Photos by Jamie Horton
Statements have been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate for an appeal against Thanet council’s refusal to grant planning permission for six homes at the fire ravaged former home of 60s and 70s wrestling star Jackie Pallo in Ramsgate.
A planning application submitted to Thanet council in March on behalf of Broadstairs based Montblanc Developments asked for permission to demolish the farmhouse and outbuilding and create four 4 bed and two 3 bed homes.
But a decision notice of refusal was published by Thanet council in August.
The application has gone to appeal and Thanet council published its statement to the planning inspectorate last week.
This states reason for refusal was a lack of a footpath link on the part of the Haine Road were the property is located. It states that with the road being partly unlit it would be dangerous for pedestrians/cyclists and motorists to use meaning future occupants would have to drive to reach amenities.
But planning consultant John Elvidge, on behalf of Mont Blanc, has pointed to the upcoming Manston Green development for 785 homes, a primary school, shop, community hall and public open space which will envelope all three sides of the appeal site, together with land on the opposite side of Haine Road.
The Manston Green development, (above) given outline permission in 2016, also has stipulations for contributions for a bus service from Haine Road to Westwood and the build of a new, strategic road to skirt the western perimeter of the wider site, which would enable the existing Haine Road to be downgraded for just the bus route, pedestrian and cycleways but not be open to through traffic.
The appeal says there is also a bridleway immediately to the south of the appeal site, which provides a pedestrian and cycle link to the village of Manston and the site is close to Manston tesco and other facilities.
The appeal also highlights Thanet council’s lack of a five year housing plan and slow housing delivery which has recently resulted in measures being put in place to ensure development is created at a faster pace.
The appeal says development would also tackle the current issue of flytipping at the site. It says: “The condition of the existing building, unkempt appearance of the land, and the detritus laying around, there can be no question that the site presently significantly detracts from the visual amenities and otherwise rural character of the area. In fact, the site was originally cleared in 2018, taking three persons, two days to fill a 40 yard skip with all of the waste material from the site, including five fridges.”
The appeal documents says benefits will include a modest contribution towards the supply of housing, economic benefit during the construction phase with additional employment created, a significant improvement to the visual amenities and rural character of the locality, through the tidying up of the current eyesore and its replacement with a well-designed, contemporary residential scheme and removal of a site which represents a fly-tipping attractant.
Ozengell Farmhouse, off Haine Road, had been put on the market for £225,000 in 2017, rising to £415,000 in 2018.
The site, set in extensive grounds, belonged to the famed wrestling star until his death, aged 80, from cancer in 2006.
His son, Jackie Jnr, and wife Trixie continued to live at the property. Trixie died in 2013.
The four-bed property was gutted by fire in March 2018, believed to have been deliberately set. Ramsgate and Margate crews were called to the site with 16 firefighters and four fire engines at the scene during the height of the blaze.
The site lays opposite the Grade II listed Ozengell Grange which dates back to 1711. The farmhouse is not listed.
Planning documents from Taylor Hare Architects say the farmhouse is in “poor condition, including water and severe fire damage, “ and “from external appearance it is advised that the building is beyond economic renovation and should be demolished.”
In reference to the site’s ‘celebrity’ status the architects say: “The communal value of the site is notably high for one of the previous owners was a local celebrity but with its current owners only having owned the site since 2018, any historical communal value for them would be insignificant as the major changes to the site occurred during the previous century.”
Seven public objections were lodged against the farmhouse demolition and site development. Concerns included the felling of trees at the site, congestion due to the busy Haine Road and subsidence due to underground caves and historic rubbish infill at the site.
The appeal process will include a site visit. A decision date is not yet known.