Sunday, 27 February 2011
Friday, 25 February 2011
How exciting. A lovely series of events to come to Margate. As part of the international Obscura Day on the 9th of April, two Margate venues will be holding special events. Billed as:
New camp for the old buoy?I've attended all the consultations possible on what should happen to regenerate the Margate seafront, in the run-up to the Turner opening. I don't remember anyone suggesting the need for a 5 meter high buoy on the roundabout, blocking the view of the sea as you come out of the station. So I can't understand how placing the buoy here could have got on the top 10 environmental improvements.The Gazette (11.02.2011) reports Councillor Martin Wise saying: "there are two camps of people in Margate -the art people and those that see it as a seaside town".Perhaps the situation is a bit more complex. For simplicity, I'll put myself in the camp of the seaside town believers. Resources should be dedicated to making the seaside more usable to the town. For example, the harbour needs to be dredged, getting rid of the stench of rotting seaweed. The bathing pools need to work, so people can swim in them safely. The mess on the seafront between Margate and Cliftonville needs to be cleared up. Facilities need to be installed so that swimmers can lock up their belongings while swimming, and shower afterwards. The plan to place a useless buoy on the Tesco's roundabout proves there is a camp in Margate that is neither "seaside" nor "arty".Liam J. Nabb Hawley Square, Margate"
"This seems to be an inappropriate setting for modern industrial navigation aid.Placing a massive buoy in this location will interrupt Margate's characteristic sea view that has greeted travellers since the Grade II Listed station was built.The view of the listed Buenos Aires Terrace, as seen from all along the marine drive, will also be spoilt. The View of the station will also be interrupted. Including the view from the Turner Contemporary and the Stone Pier.- hardly a good idea in the run-up to the opening of the new gallery. Interrupting views of key listed buildings will have a detrimental effect on the Conservation Area.The proposal does not preserve or enhance the appearance of the Conservation Area and therefore should be refused."
Monday, 21 February 2011
"All attempts at marketing the G/F A3 unit since March 2008 have failed...In essence, it is considered by the agents that at 59m2 the unit is too large to be viable. There is, however, a demand for smaller A3 units. In order to maximise the use of the building, it is therefore proposed that the G/F A3 unit be split into two parts: a new 2 bed flat to the rear facing the sea (accessed off the side stair serving the 1/F accommodation) and a new smaller A3 unit directly accessed from the HighStreet, using the existing entrance.
it should be noted that the majority of the properties along Marine Drive in the locality have residential usage at this floor level (i.e. 1/F level off Marine Drive). There is therefore a clear precendent for residential use...
The proposed works will turn a large vacant retail unit for which there is no market into a smaller more marketable retail unit and an attractive large residential unit."
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Very good news for the Theatre Royal and for Hawley Square. The bid has moved forward for the Theatre to extend and hopefully acquire and renovate 19 Hawley Square.
Monday, 14 February 2011
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
"Please circulate to anyone whom you think would be interested in the future of the Caves.
Good evening everyone,
Over the past three weeks, I've been struck by the number of people I've met who have enduring, visceral and tangible memories of being inside the Margate Caves. I've met people who've returned to Margate/Cliftonville to live and who visited the caves every time they came to Margate/Cliftonville as children on holiday and even now still regret their closure in 2006. The scientific, geological, historical and cultural heritage of the Caves needs to be conserved and it is because of this that I am forwarding the following information from the Friends of the Margate Caves.
A message from the newly formed "Friends of Margate Caves"--
Thanet District Council has submitted a Planning Application to build houses on part of the Margate Caves site. The community reaction to this application has led to the formation of "The Friends of MargateCaves" (FOMC).
The FOMC have two aims:
• To safeguard the Margate Caves and gain recognition for the heritage site as one of national interest and importance
• To re-open Margate Caves as a prominent, popular, public amenity for the benefit of all who visit or reside in Margate/Cliftonville/Thanet
There’s strength in numbers so please join us! We’ll send you regular email updates on the latest Caves news and FOMC activities. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org Please make me a friend in the subject line.
The website for FRIENDS OF MARGATE CAVES is now up and running. Please consider leaving your comments, suggestions, memories and a donation to the FOMC www.margatecaves.co.uk
The Friends welcome any and all contributions. The issue of building houses on the Caves site has been simmering for a while and despite assurances that the plans were on hold, everyone has been amazed to see that very recently TDC cleared the land, chopped down tree(s) and poured concrete to seal off the main entrance to the Caves.
The current TDC planning application flies in the face of the results of its own Margate Caves Consultation (2009). Over 90% of respondents opposed the sale and development of the site. Specific concerns voiced included infilling of any part of the Caves and the potential loss of a tourist attraction for the town. Representations included one from Margate Civic Society and a petition of 2,592 signatures.
The Caves are an important and fascinating part of our area's tourism offer. Their potential worth is far greater than that of seven poorly-designed houses, which would be built immediately adjacent to a conservation area. With Margate on the brink of a bright new tourism future, FOMC believe that this is an ill-conceived proposal that will extinguish any hope of the Caves being re-opened as a tourist attraction.
If you would like to read the application, you should go to:
and search for application number: F/TH/10/0546
If you would like to object to the application, click the "Comment on Application" button.
You will need to complete your name and address. Then click Object to the proposal.
There is also a Save the Caves Facebook Group"
Spread the word!
Monday, 7 February 2011
"Margate doing a Bilbao
The sun was brilliant, the light fantastic, and there I stood in amongst it. At the end of last week while others toiled under leaden skies, I'd taken off for brighter climes.
You have to travel to find such locations, where sun and sea unite to reveal colours that are normally hidden. And I had travelled. To the place that Turner loved more than most, for the light it gives (and for his host): a place where the French would visit and mingle with other metropolitans who too were "en vacance". Not that I expected to see them on my trip, but I hoped the sun might shine.
And it did: in buckets and spades. But then, that's Margate for you.
Admittedly it's a town that has been struggling with its image of late. Once a popular seaside resort, many holidaymakers now consider it a last resort. They say cheap flights and package holidays did her in, but Brighton, Hastings and North Berwick are all doing okay. The truth is Margate went out of fashion and stayed there. And without the free-spending tourists to put a smile on her face, she became depressed, which was bad because nobody wants to holiday with a misery.
So in an attempt to cheer the old port up, the council have "done a Bilbao". That is built a funky modern art gallery in the hope that fortune will favour a brave contemporary design. It's a bold move, but is it a wise one?
Turner Contemporary, as the David Chipperfield-designed building is known, is a success inside and out. But then what would you expect from one of the world's most gifted living architects, who on Wednesday evening will pick up the highly-prized RIBA Gold Medal at a ceremony held in his honour. You only have to look at his portfolio of cultural projects on his website to know the man and his practice would create something special. Which they duly have while delivering the Holy Grail for any art-gallery-as-urban-regeneration-project: and that is a building you'd travel to see regardless of what it contains."
Sunday, 6 February 2011
What is the cleaning rota for this public walkway?
Why are there so few dog poo bins?
Is this part of the Viking Trail? If yes, this is a disgrace? There is a sign directing the Viking Trail users to divert down to this stretch of seafront while works are being undertaken at Turner. So are we really directing tourists and visitors down this stretch of seafront?
Don't get me wrong, this bit of coastline is magnificent and it should be one of our best assets. Visitors to the area are walking along here to Broadstairs. Isn't it shameful that they have to navigate 20 minutes of filth before they get to North Foreland?
How much nicer wouldn't it be for the user of the jet ski, Palm Bay if this stretch of seafront was maintained?
Can we really be serious that we'd rather spend money on hoardings for private properties along Margate seafront, or paint the lighthouse stripes and place large maritime buoys on the roundabout in front of the station (more info to come on this later)? This area deserves to be just as well maintained as the seafront at Birchington along to Minnis Bay. We will never increase all round family usage of this area if it left in such a mess.
I'm going to continue to photograph this area to see how long it takes for it to be cleaned.
Thursday, 3 February 2011
The publication is available as a pdf to download from here:
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
Nice to see some praise coming Margate's way. I was a founder member of the Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group.The wonderful sounding CAAG. Hopefully the roll out of Conservation Areas in Cliftonville will help to preserve some of its fine buildings and green spaces. We meet once per month.
"A seaside town in Kent has been praised by a conservation body for its attempts to preserve its historic character.
English Heritage (EH) said Cliftonville in Margate should be seen as a benchmark of conservation success.
It said volunteers had worked with the district council to set up a conservation area and make "dramatic improvements".
Derek Harding, a director at Margate Renewal Partnership, said preserving its character attracted investment.
He said: "Much of the historic townscape of Cliftonville is intact. The quality, scale and setting of the buildings present some real opportunities."
The town is singled out in a new English Heritage guide called Valuing Places: Good Practice in Conservation Areas.
The report said one in 13 of England's 10,000 conservation areas were threatened by neglect and decline."