Saturday 24 January 2015

26 flat development has permission for Hoser's Corner?

Proposal for Hoser's Corner
This morning, I came across the rather startling news that Hoser's Corner, the barren eyesore site at the end of the seafront Ethelbert Crescent in Cliftonville had been sold subject to contract for £700,000. And that it has planning permission for a development of 26 one and two bed flats resembling a mid 1990 business park, complete with underground car parking.

Those local to the area will know that Hoser's Corner, formerly 29 Ethelbert Crescent is quite a small site and on a very busy corner traffic wise with a very sharp bend. Those that aren't local will see clearly from the map!

The proposed development is very different to the historic terrace of Ethelbert Crescent.

The news of the development came as a shock to quite a few people today, especially because according to the Planning Portal, the planning permission granted on July 25th 2007 (F/TH/05/0070) had expired. There was then an application to extend it (F/TH/10/0289) in 2010 but this was withdrawn by the developer.

Later in the day, Will Scobie, Labour parliamentary candidate for Thanet South stated he understood the planning permission was no longer in place.

Estate agent, Cooke and co. tweeted that planning permission was actually in place because works were started on the site and then stopped and further, that they had a letter on file from Thanet District Council confirming the extension of the planning permission.

Taking a look at the files on

March 4th 2005 - Planning Application (F/TH/05/0070) is registered for the creation of 26 flats by Ever Fortune Ltd of Middlesex.

April 21st 2010 - Application (F/TH/10/0289) to extend planning permission (F/TH/05/0070) the applicant, Mr J Lam from Middlesex confirms the site was empty and the development has not commenced.

Application F/TH/10/0289

July 2nd 2010 - Letter from Brian White, then Director of Regeneration Services states that condition 14 for foul and surface water disposal was agreed.

July 25th 2007 - Deed of Agreement between Thanet District Council and Mr Lam, which state the original address of the dwelling on Hoser's Corner as 29 Ethelbert Crescent. The deed is an agreement that there would be an affordable housing contribution of £248,381.40.

The fact that it's been left as a barren slab of concrete for years and that some kind of work has been undertaken to extend the permission is shocking. The price of £700,000 is obviously based on a densely packed in high quantity of units to make the building cost worth it. But these are not going to be great flats to live in on this site. Nor does the design and scale accord with the seafront location and aspirations of a revived Cliftonville seafront appealing for visitors. 

It's claimed work started
If the permission is in place, then it's news to people living in the area and a prospective MP candidate who is also a serving councillor. The site is, like most of the area, sitting on chalk. Quite how an underground car park will be constructed is a mystery.

This proposal really isn't the best for Cliftonville. It obviously doesn't accord with Thanet Council's veto on 1 bed flats in Cliftonville West. Whoever granted this permission, if it indeed stands, should be thoroughly ashamed. In 2007, Margate was in the midst of a clearly defined regeneration programme.

There is a plan in the 2005 application files that shows a single dwelling on the site set back from the road in its own grounds. This is probably the ideal solution for this location, but obviously not one that is worth the apparent £700,000 purchase price of the plot alone. 

Land Registry title plan

We'll have to wait until Monday to hear from Thanet Council's Planning department whether they have failed to upload a letter of confirmation the planning permission has been extended to the Planning Portal on or otherwise.

A record of the day's twitter discussion on Storify.

Edited to add: Hoser's Corner was given a facelift last summer by artists as part of the #summerofcolour project:

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