Sunday, 27 December 2009

The story of Cliff Terrace continued

Let us cast our minds back to where Margate Architecture began as a blog. The planning application to develop the corner site of Cliff Terrace into flats via the Empty Property department of TDC caught our attention. This was back in 2007. As we come to the end of 2009, it is only fitting we take stock of the success of this project. oh dear, the building is still standing empty. Only now it has lost the retail shops on the ground floor and they are now the tiniest, most exposed living space in the whole of Cliftonville. One only hopes that no grant money has been spent on getting this empty building off the empty building list and onto the... oh empty building list.

But on a cheerier note, one of our faithful readers has sent us a link to an image of Cliff Terrace in happier days.


  1. Another thing that doesn't seem to have changed is the (lack of) Friends of Huntington's Cemetery Group...

    Any progress on this?

  2. Do you mean the volunteer group of residents? As opposed to a TDC paid for project? As it happens a meeting will be held in Jan or Feb at the adjacent school. Notice will be posted shortly.

  3. Yes that's the one...thanks, I look forward to it.

  4. No grant money was involved in the purchase of Cliff Terrace. In fact the threat of a CPO motivated the original owner to sell while there was at least soemthing on the table. A couple of clicks and you could have found this out yourself.

  5. Hi Anonymous,

    You're right, there was a threat of CPO. This was because the owner had let the building fall into severe disrepair over many years. He had hoped he would be able to sell it as a redevelopment site i.e. to get it demolished. The Council's 'Empty Property' scheme stepped in and proposed developers. There was then the planning application version one, which proposed converting the retail space to residential. It went through as revised under delegated powers against the opnion of TDC's chief conservation officer who lodged a complaint against the delegated officer.

    Most people at this stage had thought the building was going to be saved intact, which included an intact shop interior of an the old chemist shop. However, as the building was not listed, no protection would have been afforded to the interiors or possibly the fenestration. So the CPO isn't the end of the story. I've yet to find out exactly how the Empty Property Scheme works in relation to building owners and developers. So if you would like to share one of the links that you say are easy to find for this, then please share.

    The building was then listed by English Heritage after I proposed it. Unfortunately, someone must have mentioned this to someone in the week of the listing, because the chemist shop interior was then ripped out and got rid of. It is likely that this would have been saved, because shop interiors are rare to survive.

    If the owner had looked after the building then the CPO wouldn't have been threatened. It is ironic that after the trumpeting of the success of the Empty Property scheme involvement that the property remains empty. Only now, it is even less appealing to developers as has had the heart ripped out of it and has a range of inferior residential accommodation to offer.

  6. I live on Cliff Terrace.

    For some strange reason I think the developer has stuck to his guns of SELLING the flats, in a deeply depressed market. IF he had half a brain he would have let out quickly a few of the flats so that the building looks lived in, and then others would come in etc…..

    It is astounding that sooooo much money can be spent refurbing a building and then leaving it empty for over a year.. Still it suits me it staying empty but nice to look at so I should shut up!