Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Please see the attached flyer promoting Margate’s First Photographic Festival, exhibiting the work of professional and contemporary photographers which will be held on Saturday, 31 July and Sunday, 1 August from 11:00-17:00.
Venues are: The Community Pharmacy Gallery (Market Place), the Substation Project Space (Bilton Square), CRATE Galleries (1 and 2) (Bilton Square) and The Pie Factory (Broad Street).
The organisers are also in desperate need of volunteers to help look after the work during the show. Given that they have 5 venues they will need 25 people to watch the work. It is only a 3 hour shift and any one that helps will be invited to the private show.
If you can help, or require further information regarding the event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07982726109.
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Friday, 23 July 2010
“Seeing this beautiful building finally brought back into use is perhaps one of the biggest achievements of our Empty Property Strategy to date. It’s a stunning property that’s well known to many local people and it’s excellent to see it now being used to house people again. Our programme of bringing empty properties back into use has achieved some considerable successes in the last few months, with 77 Eastern Esplanade further along the seafront in Cliftonville also being returned to use for shared ownership flats. It just goes to show the achievements that can be made when pressure is put on owners to bring their properties back into use, with 170 properties brought back into use with the help of the council over the last two years.”
However, as we've posted here, it would be a further 18 months when we paid a visit to the building in December 2009 and we posted photographs of the rear facade with no secure windows, no utilities in place, and there was clear evidence of water ingress. And most importantly the building was uninhabited and looking derelict again. It then took until around June 2010 for there to be people living in the end building of 14 and 15, whereas 12 and 13 remain empty.
We have recently learned through recent Freedom of Information requests that:
- No funds were actually allocated to the developers or the owners from the KCC No Use Empty Scheme.
- That the building currently has not got a building control completion certificate.
Yet 14 and 15 have people living in there.
Work completed on eyesore property
An eyesore property in Cliftonville that was threatened with compulsory purchase action by Thanet District Council, has been brought back into use.
Work has now been completed on the group of buildings at 12 – 15 Cliff Terrace, opposite the Lido, which had been empty for almost a decade. Cabinet Members agreed in July 2006 to take compulsory purchase action using funding from the “No Use Empty” campaign, which brings together Thanet, Dover, Shepway and Swale District Councils with Kent County Council. This brings extra resources to tackle the problem of long-term empty properties and enhances the Empty Property Strategy already in place in Thanet.
The owner was then informed of the council’s decision and told that the required work could be either be carried out immediately by him or the building could be sold to a developer with an agreed programme of work, but if neither happened, the property would be compulsorily purchased.
The owner chose to sell the property to a developer, with a planning application submitted in July 2007 to convert the former shop units on the ground floor and the accommodation above into 13 flats. Wards Renovation and Construction Ltd. have now completed the work.
Cllr. Zita Wiltshire, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Seeing this beautiful building finally brought back into use is perhaps one of the biggest achievements of our Empty Property Strategy to date. It’s a stunning property that’s well known to many local people and it’s excellent to see it now being used to house people again. Our programme of bringing empty properties back into use has achieved some considerable successes in the last few months, with 77 Eastern Esplanade further along the seafront in Cliftonville also being returned to use for shared ownership flats. It just goes to show the achievements that can be made when pressure is put on owners to bring their properties back into use, with 170 properties brought back into use with the help of the council over the last two years.”
Dave Goulding, Property Development Manager, from Wards Renovation and Construction Ltd. said: “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved with this property. It’s been a very difficult project with a number of complications and the building was in a worse state of repair than had been first envisaged. This presented us with a number of challenges as work got underway, but the result has been excellent. We’ve been determined to keep as many features as we possibly could and to retain the exterior look of the property and we feel that we’ve been successful in achieving that.”
Publication date: 11 November, 2008
Saturday, 17 July 2010
As posted by marvellous Michael on the other side of the isle, permission has been applied for to build on the Margate Caves site. To download the files from Uk Planning, you will have to navigate to:
The design and access statement states that advice has been sought from conservation and planning officers and it was decided to take design cues from the neighbouring application for Capital House that had at the time just been submitted.
I'm a bit late on this one as I've been up to my ears in stuff of late. From the island's favourite bookshop, comes news of the disposal of a large are in the centre of Hartsdown Park and the creation of a fenced off artificial pitch:
"The Conservation and Building Control teams tried to get the co-operation of the building owner to restore the property, but with no success. During this time, the council has repeatedly secured the site to prevent unauthorised access and have been monitoring the stability of what remains of the structure."
But 47-48 Hawley Square is subject to a series of recent planning applications to errect a full storey rear extension. This has recently been approved (F/TH/10/0194) under delegated powers with the following comments:
"This is a resubmission further to refusal of ref: 09/0625 and ref 09/0664. These applications were refused for the following reasons:-- That the size, scale and design of the development would detract from the setting of the existing building and prove severely detrimental to the character and appearance of the listed building and conservation area.The proposed development has been amended and the extension made smaller and the design altered to be sympathetic to the appearance and character of the existing building. Informal discussions were carried out with the conservation officer before submission and this scheme was found to satisfy issues raised in the first submission."
Sunday, 11 July 2010
Here's an old picture of what is now referred to as The Arcadian on Fort Hill when it was known as Lilley's Hotel Arcadian. The building now has a Compulsory Purchase Order from TDC on it as reported here:
Friday, 9 July 2010
Making the town a World Heritage Site would prevent it from developing as a modern resort, argues Clive Aslet.
Blackpool – the very name evokes a world of saucy postcards, knotted handkerchiefs and gorgon-like landladies. I first went there ages ago, with a group of architectural enthusiasts, bent on admiring the 1930s Pleasure Beach. One of the party – a geography teacher – drove me up, navigating by the stars. We arrived late, to find a friend looking out for us from a bay window. He had been propositioned several times by wags who claimed to think they were in the red light district.
At the time, I thought Blackpool was charming. Apart from the once-glamorous casino (Joseph Emberton, 1939), there was the famous tower: with Star Warsshowing in cinemas, it seemed incredible that people, young and old, would queue for hours to visit the top, just for the unsophisticated joy of watching the fancy trams.
On the first floor, the Tower Ballroom was packed with foxtrotting couples, done up to the nines – until (collective sigh of wonder, admiration and fear) thepaso doble was announced, when the floor emptied of all except two pairs, one of the men visibly counting time, the other an incarnation of Latin flamboyance. Instead of the tattooed and shaven-headed people I had expected to see on the streets, there were families, many of them Asian. I came home thinking that this was a Britain at its best. Don't change a thing.
Now somebody else seems to have had the same idea, and Blackpool has been proposed as a World Heritage site. Crikey. It may be that they really won't change a thing – but that would be a disaster.
You see, in the intervening 30 years or so, I've changed my view. Not long ago, I went back to the town to see the Pepsi Max Big One, then the biggest roller-coaster in the world. It was winter, and I viewed the town with different eyes. Blackpool does indeed have a remarkable legacy, as the great holiday destination of the Lancashire mill towns, and as – in places – an admirably preserved fossil of the Ena Sharples era. But it has a lot of other things too, such as poverty, poor housing, sexual exploitation and personal debt. I still loved it – but I had no intention of holidaying there.
And it's not that I don't like the British seaside: in fact, my family like it so much that we've got a house there. Ramsgate has a different history from Blackpool, but they shared the same decline in the latter half of the 20th century; they also share some of the same social problems, exacerbated by the wicked policy of dumping problem families from London boroughs in cheap seaside accommodation.
But the Pearl of Thanet, as Ramsgate used to be known, is climbing out of the slough. True, heritage has something to do with it: the cliffs are delightful, the sands glorious, the architecture of bow-fronted terraces largely intact – all things that attract London money. But it has also started to modernise its offering. There are restaurants, farmers' markets, espresso machines, bicycle tracks. I'm not sure that Thanet council has entirely embraced the modern world: its disastrous policy of allowing a giant retail park to develop outside the town means that even Poundstretcher has closed (a new entry on the High Street is the all-too-tellingly named Mr Bankrupt). But it will get there in time.
The model for the seaside is not the old-fashioned resort, but places like Whitstable, Padstow and the north Norfolk coast, fashionable spots where you might find yourself mackerel-fishing with Dave and Samantha. These towns have reinvented themselves for the free-spending middle classes, who want Alastair Sawday gastro pubs, not a kiss-me-quick trip down memory lane. World Heritage status could lock Blackpool into the past, rather than helping it face the future.
Clive Aslet is Editor at Large of 'Country Life'
Thursday, 8 July 2010
A Leasehold Self-Contained Ground Floor Flat subject to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Blimey! We don't know what we've done to deserve it! But anyway, perhaps we'll allow ourselves a little 'big-up!' Our very own Margate Architecture blog is featured in the real world paper magazine of Coast Mag this month. Kindly sent to us by a reader from Herne Bay Matters.
3.2 The Georgian town built on the hill fields beyond the High Street put Margate at the forefront ofEnglish seaside development for a while and, had Cecil Square and the Assembly Rooms survived intact, the image of the town might well be different today. What is left is poignant proof that good intentions can lead to disappointing outcomes. Staff were keen to point out that Cecil Square remains a viable municipal centre with many of the facilities the town needs still available there. This is true and important, but a high price has been paid to achieve it. Within the governance and local politics ofThanet, it is great for Margate that the civic offices are located in Cecil Square along with the library, Post Office and so on. However, the building that houses them is so out of scale and overbearing as to drive the image of the rest of the square from the mind. What is more, the square has suffered as badly as almost any from the non-negotiable demands of the highway engineer. The Panel’s comments on this can be found at (7.1) below, but it will be no surprise that the repair of thepublic realm here is strongly recommended. Hawley Square, with a good green space and the elegant Theatre Royal, along with Trinity Square with its sadly much expanded but still well managed green space, are examples of the value which Georgian planning brings to today’s town and Cecil Square should rejoin them.7.1 One area where the Panel saw the opportunity for trimming the sails was in the public realm proposals. While the Panel is a strong proponent of the quality of the public realm generally, it was concerned that the enormous areas potentially involved could resulteither in loss of focus, or in huge costs which would not deliver sufficient returns. So for, example, the Panel much admired the benefit which has been derived from the relatively small and affordable areas of public realmwork in and around the Old Town – particularly the new piazza facing the harbour. It did not believe that the same effect could be achieved by pouring large sums of money into the roundabout by the station or into some hundred yards of the front. Rather members felt that there-creation of Cecil Square as a pedestrian dominated space of quality would offer a far better return for residents and visitors alike. Engineer led schemes of the sort defacing the square are often up for renewal for engineering reasons and now would be the time to ensure that the preparation work has all been done, the vision of another Georgian square of quality being returned to the public has been promulgated and political drive is behind a great transformation.8.0 Another aspect of management of the public realm is connectivity. It was suggested to the Panel that the development history of Margate combined with its topography had somehow made a place which wasdifficult to comprehend and navigate and where there were critical disconnections which had to be overcome. The Panel did not accept the analysis and thought that the emphasis on connectivity in the masterplan was overdone. In many ways Margate is easier to understandthan other seaside towns. Few others, if any, can boast a view of the sands from the main entrance of an attractivestation Once the short walk which that view inspires has been undertaken (and the Panel accepted the case for some improvement of the pedestrian route past Buenos Ayres) then the Harbour, the Droit House and the emerging Turner Contemporary will be obvious. The Panel thought there was strong case for the Droit House to contain orientation displays and probably for some investment in modern, map carrying fingerposts. Both ofthese should then direct visitors to the attractive small inter-connecting routes which are one of the pleasures of the town, which should be more widely shared.10.2 Servicing such an economy could have a number of very positive outcomes. Boarding houses could once more function for their original purpose, providing opportunities for self-employed operators and entrepreneurs to establish high quality businesses and provide local employment. Modern guests expect high quality local cooking and the Isle of Thanet is a great place for local sourcing. The very significant skills required to achieve such an aim could be the focus of new further education provision in the town (such as a catering college linked to a training hotel), and the new‘5 star’ boarding houses could both help build the market for and complement new high grade hotels (much better to wait for this moment than fall for a budget hotel in the short term).