Monday 21 February 2011

The old Lyon Tea Rooms and Pizza Hut building proposed to be flats

The building at 40 High Street, used to be a Lyons Tea Room has a planning application to convert the whole building to residential flats. The applicant refers to this seafront side as 'the rear'. The last incarnation as a commercial entity was as the Pizza Hut. It seems a very shortsighted application with a loss of crucial commerical space that would be ideal as a restaurant.

40 High Street is to the left in this picture

The plans can be viewed and commented on at the website:
Application number: F/TH/11/0085

The applicant's Design Access Statement claims:

"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."


  1. oh come on, surely they can be a bit more creative than flats.

    makes me sick.

    how about returning it to a lyon tea room/b&b.

    council refuse it, you have to, to save Margate

  2. I really don't think a tea room would work these days if even Pizzahut no longer found the place viable, & we've probably got more than enough restaurants / cafes along there now anyway (some of which are struggling). Probably the only thing which would work would be something like a Burger King, though I can just imagine the opposition that would get from people on here...

    So, flats (as long as they're done properly & not too small) is a far better option than keeping the place boarded up & decaying, yes? I'd certainly live there.

  3. More flats, mean more people, = more unemployed people, there is no extra jobs for them.

    more flats, mean oversupplying the property market lowering the value of property, making the place attractive for unemployed people from London.

    Supply and demand, Supply and demand.

    Burger King,= denegation attract people who want to stab you.

    A good B&B attracts outside money spent in the local economy.

  4. Burger King attracting people that "want to stab you" just about sums up the snobbery of some newcomers around here.

    What will the people who use the new Tesco at Arlington House do, rape our sons & daughters?

  5. I am working class, I work at tesco.

  6. Working class as if! Can't we all club together and open something fantastic? What wonderful views this place would have.

  7. Yes, I also live in a council house seriously.

  8. Sorry I meant to say Degeneration instead of denegation.

    I don't want to monopolize.

    It's up to you.

  9. Is this the same "anon" writing all these comments? It's confusing.

  10. No this anon no 1 making this comment - i can't stand the other anon 2

  11. Let's not get confused, although it is confusing, I admit. The old Lyons tea room bit (they call it the first floor but from the seafront it is the second floor) already has permission to go into flats. Their comment in the design and access statement about that having been disused for 20 years is therefore a red herring and nothing to do with the current application. This application is just for part of the 'ground floor' which is actually the first floor bit with the sea views.

    For the estate agent to support this application by saying there is no market shows their ignorance about what's going on in Margate now. While it is true that the current demand is for smaller units, in a very short time, this large unit would attract interest from a bigger operator. If this plan goes ahead, that opportunity will be lost forever.

    Peter - I have to take issue with your vision for Margate. Burger King? We need to talk.

  12. Fiona, my point is that a Burger King (like Pizzahut before it) would stand a good chance of long-term survival, unlike a tea room / restaurant / gallery / etc. Anyway, when I very occasionally once or twice per month eat a takeaway burger I quite like Burger King...

    Thanks for the clarification re the planning though.

  13. The proposal might not be all that bad in isolation, but we will need to preserve commercial units with the best views for use as viable and sustainable businesses in key locations. If they are looking to create smaller units, it should be looked at dividing front to back, retaining the traditional link on units between the lower high street and the seafront.

    As for why we need another fast food takeaway than a restaurant I don't understand this at all Peter. We lack a large quality restaurant in Margate. A building with spectacular views across the main sands on the upper levels with access on to the seafront at the ground floor would make an ideal restaurant/food shop establishment.

  14. I know what you're saying, Peter, but I think you need to up your aspirations. We can do better than a Burger King and in the future, Margate WILL be able to ensure the long-term survival of a quality establishment. Remember this conversation in 2 years' time and you'll see I was right! Burger King has its place in the world but please not there!

  15. wasnt there a large restaurant 2 storey next door to this property a couple of years ago? tastefully refurbished, stunning sea views... always empty....
    mysteriously burnt out within six months....

  16. " 2 storey restaurant"..apologies

  17. You mean H2O. It wasn't a restaurant. It was a cafe which did far too small a range of food for the size of the building. Decoratively speaking it would have needed a lot more spending on it and hence the need to offer serious restaurant food with enough covers to support a building and staff for that size. it was decorated looking like an MFI showroom. It burned down just as the business had failed.

  18. Personally I'd like to see all the shops relocate to the pedestrianised part of the high street and covered square, walking through there yesterday looking at all the empty buildings is heart breaking! The rents they still wish to charge down the bottom end and the business rates make it far to prohibitive in my book to run a viable business.