Thanet District Council has appointed Alan Baxter Ltd, a leading design and conservation consultancy, to complete an appraisal of the conservation area in Ramsgate.
The project has been funded with a £30,000 grant from Historic England as a key part of the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone scheme.
The first Ramsgate conservation area was designated in 1970, with 2020 marking its 50th anniversary. It is the largest conservation area in Thanet and is designated by the council because of its distinctive character. It covers most of the town centre, from the listed buildings near the top of the High Street down to the Royal harbour, and spans west to include Pugin’s The Grange and east to the Pulhamite-bordered Winterstoke Gardens.
The Heritage Action Zone project to review Ramsgate’s conservation area began in 2018 when community volunteers, including members of the Ramsgate Heritage and Design Forum and the Ramsgate Society, worked with Historic England to assess different parts of the town.
Data collated during this volunteer exercise will be reviewed by Alan Baxter Ltd, which will produce a final document with recommendations, ahead of a public consultation this summer.
The appraisal will set out the special historic and architectural significance of Ramsgate’s conservation area, and proposals for its future management. It will outline positive areas and those suitable for change and will be used together with other planning policy documents to inform decisions on future development.
The public consultation exercise will allow residents to have their say on the draft documentation which will be used to guide planning application decisions. Thanet District Council intends to adopt the conservation area appraisal following the consultation.
Alan Baxter Ltd is preparing an owners’ guide, which will be available on the Thanet District Council website, for people living and working in the conservation area. The guide will explain what the conservation area protections cover and provide practical advice, including best practice for adapting buildings for climate change and to reduce carbon emissions.
Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet Member for Estates and Economic Development at Thanet District Council, said: “I am very pleased to see this work taking place which will shape the future management of Ramsgate’s heritage within the conservation area for years to come and will help to inform future conservation area appraisals in the district.
“I hope to see as many local residents as possible engaging with the public consultation process this summer. Your feedback will help us further refine the document and inform our understanding of the area, what makes it special, its challenges and opportunities.”
John Willans, consultant at Alan Baxter added: “We are delighted to be working with Thanet District Council to produce an Appraisal and Owners’ Guidance that will help manage change in one of the UK’s finest conservation areas. Ramsgate is of immense architectural and historical significance and every street reveals a different aspect of the town’s remarkable story.
“The passion and engagement of local residents with their heritage is abundantly clear – they know the town better than anyone, and the volunteer input has been an invaluable resource. These documents will be very practical tools for residents, council officers and applicants alike, designed to offer constructive support for building conservation and sustainable urban renewal.
“In collaboration with leading specialists Prewitt Bizley Architects, they will also include advice for adapting buildings for climate change and to reduce carbon emissions, advice that we hope will become a model for local authorities and communities all over the country as we start to gear up for a zero carbon future.”
Emily Gee, Regional Director for London and the South East at Historic England, said: “Taking a fresh look at Ramsgate’s conservation area is a major part of the Heritage Action Zone scheme. The final appraisal will be a really useful tool for making the most of Ramsgate’s rich architectural legacy so that it works for everyone now and in the future.”
Will the conservation area be extended to include the grade 2 buildings within King George VI Park. This park is within the boundaries of Ramsgate, but the buildings within have not been correctly listed by Historic England. This is an opportunity to correct snd include this srea of Ramsgates rich heritage
Taken at face value, that sounds remarkable and excellent!
To keep our town looking nice and make it special all of the town should be kept clean and all owner of properties should HAVE TO remove graffiti off their property and the council doing the same. Dirty streets and graffiti are the things that make the place look rundown. The wall above Mr Chips on the Margate Road would be a good place to start. Makes me mad every time I drive past it.
Bill, I completely agree, but should it come down to a business to remove the graffiti or local council?
Lastly, I noticed new graffiti on the corner of rodney street, junction of Addington street (the house with black bars on the windows and doors), should that resident remove it also, considering it’s half on the road, half on the house?
This story is a little off beam. Yes, Historic England are commissioning work from Alan Baxter Ltd,but this is to complete work that H.E had started months ago. The bonus is the guide for owners which will help in managing conservation areas in general, not just Ramsgate.
TDC are working with Alan Baxter Ltd, because they are the body who is charged with managing conservation areas in Thanet.
This guide should be widely distributed because it is of benefit nationwide.
I cannot comment about KG6 park, but all the listed buildings in Ramsgate were reviewed and H.E.did consult widely.
A lot of the footwork was done by volunteers who produced the data for the consultants.Not only does Ramsgate have a rich heritage, it has also has some very committed volunteers.
Conservation areas may contain listed buildings, but the two matters may not be inclusive.You can have a conservation area, without listed buildings, and listed buildings can exist outside of conservation areas.
Consulting the Historic England website, the following entry is inaccurate as there are 3 properties at this location “EnTR 36 NE 1/233 RAMSGATE KING GEORGE VI MEMORIAL PARK Nos. 1 and 2 and wall”. Additionally there is much more thst has not been picked up in the previous updating of Historic England data in this area.
Is this to be just one more payment to ‘consultants’ to tell us what one glance at the Clock House, Winterstoke or West Cliff Hall makes starkly clear? That without capital investment and a council that cares about Ramsgate we will continue to see our public heritage rot and decay. All the current signs of regeneration seem to be coming from private investment that is reviving or renewing our housing stock but bypassing the wonderful public buildings that once graced the town.
This is very welcome news as TDC and conservation just do not go together. How any buildings owned by TDC are falling to bits and they refuse to carry out even the most basic repairs.
If any more public money is eventually to be doled out to building owners , perhaps future grant contracts should include an ongoing duty to maintain properties , you only need to look at the state of many buildings along wellington crescent to see that the large sums spent in the late 90’s is largely wasted , many odd the recipient buildings having had little if any maintenance since.
Makes not an iota of difference living in a conservation area in Thanet. Grade ll listed buildings are allowed to fall apart with no maintenance scheduled by the owners. Alterations made without planning applications and TDC not enforcing the regulations. Trees felled and pollarded without any comeback at all. It’s as if TDC are not doing any work to protect our heritage. It’s a well known failure and developers dream ! Pity TDC cannot look at neighbouring authorities to see how it’s done properly.
Given TDC’s collusion in respect of the works undertaken at the Old british legion in margate , they can hardly be seen to give others a hard time. Then there was the old cast iron urinal by Dane park, boarded up and left to rot until council sold it off, the clock/museum building in ramsgate harbour where the buck was passed to another group conveniently letting tdc off the hook ,sure there must be more examples
There is no conservation in Ramsgate. There has been, in the last few years
acres and acres of plastic windows installed. This is ruination, and it is too late to come back from this. Who will uninstall these things?
It looked as if, briefly, that Ramsgate might have been consideratively restored – it didn’t happen. Harbour Street, Plains of Waterloo, why would these lovely streets be worth a look now? And so many, many more.
Conservation and enforcement notions are a fantasy. What a tragic waste it all is. It should have been so different. More money is required for more ruination? I don’t think so.
The Ramsgate Society and Ramsgate Heritage and Design Forum are pleased that after a years delay, this report is to be completed. However can I endorse the point made by Cllr Tony Uden and his comment about the need for regeneration rather than more reports, however interesting and informative these are likely to be. The restoration of the Clock House in the Royal Harbour and of the Festival Fountain in Victoria Parade are blindingly obvious projects that with support from TDC could go ahead straight away. Until TDC embrace wholeheartedly the need to maintain and regenerate Ramsgate’s remarkable heritage and start supporting local community groups who actually leading the way on much of this work, then its always going to be a constant struggle. By the way the press release refers to the consultants producing an “Owners Guide” as an outcome of the project, but The Society did this last year based on a previous Historic England prototype for another Conservation Area. This was distributed to over 4000 households in Ramsgate a year ago and is available on the Ramsgate Society website .
The Ramsgate Society
Ramsgate is a jewel in the crown of the Kent coast and has so very many wonderful assets worthy of protection and investment.
I simply fail to understand why TDC is either ignoring our historic assets, letting them rot or flogging them off. How does this happen, and why is it allowed to happen? I agree entirely, we don’t need more reports or assessments or surveys. What we need to do is stop the rot.
Perhaps Rick Everett could help us understand? My heart squeezes when I think of our beautiful town, with an outstanding volunteer community, passionate and knowledgeable folk and here we are day after day, litter picking our own streets, picking up other people’s dog turds and looking at the Clock House closed up and falling down. Dying for a pee and braving the shocking old public bogs if they are open.
It can’t be right. Can it?
Ramsgate is an astonishing place, it needs championing.