs have revealed the stripped out inside of two former office buildings as part of an ongoing conversion into apartments.

Kuoni House and Deepdene Lodge in Dorking, the former of which housed travel company Kuoni, were left vacant in May 2018 and after being acquired by developer Stonegate Homes.

The developer secured planning permission to convert the two buildings on Deepdene Avenue into 53 apartments in October 2018, with work beginning to strip them out soon after.

Another application to add a further five apartments as an extension to the existing Kuoni House building was rejected by Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) Development Control Committee on Wednesday (December 5) evening.

SurreyLive was kindly taken on a tour of the building site by Stonegate Homes to take a look at work that has taken place since planning approval.

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Recommended for approval by planning officers, Stonegate says the extension proposal, which will create four three-bed units and one two-bed unit, will remain in line with existing elevations and will not be detrimental to the landscape.

Before office buildings were built in the mid-to-late 1960s, a manor named Deepdene House stood, owned by Sir Thomas Hope, with many features of the former estate’s grounds still in existence.

As part of the application, the developer has said it will give the freehold to over 11.5 acres of Listed land at the back of Kuoni House, plus a section of the former car park, to MVDC.

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Currently, the land behind Kuoni House forms part of heritage walk Deepdene Trail, and the car park area would be reinstated as an Italianate Garden which was once a feature.

Stonegate Homes owner Jerry Hinds said: “Stonegate have worked in conjunction with Alex Bagnall and the Friends of Deepdene to create a detailed landscaping plan that respects the setting of the Listed Hope Gardens and enhances the openness of the green belt.

“Reducing the areas of hardstanding and reinstating the old Italianate gardens will give a nod to the history of the site and will provide an exciting new feature for the Deepdene Trail.”

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Car parking spaces at the site will reduce from 264 spaces to 160, allowing more landscaping to take place.

Much of the interior of the office buildings has now been stripped out, with the overall conversion planned to take place over 15 months.

Of the 53 total flats, 15 will be in the smaller Deepdene Lodge building.

“Stonegate’s proposal is for a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bed apartments that we hope will appeal to a variety of buyers and will create a special place for local people to live,” added Mr Hinds.

Article source: https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/work-underway-convert-ex-kuoni-15506086


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