A £30,000 contract is being offered to produce a feasibility study for the Westbrook Loggia building.
The building is currently in a poor state according to council documents when the site was listed for asset disposal in 2019. However, it is being used (pre-covid) by Thanet Lifeguard Club, the cafe concession and Your Leisure’s Bay Inspector.
The chosen contractor will produce a study looking at future options for the site and the cost of proposals.
According to the Architect’s Journal the project is to transform the Loggia into a food, retail or mixed-use venue with small scale self-catering accommodation and public toilets.
When the site was listed for asset disposal by Thanet council a stipulation of sale on the open market was for the purchaser to commit to building the new public toilets.
Those applying for the contract must have a company turnover of £60,000 or above. The deadline for applications is March 8 at 2pm. Work is due to take four months from March 22.
Several expressions of interest were previously lodged with Thanet council for taking over the building.
Thanet Lifeguard Club had come up with proposals and Mixed Martial Arts fighter Cameron Else had drawn up plans for Project Combat Westbrook which would have housed Fight the Demon HQ mental health charity, Hot Yoga, Mr Sport Nutrition Kitchen and Westbrook Water Sports.
The Project Combat scheme was also submitted for the Margate Town Deal scheme – bidding for £25 million of government cash – but did not make the shortlist despite local popularity.
However, the Project Combat team says discussions are now back on, posting to facebook to say: “We have everything in place and needed to get this project underway. We are is talks again with TDC, and look forward to making good progress.”
The contract brief says: “Thanet council has a Beach Management Plan which included an audit of 17 of the district’s beaches and bays. One of the recommendations from the Thanet Beach Management Plan was to look at options for Westbrook Bay, Margate and in particular the Westbrook Loggia.
“Since the publication of the Beach Management Plan, the Loggia has fallen into a poor state of repair and in 2019 the Loggia was approved for disposal.
“Alongside this plan, there is a new and updated Destination Management Framework which identifies the opportunity to improve the accommodation offer in Thanet and provide a wider range of beachfront activities and leisure services.
“The council wishes to see something that will enhance the bay and make optimum use of the footprint of the Loggia and its position in relation to access to the beach and its vista.”
In a Cabinet agenda for the asset disposal of the Loggia it says: “The building is in very poor condition requiring an estimated £700,000 to be spent over a term of five years to maintain and prevent further deterioration of the building.
“Rental received per annum of £9,900, however the lease has expired and therefore the income is not certain. All income is received on terms which mean that the council retains the liability for the majority of repairs and maintenance as well as capital works. It is recommended that property is disposed of on the open market with tenants in situ.
“The disposal of the site would yield a capital receipt for the council, reduce maintenance costs and liability and provide opportunities for external investment in the site to promote economic development.
“A clause will be included whereas the purchaser, in addition to the purchase price, will also build a new modern public toilet facility.”
Yet another building left to rot by TDC. They simply aren’t capable of managing any property in the interests of the local taxpayers.
Whoopee another pot of money for consultants.
Once again no actual investment or improvement.
Look forward to seeing another of those artists impressions on these pages soon.
i know – why dont we turn it into a an art gallery / centre we havent had one of those around here for a few weeks ? they could even name it after Roger Gale .
So if I have understood this correctly, TDC plans to spend £30,000 of taxpayers money for a private firm to come uo with suggestions of what now needs to be done with a building that has been allowed to fall into disrepair and already requires £700.000 worth of repairs to make it useable.
The building attracts a rental income of some £10,000 per annum and is to be sold on the open market.
It would be better used as a lunatic asylum to house those running the Council.
And which TDC member’s business friend will benefit from the £30,000 ?
TDC are supposed to be looking for ways to save limited funds. You wouldn’t think it going by this type of wasteful extravagance.
Rather than yet more consultants, seems more logical to sell the site at a very realistic price acknowledging the major refurbishment needed, with the proviso that toilets, a cafe and life board/warden services continue to be housed.
It was very sad to see no cafe provision for people enjoying the bay last Summer and it’s certainly a blot on the often forgotten Westbrook landscape. TDC should allow a local business to run the cafe this year as a much needed public service, for a peppercorn rent.