Wednesday 28 March 2012

Post Office Cecil Square Margate - TDC proposes to convert into flats

At the Planning Committee on Wednesday 21st March, Members voted to make a site visit to view Grade II Listed Post Office building on Cecil Square, Margate. Thanet District Council owns the building and has made an application to convert it to 2 x 3 bed flats, 6 x 2 bed flats, demolition of rear extension, construction of  1 x 3 bed house and 1 x 2 bed houses. The Planning Officer for the application, stated it is the Council's intention to sell the building.

You can view and comment on the application here.

The Officer Report is available for download here

Page 46 of the report states:

"Evidence has been provided of other offices available within Margate Town centre, which are currently  being marketed, but have yet to find occupiers. Some of these units have been marketed for at least 2 years with no interest."

On page 47 under the heading Consultations, Thanet District Council's Conservation Area Appraisal Officer states:
"There has been justification submitted that no use can be found for the offices currently vacant in the primary build and that residential development appears the most prudent and sustainable use for the designated heritage asset."

Clearly the statement from the Conservation Area Appraisal Officer is, according to the information available in the report, in error.

Unless there is evidence of marketing of the Post Office building that has escaped our attention?

Details of a financial contribution from the developer, Thanet District Council, were also outlined. Yes, that's our money being donated from our own public purse to ourselves. £8750 is to be donated to the play scheme at Tivoli.

How was Tivoli chosen when we have Dane Park as a nearer park?

Where would this £8750 come from?

If you have views on this application, please add them as comments on this post. But more importantly, write to Emma Fibbens the Planning Officer leading on this application
Quote ref: F/TH/11/1052

What happens next? 
Well, a site visit is being made by Committee Members. Then it will come back to Planning Committee and a decision will be made. The building is Listed and it's the Council's own application. Therefore, it cannot make the final decision. It will be deferred to the Secretary of State with a recommendation.

We've heard from other departments within the Local Authority that there has been interest from various providers of studio space. Some of whom seem to manage to run studios within heritage buildings. Perhaps one section of the Local Authority should ensure it speaks to the other before disposing of one of our valuable heritage assets and stating there has been no interest.


  1. Flats ,flats ,flats, and more flats.

  2. what is the matter with these people NEVER have i come across such a high level of incompetence in a council
    do these people even in live in Margate
    councils are supposed to uphold and nurture an area not solve every problem by building flats or butchering buildings into flats that no one wants????