Margate Estates, the parent company of Dreamland, says a recommendation by council planning officers to rejects its plans for a seafront hotel is “disappointing.”
Plans were to flatten Ziigy’s rooftop bar and the adjacent empty property in Marine Terrace ready for work to start on a 5-storey ‘lifestyle’ hotel.
But Thanet council planning officers are recommending that the application is refused, saying: “Unfortunately, whilst a number of economic, social and environmental benefits are offered by the scheme, the proposal, by virtue of its scale, height, depth and roof design, will block significant multiple long distance views of the landmark Grade II* Listed Dreamland building, whilst also creating a development that appears obtrusive and unrelated to the height and scale of development within the historic seafront terrace.”
The ‘Seaview’ hotel, proposed to lie in the Margate Conservation area, is earmarked to have 124 rooms, a gymnasium, meeting rooms, a shop or café with frontage onto Marine Terrace, a restaurant and bar at the ground floor and a rooftop bar.
But it has been argued that a part of the town’s heritage would be lost if the properties at 48-49 Marine Terrace were demolished as number 49, currently home to Ziggy’s rooftop bar and formerly Escape nightclub, was constructed in 1936 as the West End Restaurant.
But Margate Estates says the hotel plan has had public support and is part on a long-term regeneration plan for the town.
Aidan de Brunner, from the company, said: “This is disappointing, particularly as there have been only a handful of objections whilst 200 people have written in to express support and the public consultations held in July last year were very well received.
“Margate is being transformed into a place where people want to be, whether that’s to live, to work or just to visit with friends and family. Turner and Dreamland have helped put Margate back on the map and we are keen to maintain this positive momentum.
“We have a long-term plan to create more things to do, places to stay and develop the local infrastructure to support it. The history of Margate tells you that all the things we are planning for the future – theme park, hotels, music concerts, conferencing – already have proven track records in this town.
“But I do believe that this future success won’t come without a collective effort, to keep working together, to lock-in the progress to date, build on recent improvements and maintain the momentum.
“Our next step in this journey to bring this vision to life is to build a new hotel for Margate, on this amazing seafront. Somewhere for locals and visitors, providing local jobs and designed to look like it’s always been part of the furniture.
“The application now goes to the planning committee on Wednesday, February 20. We hope that councillors will approve the application, sending out a powerful message that they want to maintain the momentum of recent years and secure Margate’s revival.”
The Margate Estates application says the project would create 62 jobs within the hotel; 103 direct construction jobs over 3 years and 52 indirect construction jobs across the region over 3 years.
The firm has created a promotional video to support its application. View it at https://vimeo.com/316598200
Councillors will discuss the application on February 20.