Plan to turn former Sportsman pub in Cliffsend into flats and micropub is refused

The Sportsman Inn shut in 2017.

Plans to turn a former boozer in Cliffsend into flats, a micropub and cycle cafe have been turned down by district planners.

Development firm Kentish Projects Ltd, the company behind the Beach Retreat flats on Ramsgate seafront and Royal Harbour View off Liverpool Lawn, wanted to transform The Sportsman Inn, which shut in 2017.

The proposal was for two apartment blocks of three and four storeys containing nine flats, office space, a cycle cafe and micropub to replace the former pub on Sandwich Road and land around it.

An image of how the development might have looked. Credit: Hume Planning Consultancy Ltd.

But this week Thanet District Council refused the plan on a number of grounds, including it being “an obtrusive form of development”.

Hume Planning Consultancy, the agent for Kentish Projects, said in a planning statement the building is vacant and the land a prominent brownfield site in a sustainable location.

“It is therefore considered that this redevelopment offers the opportunity for a visual enhancement to the character of the area,” a spokesman said.

“This proposal will deliver investment at the site and create an attractive building. 

An image of how the development might have looked. Credit: Hume Planning Consultancy Ltd.

“The existing ground floor pub will be replaced by a modern cycle café which will have significantly reduced running costs and could serve as a community meeting place and hub.

“Because the ground floor level would not be suitable for residential accommodation following flood risk advice, the proposal includes office floorspace that will be occupied by two growing Thanet companies. 

“The upper levels of the building will provide nine apartments which will make a contribution to local need.”

The plan received one letter of support and 11 objections from the public as well as an objection from Cliffsend Parish Council.

An image of how the development might have looked. Credit: Hume Planning Consultancy Ltd.

Residents argued the development was not in keeping with the area and could impact views due to it being too high.

Concerns were also raised about flood risk and drainage.

In a decision notice by Thanet council, town planner Gill Richardson listed five reasons for the refusal, including the proposed development being visually dominant and obtrusive, and would create loss of privacy and light to other residents.

She pointed out it would also create increased pressure on the Thanet coast, Sandwich Bay Special Protection Area and Sandwich Bay and Hacklinge Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest.

“On balance, it is not considered that the benefits of the proposed development outweigh the demonstrable harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area,” she added.

The Sportsman, a Shepherd Neame pub, was run by Teresa Kirk and Ronnie Mark before it shut in April 2017.



  1. Hideous. Glad they did not get permission. Why not just turn the existing building into a few nice holiday flats?

  2. I wonder what the alternatives are for this redundant pub?. It’s also worth looking at the track record of the developer given the apparent issues with at least one of the named previous projects in Ramsgate. Caveat emptor.

  3. Shame, that would have been a fantastic place for modern Flats. TDC, blinkered as usual, as they want everything to be built in a spread from Birchington, Westgate, through to Margate.

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