14 Thanet council sites sold, or agreed for sale, in 2017

Some of the council properties sold, or agreed for sale, this year

Thanet council has been carrying out an asset disposal sell-off since last year in a bid to cut maintenance costs and boost authority coffers.

The authority, which owns around 600 properties on the isle, wants to save £200,000 per annum over two years. This year several sites have been sold or agreed for sale either on the open market or as community asset transfers.

We look at 14 council sites sold, or agreed for sale, in 2017

Foresters’ Hall in Ramsgate

Foresters Hall

The property, which is used by charity East Kent Mencap and by Headway, is Grade II listed and designated an Asset of Community Value. TDC agreed to sell it off in November.

The plan is to sell it at market value with first refusal given to the Trustees of East Kent Mencap.

TDC says the building must be sold as it is falling into disrepair and will need at least £455,145 spent to bring it back to a reasonable condition.

TDC does not have the money to carry out the work.

Expressions of interest from community groups can be made between now and January 22,2018.

During this period community groups can request in writing to be treated as a potential bidder. An accepted request would mean deferral of sale on the open market until June 10, 2018 by which date the sale will need to be completed to the eligible group. If it is not, then the property will go on the open market.

Written requests must be sent to The Head of Asset Management, Thanet District Council, Cecil Square Offices, Margate, CT9 1XZ or email estates@thanet.gov.uk

Sell-off plans for Foresters’ Hall in Ramsgate approved

Western Undercliff café and toilets

Western Undercliff back into use will be presented to Thanet councillors this week.

The toilets and café have been shut since the property was severely damaged in October 2014 as the result of the failure of the main Southern Water sewer.  Following the clearance of contaminated waste from the site it was found that the foundation slab of the property had been fractured, damaging the structure of the building.

Thanet council had planned to demolish the site in 2015. It was then put on an asset disposal list that year but later withdrawn.

It has now been put back on the asset disposal list following approval in July to to sell the site off. Thanet council says it has received an expression of interest for the café.

Expressions of interest from community groups can be made between now and January 22,2018.

During this period community groups can request in writing to be treated as a potential bidder. An accepted request would mean deferral of sale on the open market until June 10, 2018 by which date the sale will need to be completed to the eligible group. If it is not, then the property will go on the open market.

Written requests must be sent to The Head of Asset Management, Thanet District Council, Cecil Square Offices, Margate, CT9 1XZ or email estates@thanet.gov.uk

Petition launched to reopen Western Undercliff toilets

Fort Road Hotel in Margate

Councillors agreed in October to put the property up for sale after 22 years of it laying empty.

The hotel was compulsorily purchased by the authority in May 2010. Initial plans for the site were for a boutique hotel.

The property is listed on maps of Margate going back to 1821, although it may be older.

In 2015 it was decided that the building should be converted into social housing flats.

A budget of £950,000 was agreed for the conversion. A further budget of £63,750, was set aside for costs of statutory compensation following the CPO. An allowance was also made for costs of £29,447 incurred prior to April 2015. Further costs for the building, totalling £77,009 have been incurred by TDC to date.

The social housing plan also failed to get off the ground.

Two plans that were put forward to transform the derelict Fort Road Hotel

West Cliff Hall

Photo PMH

In July TDC agreed to sell the West Cliff Hall and Gardens on the open market.

The decision provoked an angry response from the organisation that has been working eight years on a project to revive the building.

Project MotorHouse, headed by Ramsgate resident Janet Fielding, has been working  since 2009 to acquire and renovate the West Cliff Hall to create cinemas; theatres; bars; restaurants, offices and youth facilities.

West Cliff Hall – from concert venue to dilapidation and hopes for the future

Ramsgate Ice House

The Ice House in Ramsgate

In July Thanet District Council agreed to transfer the Ice House in Ramsgate to the 6thRamsgate Sea Scouts.

The building, by Jacob’s Ladder steps, was once used to store block ice brought to the UK from Norway to be used in the fish markets. It has since had a variety of mixed commercial uses.

The Sea Scouts, whose association with the Ice House goes back many years, will be taking a long lease of the building to enable them to renovate it and provide disabled access, showers, a new meeting hall, kitchen and storage areas.

Ramsgate Ice House to be transferred to the Sea Scouts

Westgate Pavilion

The Westgate Pavilion was registered as an asset of community value in August.

Expressions of interest from community groups can be made between now and January 22,2018.

During this period community groups can request in writing to be treated as a potential bidder. An accepted request would mean deferral of sale on the open market until June 10, 2018 by which date the sale will need to be completed to the eligible group. If it is not, then the property will go on the open market.

Written requests must be sent to The Head of Asset Management, Thanet District Council, Cecil Square Offices, Margate, CT9 1XZ or email estates@thanet.gov.uk

Viking Bay shelter

The seafront shelter, former toilets and lift off Victoria Parade at Viking Bay went under the hammer for a whopping £350,000 in October.

Thanet council has sold the freehold for the site as part of its asset disposal programme.

The guide price given by auctioneers Clive Emson was £40,000- £50,000 plus fees but the hammer finally came down at 7 times that price.

Viking Bay seafront shelter and toilets go under the hammer for seven-times the guide price

Birchington seafront shelters

The Friends of Birchington Shelters group is run by Dave Adams and Karen Everest

A bid to raise thousands of pounds to renovate Birchington’s nine sea shelters has been launched.

The shelters passed into the control of Birchington Parish Council as part of Thanet council’s asset disposal programme.

The structures were put in place between the end of the 19th century and the 1920s but have become weathered and neglected.

The Friends of Birchington Shelters group, run by Dave Adams and Karen Everest, launched a campaign to bring them back to their former glory.

The challenge is on to restore Birchington’s nine sea shelters

Land at Tivoli

Another Thanet council site to go under the hammer at the same auction was a plot of land off Tivoli Park Avenue and Tivoli Road in Margate

The freehold site is 0.37 hectares (0.91 acres)  and was being marketed as offering potential for development, subject to all necessary consents being obtainable.

It sold for £155,000

Land in Ramsgate

A third plot sold by TDC was land at Manston Road, Ramsgate.

The freehold site is 2.2 hectares (5.5 acres) and is adjacent Meridian. In 2007 permission was granted for 207 homes on the site

Since then the land, which was formerly allotments, has been earmarked in the Local Plan for 61 homes. It had a guide price of £900,000- £1million plus fees and sold for £980,000.

Dane Valley Enterprise Units in St Peter’s

The Dane Valley workshops 

The 22 workshops were sold at auction in March for £415,000.

The sale came despite a campaign by small businesses at the site who said they wanted to buy the 22 workshops between them.

The sale was part of Thanet council’s asset disposal scheme aimed at saving £100,000 by April.this year.

The units were originally intended for use for start-up businesses.

22 council-owned workshops in St Peter’s have been sold at auction

Three Margate sites

The former Thanet Canoe Club’s base in Newgate Gap, Margate, sold at auction for £99,000 after a bidding war in February;

Land next to 3 Duke Street in Margate’s Old Town sold for an astonishing £200,000 above the guide price in February.

The site formed part of a larger redevelopment scheme known as the Queen’s Arms Yard. It had planning permission that is now expired and the plot was to have included two retail premises and six flats.

The freehold guide price had been £50-£70,000 but it sold for £270,000.

10 Market Street; a detached, derelict building that requires total refurbishment or re-development subject to all necessary consents being obtainable.

The freehold guide price was £45-50,000, but the hammer came down when bidding reached £180,000.

Read here: 25 Thanet stories in the news during 2017

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