Wednesday 16 February 2011

At last a brighter future for 19 Hawley Square and The Theatre Royal

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.

Number 19 Hawley Square, was a handsome Grade II listed end of terrace Georgian building sitting on the corner of the square right next door to the wonderful Theatre Royal. Number 19 is owned and managed the housing association Orbit.

19 Hawley Square used to be the London Hotel and served the Theatre. In recent years 19 has, despite its listed status fallen into almost total dereliction in recent years. We understand the sizer of the flats proposed by Orbit fall below their own minimum space standards and makes the process of applying for planning permission a precursor to selling the building on with planning for flats.

Orbit came out with planning applications last winter to convert it to 13 1 bed flats and a bedsit with floor space of 26 square meters, no windows in hallways, kitchens and bathrooms and expecting people to walk refuse down a meandering corridors into the basement.

Plans can be viewed and downloaded from: and searching for the application references:
11th January 2010 L/TH/09/1040
11th January 2010 F/TH/09/1047
24th June 2010 F/TH/10/0429

The proposal intended knocking down the Victorian addition in the garden, building over the entire garden with a full height mock Georgian extension to squeeze in the remaining flats. Just what Margate needs I hear you cry, more 1 bed flats too small to swing a cat in and in true bad old days tradition, a bedsit no less! Perhaps taking inspiration from Margate's bedsit tradition that the council are working to erradicate!

So let's hope this works out for the Theatre Royal who would really benefit from increased space and it would be a sustainable use for number 19.

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