A petition has been launched in a bid to bring toilets at the Western Undercliff back into use.
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 It was then put on an asset disposal list that year but later withdrawn.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 is now 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.
But campaigners want assurances that the toilets will be brought back into use. The stretch of beach used to boast chalets, showers, toilets, the café and shelters but the building of the Royal Harbour Approach road and tunnel, officially opened in 2000, saw the end of all the amenities except for the café and toilets.
Now the area, which is still popular with families because of the small bays enabling parents to keep an eye on their little ones, has no facilities at all.
The petition, launched by residents Maxine Morgan and Amanda George, says: “It is a very important part of our community to have facilities available on the seafront all year round, for members of the public who regularly use this beach and to bring in more tourism.
“In the past Western Undercliff, aka the artificial beach, had a thriving community environment, with beach, chalets, showers, toilets, cafe and shelters.
“Since the road came in for the Sally Line, we have lost many of these amenities, leaving only the cafe and toilets as our only community asset. Even though damage to the building has closed it for the last few years, we could be looking at losing them for good when the property goes to auction in the near future.”
The area is base for community groups including the Western Undercliff Regeneration Group (above)and members of the Addington Street Community. It was also used in 2015 for the revived Ramsgate Sprint motorcycle event which attracted thousands of visitors.
The original Ramsgate Sprint was held twice a year from 1956 to 1968 and was one of the country’s leading events.
The Royal Harbour Approach tunnel
The Ramsgate Royal Harbour access road was officially opened by the Chairman of Kent County Council on Friday, June 30, 2000.
Brenda Trench was joined by the children from Chilton Primary School for the ceremonial tape cutting. The school had been involved at the ceremony to mark the start of tunnelling in September 1998 and at the breakthrough in June 1999.
The 2.2km long twin lane approach road to the harbour was constructed at a cost of £30 million.