A luxury seaside spot at Savoy in Whitstable is set to house a hearing aid clinic instead of a wine bar

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A long-empty seaside unit that was meant to be turned into a swanky wine bar is now set to become a hearing aid clinic.

The developers spent years trying to secure a tenant for their site at Beach Walk, Whitstable, but failed to fill the space.

The seaside spot was originally meant to house a wine bar

Now, after seeing proposals for a wine cellar and a pilates studio fall through, development bosses are pinning their hopes on a less glamorous occupant.

Rather than sipping fine wine while enjoying a sunset on the horizon, customers will head to the site to have their hearing tested.

Whitstable Hearing, a business specializing in the sale of hearing aids, is now preparing to set up shop on the seafront.

The site, a few meters from the beach, was previously home to the Savoy Snooker & Social Club before being razed six years ago.

A luxury residential complex with a penthouse on the top floor now holds its place, but a commercial unit on the ground floor has stood forever empty.

The site is a prime seaside location
The site is a prime seaside location

In an effort to fill it, George Wilson Developments – the company behind many of the city’s building projects – applied to Canterbury City Council for a change of use for the vacant unit.

Permissions are granted for the opening of a wine bar, but a tenant failing to materialize, developers must change their consent order before Whitstable Hearing can be launched.

In planning documents filed with council, Steve Davies – writing on behalf of property consultants Hobbs Parker – said: ‘Unfortunately the previously proposed use as a pilates studio has not been taken up and there is still no no interest in taking the premises as a drinking establishment.

“The developer has continued to actively market the premises and has received an interest in using the premises for commercial use with ancillary healthcare provision.”

George Wilson built the Savoy Apartments
George Wilson built the Savoy Apartments
The Savoy apartments built four years ago
The Savoy apartments built four years ago

Whitstable Hearing will be primarily a retail unit, although there will be a small area used for diagnostic work where customers go for appointments.

No additional parking is provided, attendees are required to use existing bays on the street or the Gorrell Tank car park. No more than four staff should be based there.

A gradual decline in interest in snooker has been blamed on falling visitor numbers to the old Savoy.

Plans for its demolition were drawn up in 2015 and approved the following year.

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