Thursday, 24 June 2010

Arlington House Residents' Association open meeting on Tesco

Arlington House Residents'Association
Open Meeting

All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Avenue
Monday 28th June 2010, 8.15pm

We have called this meeting to discuss the consequences of the Tesco store being built on the site of the car park adjoining Arlington House. In view of the likely detrimental impact on residents and businesses in the surrounding areas we are inviting you to attend our meeting to share your concerns.

We have been told that the planning application will be submitted to the Council next month - therefore we must act now. It is most important for you to attend this meeting because it may affect you, your home or your business.

We have heard nothing fromFreshwater
PPS (Freshwater's public relations company) has failed to answer any of our questions
Tesco is now failing to answer emails and phone calls
No firm answers from council on minimum numbers of parking spaces for residents
Case studies show a decrease in property values due to supermarket developments in residential areas


The proposed Tesco store will be similar in size to their store at Manston Road, Ramsgate and open 24 hours. All delivery lorries will have to pass Arlington House twice (due to low railway bridges). Tesco customer parking has now been increased to 350 spaces (with a likely time limit of 90 minutes). This will lead to a significant movement of traffic along All Saints Avenue, the seafront and surrounding areas. Increased levels of noise will result from car engines, doors slamming, shopping trolleys and Tesco staff and customers in general on a 24 hour basis.

The Arlington House Residents' committee has fought long and hard to seek answers and assurances from all parties involved in the redevelopment but has come to the conclusion that the impact of Tesco will be detrimental to local businesses and to residents in the surrounding area.

The Committee has concluded that the only people to benefit will be Freshwater, Tesco and Thanet District Council.

Local Councillors and Council Officers will be at the meeting so it is important for you to attend to make your views known and learn more

Look forward to seeing you on 28 June at 8.15pm


Ron Greene – Chairman, Arlington House Residents Association


  1. "The Committee has concluded that the only people to benefit will be Freshwater, Tesco and Thanet District Council"...erm, & lots of local Margate / Westbrook people too, including many who currently shop in Westwood Cross!

  2. Yes Agree Anon 12:01.Arlington House looks like a slum in the sky,and deperatly needs doing up.Tesco hopfully sort out that awful car park and tidy the whole site up.When my friends come to visit and get off the train,they can't believe that the first thing you see is that dirty huge building

  3. Arlington House certainly needs a facelift but I wouldn't trust Tesco to do it. They like to portray a cuddly image but they're piranhas in human form. They're already out of control on the island. Don't expect our council to do anything other than welcome them with open arms though.

  4. Tesco have done a fabulous face lift on a similarly ugly block in my area. As long as TDC insist this is part of the planning process, they will have to do it. Arlington House is a complete eyesore and Margate's image will never improve unless something is done to it - after all it is the first thing that hits you in the face upon arrival to the town (I am a visitor).

  5. Well said 14:40

  6. Gosh, a lot of people who work for Tesco must read this blog. But then they're probably the biggest employer in Thanet these days.

  7. The author must have been looking at different plans than those proposed, The one they plan to build looks like a 'Metro' and far better than that ugly concrete structure called Arlington House. Should be knocked down, and those who bought a flat there arrested by the style police

  8. Did I once see a Tesco store that looked like a decent building... o, that was a Sainsbury. Tesco stores always look like a massive shed. Not the kind of thing that regenerates a town centre. According to Arlington residents, Tescos is not going to pay for the cladding of Arlington House.

  9. The artist impression published in the newspapers showed an outline scheme - an image Tesco puts out to gain consent. The reality could be very different. If the figures are true, it will be a big store, not a little "metro". Soon we will see the real plans when they are posted on UK Planning. Apparently, home delivery will be an important part of the store's activity, so expect lots of vans zipping around. The road to the rear has a hight restriction and is subject to frequent flooding, So the big container lorries will be thundering through Birchington and up and down the seafront.

  10. Is there enough space for a huge Tesco and large carpark. Remember Dreamland Heritage Theme Park is being developed, so they can't use that space. I would have thought the space available would be quite limited and therefore suitable for a 'metro or express' store. Whilst I think TDC should push Tesco to renovate Arlington House as much as possible in order for them to get planning permission, I am not sure of a supermarket on the seafront, the two don't seem to go hand in hand somehow.

  11. Hi
    I wanted to attend the meeting but unfortunately do not know where church hall is and it appears the internet does not either.
    My comments about the proposal are:_
    1 The car park is never full with a large part only occupies by groups of teenage lads with their sound system and either skate-boards or mountain biles dependent on the current rage.
    2. Having a supermarket in the vicinity will give the local residents a much needed choice of shops without travelling to Wesywood Cross. Currently there is only Morrisons.
    3. The elder and more infirm residents will be able to shop without the difficulties they currently encounter.
    4. More shops mean that the consumers benefit from price wars.
    5. The extra shops mean more revenue for Margate.
    6. Tesco have promised to give jobs initially to residents of \arlington House then to the local residents before looking further afield. I have asked in other areas and been assured that Tesco do keep their word about this.

    It would appear that with the provision of the store we as residents are in a win win situatuion, I say "bring it on".

    I do not mind giving my name:=
    Kate of Crescent Road

  12. Excellent points by Kate, I agree with her 100%.

    I live in Westbrook, & 10 years ago I would've opposed it. But in that time we've lost a post office, greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers, bakers & even the charity shop - & the bank went just before I moved here in 1999 (all we've gained since then are lots more takeaways). So not only do I support it, but I'll probably shop there more often than not too, & so will many more from the Westbrook end of Margate. Certainly better than the boarded up shops there now (one of them specialised in selling "cellphones", which proves how long ago it was last used!).

  13. How can it possibly be as big as the Manston Tesco for a start?! That size store wouldn't fit! Sounds like this blogger hasn't fully researced everything first. Also how will it affect the surrounding businesses when they consist of kebab houses, tattoo parlours, a joke shop and beach shops? I don't know about anyone else but I don't nip into my local tesco for a burger and piercing, nor do I go into the beach shop for a pint of milk so personally I don't see the problem!

  14. John Moss - Arlington House30 June 2010 at 11:21

    There certainly does seem to be a lot of incorrect speculation in some comments and few facts.

    The proposed store is not a metro or express - it is some 60,000 square feet - similar in size to the one at Manston Road. It will be built on stilts to allow for 350 car parking spaces below. It will fill the area currently taken up by the car park.

    Tesco plans to offer interviews to residents of Arlington House - not give then the first refusal of the jobs. Not quite the same thing !

    Most people living in Arlington House bought their flats because they were the cheapest available - and that is because the building looks an eyesore; sits in the middle of a derelict site; has single glazed windows; has no insulation; etc. As with all things - you pays yer money and takes yer choice !

    The problem now comes that flat owners are now being TOLD by the head leaseholder FRESHWATER that they EACH have to pay £17,000 to have double glazed windows fitted and the outside of the building "stained" in order that the COUNCIL will grant planning permission for TESCO to be allowed onto the site.

    Effectively - this is being asked to pay for the "priviledge" of having Tesco built in your back garden ! Are there any other takers ?

    Shame that Kate and Bex did not do their research !

  15. Bad for the residents but good for Margate / Westbrook as a whole then...

    Trust me, nearly every local non-resident I've spoken to supports this.

  16. ...and John, a shame you don't answer all of Kate's & Bex' mostly excellent points instead of just focusing on some of them.

    I too hate to see Tesco dominating so many places, but it doesn't look as if anyone is offering anything better for this area.

  17. I hate to "burst your bubble" John but I have researched. You quite rightly stated that their is a cost to the residents for the renovation. What you omitted to say was that the residents who own their flat and cannot pay have been offered the choice of deferring payment until they sell in the future. There are also a large number of residents who don't own their flat and so will .
    not habve to pay
    The renovation will add value to the flats as well as making them much more pleasant to look at and live in. It would therefor seem that the cost will be off-set by the advantages which you seem reluctant to acknowledge being fixated on the negatives.

  18. John - Arlington House1 July 2010 at 06:57

    Further update for you Kate . . . The original offer by Freshwater to defer payment of the £17,000 was to be subjected to an undisclosed rate of interest.

    However, Freshwater has now withdrawn that offer - because it is unlawful for a number of reasons.

    Whilst there are a number of residents in the building who are sub tenants - they are not directly responsible for the service charge bills. However, their landlords will still have to pay - and will undoubtedly increase the tenants rent as a result.

    And as for the revovation adding value to the flats - that is unlikely on the basis that there are currently no plans to develop the seaside frontage of the site AND the leases currently only have 65 years to run. They are therefore unmortgagable and only available to cash buyers which severly restricts the market.

    In any event, £17,000 is a totally disproportionate sum to pay to have a flat double glazed and painted on the outside.

    Its not about fixating on the negatives - its about living in the real world !

  19. FAO - Peter C. Don't get duped by the Tesco/Freshwater PR campaign and their imaginary locals. If you want to help Margate you should make life tough for Tesco and then they will have to do more to get their planning permission.

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. I'm not being duped by anyone; I'm actually talking to the people who live, work & visit here. Are you??? Even the remaining businesses along the seafront & in Westbrook (with the obvious exception of the small supermarket) seem to be mostly optimistic.

    Why would I want to make life tough for Tesco? I want this to happen, & not have to look at boarded up laundromats & cellphone shops for yet another couple of decades...

  22. I am on side with Kate bex and Peter on this one.For far too long we(and visitors to the area)have to put up with seeing a "slum in the sky".Of course it will add value to the flats,and as the others say Tesco will bring benifits to the town(The car park at the moment is filthy run down and hardly used.)Bring it on..

  23. The head of Planning at the Seafront ublic Realm Consultation said thet Tesco will not pay for the refurb of the tower and also have decided to not revamp the shopping arcade, only the carpark.
    They will be evicting some of the existing businesses and boarding the frontage. Nice.

    Tesco will pay for the refurb of the carpark, but then they will be making money from that.

    If they leave the site empty, some other ides will come up, This is a bad idea.

    If anyone thinks Tesco does anything for towns, please check the stats:

  24. Anon 15:31, like others you keep referring to what Tesco have done elsewhere. My concern here is what's best for this end of Margate & Westbrook. As for evicting other businesses, the only surviving ones I can recall off-hand are a kebab shop, tattooist & disability vehicle shop, so (with the possible exception of the latter) they're hardly a major loss.

    I'm sure other businesses will want to move in once Tesco are there anyway.

  25. A quick question for those opposing it: Do you think Arlington House & its "shops" & this end of Margate would be better off just staying the way they are? Because I can't see anything ellse offering us anything better.

  26. I had the windows in one room upgraded last year. For a bay plus on small single window I had to pay £5k. The flats in Arlington House are full of glass. The new windows will not only be double-glazed but also tinted. For that and the walls outside the price is really comparable. Everest quoted me £12k by the way.
    As for the lease etc Freshwater offered to extend the lease of one of the flats to 100years for £5K when asked last year.
    Mortgages are difficult for ANY flat above the 5th floor as they are counted high risk.
    Arlington is cheap yes but up until 2 years ago Cliftonville was much cheaper. having seen the inside of some of the flats in Arlington House I guess they were purchased because they offer a nice view and comfort so why not grab the chance to make the outside as good as the inside and get some pride in your address. kate

  27. Spot on Kate.Well said..

  28. I can't see why everyone is so against the development of Tesco near Arlington House. It might actually make the place look better. Anything is better than derlict shop units!

    The residents association say "put local shops out of business". I can't say I know which shops they are talking about given that every single shop around there is empty!

    With the Turner Centre opening (although I do think its more over-hyped than it's worth!), people would rather come off the train and see a nicer looking Arlington House with a Tesco next to it that what they have there now!

    Dreamland is getting re-done too (albeit for next year) all these things together could start to transform the area and encourage smaller players to open up too!

    If I was looking to open a public facing business; I wouldn't touch that area at the moment as there would be no passing trade! I'd probably look to Westwood instead!

    A few attractions and a supermarket are all destination locations! All of a sudden you consider that their maybe an oppertunity here! These are exactly the sorts of things that might change my mind about opening my business in the area (and along the sea front). My point is small businesses want to open up where they know people will go! Tesco (alongside the turner and dreamland) will encourage people to go there. It could really start the ball rolling!

    This said I do think that Tesco shouldn't be able to completely get their own way. They see potential in the site. Asking them for some sort of financial contribution to the re-development of the area (besides that of opening their new store) should be included.

  29. There are a disproportionate amount of ̶a̶n̶o̶n̶y̶m̶o̶u̶s̶ sockpuppet comments on here - with a prize for the least convincing comment going to I am a visitor. It's a shame that I am a Visitor didn't find the time to actually name the "area" referred to in their statement Tesco have done a fabulous face lift on a similarly ugly block in my area. And how strangely conversant they seem with local matters.

    Kate seems very interested and it's a shame Kate couldn't attend the meeting as she "couldn't find the location and nor could the internet". Allow me, Kate. Kate is also fond of unsubstantiated references to other "areas". Kate, who convincingly adds that she doesn't mind giving us her name *cough* then proceeds to NOT give us her name - merely adding a generic first name without a surname and using a street name that could be anywhere, if indeed it exists outside of this comment. Way to go "Kate", that certainly convinced me. I'd love a peep at the visitors' IP log.

    So, out of the 28 comments only 2 commenters have truly identified themselves by signing in with their Blogger ID. Bex and Peter Checksfield. Oh wait, quelle surprise! I can scarcely believe it but Bex's profile is, erm, not a profile just a page with "you've been had" on it. Metaphorically speaking.

    That leaves Peter Checksfield who made no less than seven comments (in his own name) as is right and proper for one who takes such an inordinate interest in the matter..

    Peter says "Trust me, nearly every local non-resident I've spoken to supports this."

    May I, before I agree to trust you, enquire as to why you decided to become a one-man, unofficial Mori Poll ? You have quite the thing about this, don't you ? I mean over and above your normal practice of commenting to the max for backlinks to your site (still diligently commenting on all and sundry Peter, after all these years. You must have a lot of time on your hands).

    Anyway I've had such fun with the comments I've forgotten what my intended comment was.

    Oh yes. The Planning Committee meeting in which this was passed, by a casting vote. I viewed this live in an adjacent room. The irregularities with which this scraped through are shocking. Seriously. And for that reason, if for no other, this needs to be examined, this time with a regulatory body who are willing to keep to the letter of the law.

    Surely Peter you wouldn't be in favour of dodgy and illegal planning permission or corrupt practices ? I thought not. Happy commenting anyway, such fun.

    Arlington House has one of the nicest communities I've encountered. Everyone is unfailingly polite, it is spotless inside, a residents library in reception, the residents all help one another, know each others names - but hey, don't let me disturb your confirmation bias.

  30. I hope someone from Tesco sees this Mr / Mrs C. Shopping, they might give me a job! ; )