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
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.