Plan to demolish workshop for new block of flats in Margate refused

The workshop unit on Clifton Street. Picture credit: Google Street View

Plans to flatten a workshop building to make way for a four-storey block of flats in Margate have been refused by Thanet District Council planners.

Applicant Barry Smith had wanted to construct the terraced block of 10 two-bed flats in Clifton Street, which is currently occupied by a commercial building.

The site is located opposite the former Clifton Arms pub, a Grade II listed building, which is now residential.

The workshop unit on Clifton Street. Picture credit: Google Street View

But Thanet District Council planning officers raised concerns over the “excessive” size of the proposed block and the “insufficient” garden space, meaning it would fail to provide a safe “doorstep” area for young children to play.

In the planning documents, officers also said the development would create an unacceptable degree of overlooking and subsequent loss of privacy to nearby properties.

They also pointed out concerns of overshadowing and loss of sunlight, as well as the “creation of a sense of enclosure”.

“The development is not well designed or in sympathy with its setting and does not achieve a sufficiently high standard of design to complement the architectural character of the area,” the planning team added.

The workshop unit on Clifton Street. Picture credit: Google Street View

No representations had been made by people in neighbouring properties in response to the plans, but the Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group submitted an objection.

The group said, if built, the flats would be over-development and built right up to the boundary.

“(It would be) more dense housing in an already very dense context,” the group said.

In its conclusion Thanet council’s planning team refused permission, saying: “Whilst the principle of the proposed development is generally acceptable, the height, scale and appearance of the properties result in a detrimental visual impact upon the character and appearance of the area, and setting of the listed building.

“Also (there would be) neighbour amenity issues, together with a poor standard of accommodation and amenity for future occupiers.”


  1. No mention of what provision was included in the plans for residential car parking? Granted not everyone owns a car but for those who do adequate parking is essential to maintain neighbourly harmony.

    • Exactly what I thought. Parking is already very limited in this area. This seems to be becoming a trend, building flats with no parking. Just change the building into one or two houses. Glad the council actually saw sense for a change.

  2. Allocated Off street parking is not required for that site, Cycle parking yes.

    Adjustments,attention to detail of the planning permission application will secure PP.

  3. Not one resident made a comment or objection, just shows the apathy in this part of Margate. Once it would have been built then the complaints would start. People need to be on the ball where planning is concerned as you cannot leave it to the planning officers to decide what is best for you. Luckily for them though the conservation group stepped in.

  4. The council only actually contacts VERY close neighbours and very few people will bother to read a yellow planning notice. Then of the few that are aware of the application how many will actually have an opinion and comment. Especiallywhen the council/ planners will take little notice anyway and justdo what they want anyway.
    As for this application the applicant went for a scheme they pretty well knew would be refused and will just scale it back a bit. As for lack of parking, the powers that be are just doing their social engineering and trying to show people don’t need cars, where as inreality it’ll mean more chaos in the local area as people lookfor somewhere to park.

  5. B4 building TDC should pull down some of the tatty building around the Island. But i get there’s a need for more house’s and a better road system.

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