Planning permission has been granted to create mixed retail, offices, a bar and restaurant and flats at the former Primark store in Margate.
SIR Investments Ltd, which bought the property in 2015 for £600,000 plus £120,000 VAT, is proposing a two-storey roof extension, internal alterations including new stair wells at upper ground floor and first floor level, change of use of existing first floor and use of new second and third floors as residential, comprising 11 duplexes and apartments.
The application was made in August and was approved by Thanet council this week.
SIR Investments, whose directors are Eugene Dogot – who made the application – and Boo Khoo, wants to create the 11 flats and maisonettes at the site, retaining the ground floor for commercial, bar and restaurant use. The canopy on the upper ground floor will be removed.
A design statement by GPM2 Design on the company’s behalf says: “The proposed design will enhance the art deco character of the building, making it an attractive focal point within the conservation area.
A Thanet council planning officer’s report states: “The site is in Margate town centre and within a conservation area. It has been redundant for a number of years but was formerly used for retail.
“This proposal…would bring a redundant building back into active use.”
The building has fronts on the High Street and Marine Drive. The proposal will have the retail side facing the High Street and restaurant and bar accessible from Marine Drive.
The planning officer states: “The change of use to a mix use retail, restaurant, drinking establishment, offices and residential on the upper floors has the potential to cause some noise and disturbance to surrounding occupiers. It should, however, be noted that the building is in a High Street/seaside location where some noise and disturbance above that experienced in a purely residential area is expected.
SIR will make developer contributions of £408 per dwelling towards the Thanet Coast and Sandwich Bay Special Areas of Conservation and £48.02 per dwelling towards Margate Library book stock.
Former SIR Investment directors Paul Eley and Alexander Andreev were also involved with the company Stour Side Investments which bought the Cliftonville Lido. The pair also headed up the buy out of land at All Saints Industrial Estate, land at Eaton Place and the King’s Theatre in Ramsgate, which has since been sold on.
In 2016 the pair claimed to have received interest from a national restaurant chain and ice cream parlour for the former Primark site.
Both resigned their roles from SIR in April and from Stour Side earlier this year.
Haven’t we got enough bars and restaurants in this area? No doubt all the flats will be bought up by Londoners and turned into Airbnb places. Marginally better than it being empty I suppose.