Wednesday 21 August 2013

A very bad planning decision gone wrong: Portacabins on St George's Lawn, Cliftonville

Image taken August 2nd 2009
 At tonight's planning committee from 7pm at the Council Offices is an application (TH/13/0398) to amend the dimensions of porta-cabins that have been erected on St George's Bowling Green in Cliftonville. This is a prime example of how harmful bad planning decisions are and also why Cliftonville badly needs Conservation Areas. 

The Committee Document pack PDF is here. The Planning Officers are recommending approval.

Image taken August 15th 2013

Does anyone seriously think this is an acceptable structure on one of Cliftonville's finest historic leisure facilities, surrounded by fine residential buildings, and in the near vicinity of the clifftop promenade and near hotels?

The Friends of St George's Lawn have written a fine report, objecting to this application. Download the PDF here.

But this application is only to amend the dimensions of an application (TH/12/0664) that has already been approved in October 2012 under delegated powers (that's a Planning Officer's desk decision).

From what I've seen this week on Facebook and Twitter, this decision went unnoticed by many in the community and there is genuine shock and dismay at the awful impact of this crude structure plonked onto the bowling green.

Drawing from planning application TH/13/0398

The poor quality of the application drawings and information speak for themselves that it should not have been validated and have arrived at this stage.

So, what can be done?

Well, perhaps the best avenue would be to pursue Thanet District Council through to the Local Government Ombudsman for its handling of the applications.

Write to Simon Thomas head of Planning Services to tell him your opinion.

Sign Laura Sandys MP's petition for Conservation Areas for Cliftonville West

Get in touch and join the newly formed Margate Neighbourhood Forum that is working on the implementation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Margate.


  1. For once I agree. When I first saw the portacabins I assumed they were just temporary while building work or landscaping was going on.

  2. Yes its' better to pursue the petition and let the local government ombudsman handle the issue. Was hoping that this issue will be resolved.