Work is finally taking place at the former Pleasurama site in Ramsgate

Work underway at the former Pleasurama site Photo Frank Leppard

It is a sight many residents in Ramsgate thought they would never see but work is underway at the former Pleasurama site on the seafront which has lain derelict for some 22 years.

The plot has been empty since a fire in 1998 but following an advertisement on landowner Blueberry Homes’ website there appears to be progress on the development which is due to be a hotel, 100 one, two and three-bed apartments, new beachfront shops, leisure, retail outlets and a hotel and gym.

Last year significant control of the Ramsgate Development Company – which owns the freehold of the site-  was taken over by Thanet businessman Martin Rigden.

According to Companies House Mr Rigden, a director of Blueberry Developments, took control  on March 19, 2019.

Photo Dave Stillman

Blueberry Homes is responsible for high-end developments such as luxury apartments Ravello Broadstairs and Barletta Broadstairs.

A £3.4million charge on the site was paid in January this year – meaning the title to the land comes under the sole control of Mr Rigden. The two now-cleared debts were owed to Panama-based firm Mintal Group.

The Royal Sands project

Back in 2017 Thanet council said the Royal Sands scheme would employ up to 200 people while under development. Once completed, it is expected to provide long-term jobs in hospitality and retail as well as servicing the residential areas.

Crane at the site can be seen high above Victoria Parade

The Blueberry Homes website says ‘prices and launch date’ are ‘coming soon.’

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The company is also carrying out the development of 70 homes, alongside a relocated Aldi store, at the former gasworks site in Boundary Road and  48 new apartments on the former Transco site in Dane Road, Margate.

The long saga of the Pleasurama site

Pleasurama fire 1998

The former funfair site was destroyed by fire in May 1998, two years after then-owner Jimmy Godden took it over.

Originally planning permission was given to Mr Godden, now deceased, for a shopping centre on the land but, in 2001, when it became clear this was not going to materialise Thanet council bought the site by compulsory purchase.

In 2004 planning permission was granted for a 60-bed hotel, 107 residential apartments, leisure facilities and retail.

The deal was headed by development company SFP Venture UK but work never got underway.

In April 2013, Thanet council rejected a bid for SFP to buy the freehold of the site before project completion.

FP said it was unable to secure the necessary funds to complete the scheme under the existing development agreement.

In February 2014 cabinet members agreed to axe the development agreement with SFP, but were unable to reclaim the three 199-year leases for the site because they had no long stop date in the deal.

Talks with Cardy Construction to take over the project by buying out SFP were revealed in September 2014. Cardy Ramsgate Limited purchased 100% shares of SFP Ventures.

Contracts, which TDC say included a long-stop date, were signed with Cardy Ramsgate Ltd – an independent company created for the scheme – in March 2015. Cardy Construction went into administration the same month.

Cardy Ramsgate Ltd completed a £3.515 million payment to Thanet council for the site freehold  in July 2016.

Michael Stannard, then the sole director of Cardy Ramsgate Ltd, resigned his role on August 15, 2016.

The firm was renamed Ramsgate Development Company Ltd and the registered address changed from Essex to Cliff Street in Ramsgate,.

Documents on Companies House revealed two people with ‘significant control’ of the Ramsgate Development Company as Colin and Robbie Hill.  They are involved with the Panama-based  Mintal Group, which had the £3million charge on the seafront site.

Robbie Hill resigned the role in 2016. Colin Hill resigned on March 19 last year.

The last contract with Thanet council stated the project must be completed within three-and-a-half years, which would have implied a date of January 2020  if taken from contract completion.

A temporary funfair made an appearance at the site in 2018 and the same year a Pleasurama ‘piling’ took part in the Ramsgate carnival!

The Blueberry Homes website says ‘prices and launch date’ are ‘coming soon.’

The company is also carrying out the development of 70 homes, alongside a relocated Aldi store, at the former gasworks site in Boundary Road and  48 new apartments on the former Transco site in Dane Road, Margate.


    dunstana davies incorporated this company think you find the name in the fraud department ffs

  2. Now you tell me what the heck is going with allowing Blueberry developments of the same DUNSTANA DAVIES any rights to do anything to the sea front I will relay my information again to the FRAUD SQUAD AND TDC BETTER NOT ALLOW THIS FRAUDSTER ANYWHERE NEAR THE SEA FRONT




    why should we work to pay this load of criminals
    who operate money laundering scams ffs

    arrest them all tomorrow or you resign the lot of you

  4. kathy remember this where the hell is it and TDC went into partnership with Savills calling themselves EKO now I want all those accounts and none redacted and I will ask them because this is just not on
    if I committed a crime I would go to jail but councillors and officers and CEO think they are above their station
    decade after decade we pay for this shite and it is shitty period
    those who are guilty of not giving gas safety certicates to get a cut in a share need to be sent to trial the whole thing stinks of criminality but it is okay no it is not they are people and you played with their lives like you do every sodding day

    • Hi Rebecca is there any link between Grifo and the works here please. Will be looking through later.

  5. Will Blueberry Homes be widening Dane Road where it goes past the old transco gasworks site? It is a pinchpoint there and no development should go ahead on that site without the road being widened at the same time. There have been many accidents there over the years. Councillors should be bringing this up with planning as a matter of course so that this stipulation is added before being given consent.

  6. Rebecca I’m surprised you have any time to do “an honest days work” dear you sound too busy writing and working in the fraud department. At one time we could say he’s bent she’s bent I’m bent we are all bent. However you must not say those things now. If you do they will all make pretty flags and go on the march through the towns and cities chanting WE ARE BENT WE ARE BENT . Everyone will join in including the ice cream van man the street cleaners and police. It’s everywhere dear.

  7. I think it’s great that we are finally heading to a conclusion on this piece of land. Sometimes I think some people in Thanet would rather no progress would ever take place just so they have something to continually moan about.

    • Hugely expensive luxury apartments smack in the middle of Ramsgate’s Main Beach would not be considered by many to be “progress”

      • Does it matter what the price is? Surely there is a need for the relatively wealthy to bring some of their spending power to thanet, in the event the market decides they are too expensive the price will drop until they do. After having a derelict site and all the associated shenanigans seeing something happen is at least the beginning of a an end to the whole saga.

      • Would you honestly prefer the site to lay derelict for another decade? It’s certainly progress for me.

  8. Thanet Blind, I fully with you. Once Manston Airport Reopens and these very posh developments are completely built those seafront flats will be snapped up by the rich and famous knowing full well that they can fly in and out of Manston. It we be a huge boost to the whole of the southeast.its just the sort of thing we need to recover from Covid 19 and bring the economy bounce back.

    • The luxury flats at the Winterstoke end of the beach are, with one exception, empty.
      Figure it out: if you had £M to spend on a flat ir apartment, would it be the Riviera or Ramsgate?

    • I think we agree on Ramsgate seafront Ann but will have to agree to disagree on Manston I’m afraid – but in a polite and respectful way ?

    • Funny comment, the rich and famous bringing all their cash to Ramsgate because Manston will reopen! What will they do when they get here? There is a terrific marina which usually draws the ‘rich and famous’ as the culture around most popular marinas in Europe is more upmarket. We would have to do as they do in China, relocate a huge chunk of the population elsewhere so the ‘rich and famous’ feel safe and could move freely around Ramsgate and have designer outlets to spend their cash.

    • I can’t imagine why anyone would want to live next to an unstable chalk cliff on a seafront which is liable to flooding and where there would be strong north-easterly winds for much of the year. Being immediately under the flight path of a24/7 cargo hub airport would probably not be an attractive selling-pointeither.

  9. Rebecca, we don’t doubt what you are saying- I have been told many times since I moved to Ramsgate how corrupt TDC Councillors are. However it is not sufficient to just keep ranting about it. Firstly people who rant tend to sound unhinged -not that I am saying you are- and consequently are not taken seriously. To prove a crime is being committed you must have EVIDENCE of laws being broken but unfortunately (I guess) you do not have legal powers to investigate this matter. Perhaps you should gather all your information together and try presenting it to an investigative journalist? No one of any real importance will be reading your comments via this medium. On a more positive note; Ramsgate is a sad derelict town that is in desperate need of rejuvenation and that site is a blot on the landscape like so many others. If you can’t do anything to stop this then let’s at least hope that it improves the area.

  10. Andrew. I live on a private estate in Broadstairs. I also own a flat in Monaco the Equivalent to our council tax over there is £5,500 per month
    Hence one can rent it out at £7000 per month which is cheap compared to other rents. There will always be those who buy for investments.

    • A bit like Manston, but their investors certainly won’t be awaiting for an airport which won’t earn a penny for decades, they’re in it for the housing…..

      • I’m not 100% familiar with how property development companies carry out their strategic planning but would be a little surprised if they were going to build a whole seafront development if they didn’t think they would sell any flats in it.

        As someone else stated, the price will level out to what the market will pay. I for one couldn’t care less what they sell for. I won’t be buying one. I just want to see the site occupied with something other than overgrown mounds of earth and concrete pilings.

    • and you get nasty with people and allowed to live here shame on you Ann of nasty lets hit on people shall we the ones that tell the truth is your name Nan not ann cause you sound like Ann old granny who has nothing better to do than hit on people for no reason LOVE not HATE NAN

    • Ann,
      Please move to your place in Morocco, and embrace the culture and stop writing about matters that do not concern you or your private estate in Broadstairs!, I have stopped looking at this site for the past 2 weeks because you must be that bored, have no life and feel the need to comment on anything and everything yet keep going on about your wonderful private estate and the doomed Manston Airport, do you have shares with the crooks fronting this?

      More than happy to pay a one way ticket to Morocco for you so don’t have to read the rubbish you come out with, as we live in a democracy, you are fully entitled to your views, get that, but can’t read any more of your crap, so last time I go on this web page.

      Bored of Ann! (get a life), don’t waste your time replying as your opinion is so not going to make a difference to my life!, I also live on a private road and own a couple of places, your point? and will still leave this earth with nothing as do we all!

  11. What exactly is the point of Ann’s 10.45 posting? Does she think buying property as an investment is a good thing? If so why?

  12. Marva. If you can buy to rent and have good tenants yes is a good idea. For an income. However if you get bad tenants it’s a nightmare. I’ve had both.

  13. Dear Ann,
    will this be another gated community, if so can you please live in it and take Rebecca with you. I don’t think boasting about your wealth is any way to get people to agree with your point of view.
    Be honest, would you really buy somewhere that gets the full blast of the weather in the winter and has the possibility of cargo freighters flying less than a 1000ft above your roof.
    It does seem that Monaco’s gain is our loss. Do you advocate cargo flights over the principality or is that why you live in Broadstairs?

  14. Well it’s work in progress. When it’s finished and all occupied then we can say at last. But the photos of the model make it look like a concrete monster made to copy the warmer climate countries on the Mediterranean Sea. Only my opinion of them. I am sure that they will sell but not my cuppa of tea. Rebecca you have done a lot of work on here I find it a tad hard sometimes to keep up with your thoughts and comments but one thing for sure is in this type of venture there is always a slush fund and it is the dodgy ones who gain, never the people who are struggling to make ends meet. I am also tonight going to dissect your posts and see what is going on.

  15. When the site was being advertised as the “Royal Sands” development, if the 100 odd apartments offered, only about 10 had expressions of interest in them, and only two punters stumped up a deposit.
    I’m sure the builders know what they’re up to but I certainly wouldn’t like to live in an upper floor of a building resting on concrete piles reinforced with rusting salt encrusted rebar.

  16. one of the directors of Blueberry think it is more like raspberries they are blowing on us tax payers

    and Ann love no need to get rude and personal no wonder thanet suffers with mental health and I just tell the truth and not a liar Ann is that a criminal offence …

    I just got home Ann love and chilling out love and I am allowed to do what I like in my home Ann and if that means research criminals I will thanks


    shall I post the real truth Ann or do we live in a web of lies that the council officers past and present and future have been sworn to secrecy but sadly the secrecy has reached fever pitch and the FCA report that the links with the sea front and Ramsgate development are at hot serious fraud office but that is TDC and officers and councillors all sodding over

    If I commit a crime I go to jail and that is where all these people involved and it is massive I knew it was will be heading with a bit of luck I would swear but no my heart sinks this stinks and right now it is all being reported to the SFO


    it has serious fraud written all over it

    I would gladly cuff the lot of them

  19. What ever happened to the ‘Friends of Ramsgate Seafront’? I thought they were a protest group who opposed the building of flats on the site. According to several members there is a Covenant on the Pleasurama site which was allegedly stolen. Rebecca Hooper do you know anything about this so called ‘Covenant’?

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