Plans for ‘Ramsgate Beach Club’ revived on heels of Marina Esplanade car park sell off decision

Ramsgate councillor David Green hopes to see the beach club plan revived. Image from original design suggestions by Savill Jones

Plans for a seafront ‘beach club’ with activities, huts and trade on Ramsgate seafront could be brought forward following Thanet council plans to sell off the Marina Esplanade car park.

The site is amongst the latest nine listed for disposal by the authority but with a proviso that leisure use options for the site are a priority.

The proposed sale has reignited a plan first mooted in 2014 to create a club site with beach huts, water sports, rock-climbing and walking and biking trails, a café and a shop.

A study from PSC was commissioned and designs drawn up by Saville Jones architects prior to a decision in 2015 to put the site on the market with a long leasehold and a service concession.

That plan did not come to fruition but Ramsgate Town Councillor David Green and the Active Ramsgate organisation are now looking at how it could be made possible.

Cllr Green, who headed up the original plans in 2014/15, said: “The original plan was added to the Destination Management Plan (for isle tourism) but was never implemented, mainly because of the recession.

“We are still hoping that Thanet council would be part of the scheme and have been talking to Cabinet members about it. It would be beneficial to the council as there will be revenue.”

Original design ideas

Cllr Green says the aim is to set up a community interest group, led by Active Ramsgate, to take on the project and raise the cash to take the plan forward.

He added: “We would hope to have kite surfing, there is interest for a climbing wall, we would need a café and the beach huts. It is also in a good spot for walking routes between Ramsgate and Broadstairs.”

The aim would be to increase visitors, both local and tourists, adding expenditure to the local economy, potentially reducing costs of management and maintenance and generating n income through a long lease and concession.’

Kitesurfing proposals Photo Brian Whitehead

In its original 2015 submission Active Ramsgate said activities could include sea fishing hire and competitions; rock climbing on Ramsgate’s cliffs; canoe and kayak along the coast to Pegwell and Sandwich; high ropes and zip line: fun and adrenaline for all ages; archery and other activities indoors if it’s raining; mountain Bike hire and guiding, beach events and walking and cycling expeditions.

Income would also come from some 20 double beach huts operating 11 months of the year with the option of joining some together to provide additional bedroom space, kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Original development costs were estimated at around £750,000 for the total scheme.

The car park site has been approved for sale by TDC due to a lack of use by motorists and frequent unauthorised encampments on the land.

It is the second lowest earning car park Thanet. For the year 2018 – 2019 it generated £10,042 in ticket sales. The site incurs significant costs in enforcement and maintenance, requiring approximately £2,000 per year in maintenance for the pay and display machine. TDC is also responsible for £1,215 p.a. on business rates for the site.

Leisure use had been suggested but a recommendation put forward by portfolio holder for estates Rob Yates that leisure use be made a priority was agreed.

Cllr Yates said he made the recommendation after seeing the proposals from Cllr Green.

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  1. Please don’t encourage kite-surfing along the town beach. This is the only beach within easy walking distance of town centre residents. It should be reserved for local swimmers and traditional beach pastimes. Even a single kite-surfer makes swimming here a risky thing.

    There are already thoughtless speedboat users who come too close to the shore- they should be driving (is that the right word?) towards Broadstairs, not towards Ramsgate Harbour.

    People with cars have great freedom of movement. Please don’t make decisions which could spoil the enjoyment of local people who cannot and/or don’t want to travel around so easily, but who wish to walk to their nearest beach for a quiet hour or two spent swimming, reading, building sandcastles, eating icecream, or even just looking at the sea and listening to the waves..

  2. An amazing idea which will really build on the amazing foundation of active tourism in Ramsgate and the wonderful Active Ramsgate.

    Ramsgate’s residents and visitors currently enjoy kitesurfing, sailing, kayaking,canoeing, diving, seal boat trips, bird watching, tennis, swimming, football, croquet, bowls, walking, cycling, golfing, horse riding, sea fishing and charter boat fishing.

    Ramsgate held the British Kitesurfing championships in 2019 (its second year).

    Ramsgate was voted in the Top 100 ITV British walks (2018).

    Active Ramsgate was awarded GOLD in the Community Care Award (2017).

    Active Ramsgate brings in more than £240,000 per year and contributed £1.2 million to Ramsgate’s economy.

    Explore Kent awarded Ramsgate in 2016 with the first “We Love Walkers and Cyclists” accreditation status and is part of the 28- mile circular Viking Coastal Trail (one of the most attractive leisure cycle routes in Kent) which links up with Regional Route 15 of the National Cycle Network.

    Ramsgate holds the second largest international regatta in the UK from the marina Ramsgate Week and the Regatta.

    Ramsgate has Seaside awards for its sandy beaches at Ramsgate Western Undercliff and Ramsgate Main Sands. It has a further sandy beach at Eastcliff beach.

  3. What a fantastic forward thinking idea.

    We really need to utilise our natural assets to there best. I’d also like to see a sailing and water sports training centre which equips young people (and the more mature) with training opportunities to enter into the burgeoning yacht trade and also would equip our young people to undertake seafaring and water sports training to a professional standard. A training centre could boost our talented young people to embark on long-term careers. Whilst improving our area.

    • That would be wonderful Karen. Really wonderful. There are some awesome opportunities to involve young adults here but there are also – in my opinion – just too few of them.

    • UKSA do amazing courses that lead to professional qualifications at a high level and have a good record on getting their students into employment. Would be great to have training of this standard based in Ramsgate.

    • This would be amazing for Ramsgate, My son returned a few weeks ago from doing a Water Sports Instructor course on the Isle of white and has already secured a job in Greece starting in May. Ramsgate would be the perfect place for something like this.

  4. Surely it would be the ideal place for a travellers site, won’t blight anyones home and at part of the beach that is little used.

    • It is not “little used”. In summer, there are local “regulars” who come almost every day. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that this is not a popular beach.

      • Your attitude is probably the biggest reason why I left Ramsgate. Who on Earth are you to demand that the town beach only be used for what YOU want there?

        It’s a shame because Ramsgate is actually a very beautiful place – you’d just never know it because of the miserable inhabitants.

      • It might get some use by a few people , but there is the rest of the beach they could use, overall its not used a great deal. Once on the open market it’ll be land banked by a developer and sit unused for years.

        • The wind-surfers I saw this summer surfed along beside the whole beach. This was at high tide, and they entered the water at the narrowest part of the beach, just in front of the tunnels. The safety not only swimmers but people on the beach, including families with small children. This was not the kite-surfing weekend, but ordinary summer weekdays.

  5. I was around when the original plans came out and labour refused why the U turn David
    and selling off the seafront to offshore leaks
    selling off to an estate agent who had no registry at companies house
    your reputation labour is sinking like the sand …and you need burying in it

  6. Whatever decision is made, please ensure there are sufficient parking spaces for those who will be wanting to use the facilities! All very well getting rid of a car not currently used a lot, but if the new idea generates the public uptake in the way wanted, then parking will also be required.

  7. The car park is ‘little used’ because it is ridiculously expensive. Also travelers caravans keep pitching up on it !!

  8. Investing in attractions and local business’s is essential if you want tourists and visitors to come to Ramsgate. You reap what you sow.

  9. This is not a cynical question, but a query: who pays with this sort of project (is it down to the landowner), and how would it be maintained, financially?

  10. The American Hedge Fund company Riveroak, are applying to re-open Manston Airport for use of Cargo planes only, 2 to 3 an hour, day and night! These aircraft will have to approach over Ramsgate Harbour at just 300 meters, descending over the town at 200 meters, and over Nethercourt at just 100 meters before landing! Imagine the effect this will have on the tourist industry alone with air pollution and eardrum busting screaming jets flying overhead at these heights! It will be goodbye Tourists, as no one would want to sit al fresco enjoying a meal anywhere near this devastation! Its your own fault for voting Tory, both Thanet MP’s are promoting this destruction of our town, and harbour!

  11. What a joke. This was not labour/cllr green’s idea AT ALL. This idea was laughed out the room when the plans/idea was put forward by my friend.
    Rebecca Hooper is right, your constant lies and underhand ways should be buried in the sand like always. Lets pretend alls well yet again eh! You all make me sick.

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