Permission refused for ‘beach-themed’ extension cladding on Ramsgate home

The colourful property on the corner of London Road

A retrospective planning application for  ‘beach-themed’ coloured cladding on a property extension in Ramsgate has been refused.

The owners of the property in London Road, Sue Brown and husband Doug – who is a former Thanet council head of development – may now have to dismantle the cladding.

The application was discussed by councillors on Thanet’s planning committee tonight (April 14) who, by a narrow margin, backed the planning officer’s recommendation for refusal.

A report to councillors said: “The development, by virtue of the colour and finish of the cladding to the extension and front facade, exacerbated by the dwelling’s prominent corner position and location in the road results in a visually intrusive, incongruous and discordant form of development, which is architecturally unrelated to the application property, is detrimental to the character and appearance of the area, and contrary to Policy QD02 of the Thanet Local Plan.”

Planners say the design is ‘intrusive’

The approved extension was proposed to be white render with grey UPVC windows and doors but is now white, grey and blue stripes alongside a with a ‘beach hut’ style silhouette.

The application received 22 letters of support and one objection.

Mr Brown’s statement to the committee said: “I live on a main road at Ramsgate seafront, the Westcliff is a stone’s throw away. I want to promote the seaside town I love. There should be colour and vibrancy and we should embrace that.”

Councillors on the planning committee were torn by the application. Cllr Brenda Rogers was in support of the design, pointing out the many positive comments that had been made while Cllr Jill Bayford said the design was ‘pretty’ but had to be judged on planning standards.

A vote on the issue had to be taken twice. The first vote resulted in a tie of four backing the refusal and four against the officer’s advice while five members abstained.

A second vote resulted in six votes to refuse, four not supporting the recommendation and three abstentions.

It is understood Mr and Mrs Brown may appeal.


  1. I normally support TDC but this is bonkers, get focusing on the real work guys, you are better than this. This is a seaside town and clearly local residents aren’t affronted, the relevant officer advised appropriately – so why is the planning committee acting like judge and jury on something so stupid?

  2. I live near and I don’t see a problem with the cladding, it is not over the top and the colours are sensible and toned down and this is a seaside town which should give it a big thumbs up.

    • I pass this building often and like it’s cheery seaside theme that is totally in keeping with the image of a seaside town. Is this dispute due to some revenge issue directed at an ex-employee…something smells fishy about the council’s motives…

    • But some of us don’t. Some of us think it is – well, not pretty. Some of us think it would be better to plant climbers and disguise the brick walls, which the owners evidently dislike, with plants.

        • Plenty of things happen around the local are that are worse than this, with more complaints that the council says yes to thanks to backhanders. Planning department are a bunch of self serving plebs.

  3. So, the grey and blue monstrosity of a building up the road from this house is not detrimental to the area then! But it got planning permission!!

  4. Why don’t they get out of their little hovels and see the state of some houses in our streets and then condemn them. Surrey Road is a disgrace and have complained to TDC and Councillor Heather Keen. Again no response. Looking forward to the local elections

    • Have wander down edgar eoad, Julian court is in a terrible state as is Hatherley court (but as that is social housing is apparently immune from criticism)

  5. TDC shame on you all, and you want are votes. How can we trust any of you to do the right thing. My vote is to get rid of you all bloody useless, narrow minded idiots

  6. Is this how democracy at TDC now works ?

    If members don’t vote as required by the officers – they have to vote again . . .

    Two of the original abstentions were either nobbled or told to toe the line. Due to the flawed process, any appeal is likely to be upheld.

  7. Go ahead with your appeal. It will definitely pass the next time. You have the backing of practically all the local residents and it is TDC’s job to do what the residents reasonably want for their district.

    • That’s not the case. There is the Local Plan. It doesn’t matter how much enthusiasm is whipped up on social media, if the development doesn’t accord with the Local Plan it *must* be rejected, otherwise there would be no point in the Plan.

    • You are having a laugh, take a look at the shenanigans around the old british legion in margate, 60 odd objections ignored, local councillor chose to engage with her cronies in Hawley Squre but did’nt bother with those living in sight of the building. The interior ripped out and replacement totally out of keeping with the listed status of the building. No planning permission in first place , a bit of pape shuffling in respect of the building regs. All because its what Councillor Whitehead deemed necessary.

  8. Great news.
    We have planning regulations and codes and policies for very good reasons.
    You can’t have people doing whatever they want.
    I note that the reason for refusal was because the project was “contrary to Policy QD02 of the Thanet Local Plan.”
    That’s the Local Plan forced through by Tory and UKIP councillors.

    • It’s their house, they paid for it, not TDC, the council should focus on the state of Thanet not a property which really isn’t offensive. Gutters full of weeds, parks with overflowing bins etc. This Concil is a disgrace.

      • Absolutely agree – TDC should address the litter problems on our streets caused by lazy residents or sloppy collectors – there’s more rubbish left in Alma Road than at the tip. No pride unlike this homeowner!

  9. Well what a surprise! Try and spruce your place up and make it interesting forget it! Just watched the recorded broadcast of the planning meeting on this it was excruciating. The officers always know best? Well the jury is still out on that! Thanet Council is a joke and has been for years. I was warned about this Authority even before I moved here in 2006 but you always hope things will improve. Well it hasn’t.

    On another aspect 56 elected members! Could do the job with 36 at the most and sweep away the current senior management. Alternatively call in Max Caller who was called in by central Government to sort out issues in Tower Hamlets, Northamptonshire and Liverpool. Now that would be interesting to say the least!!

  10. I am guessing this is less about property aesthetics and more about Mr Brown’s relationship with his ex colleagues.

    Just a shot in the dark.

  11. Appeal? Not likely.
    This is why the Officer recommended the retrospective application be turned down:
    [Policy QD02]
    “Developments must
    1) Relate to the surrounding development, form and layout and strengthen links to the adjacent areas.
    2) Be well designed, respect and enhance the character of the area paying particular attention to context and identity of its location, scale, massing, rhythm, density, layout and use of materials appropriate to the locality. The development itself must be compatible with neighbouring buildings and spaces and be inclusive in its design for all users.”

  12. Drive past this house regularly & think it looks fabulous. Never fails to bring a smile 😀, so thank you. Good luck with the appeal 🤞🤞🤞

  13. Yet all these ridiculous modern developments that are certainly not in keeping with the area get planning permission? Ridiculous.

  14. I live nearby and see this property on my way back home from work. The properties decorative style is very welcoming to our area. Love the sea theme and think the design is absolutely brilliant and very much in keeping with our geographical location by the sea. TDC planners have no idea what they are up to, as is clearly evident by their decision to build not hundreds but thousands of homes on green field sites throughout Thanet.

  15. Why aren’t TDC Planning Officers onto the Bungalow right by St George’s Secondary School in Westwood Road. There has to be 7 or 8 cars some with wheels off on the drive AND the pavement obviously used as Garage Services with residential homes around it.. It is a real eyesore.

  16. I like it personally, but it should be allowed to stay as it it. And why do they refuse this but allow owners of other buildings to let the exteriors get run down? Like Dundee House, and some listed buildings look awful.

  17. Phyllis the only reason this stupid council has refused is because of colour nothing else, so all your quotes QD02 is useless as it does not cover colour, also as charity state’s house 3 doors up has same colour. So yet again TDC unfit for perpose

      • You’ve made it clear that you don’t like it, but your personal taste is immaterial here. The question is whether it is in breach of planning regulations. I would argue that there is no common vernacular on that particular road. There is a mish-mash of architecture and buildings from different periods with all manner of styles and finishes, including the new build with grey render and blue window frames and the house at the far end of the road with bright orange render. Would I stick beach hut cladding on my own house? Probably not. Do I think it has detrimental effect on the local area? No, I don’t.

    • The LP says “The development itself must be compatible with neighbouring buildings and spaces and be inclusive in its design for all users.”
      Obviously, the development isn’t compatible etc.

  18. Unbelievable TDC should be ashamed of themselves, the building is in no way an eyesore. In fact most of the local residents love it including myself love it. It brightens up any day, our town is all about the seaside, the seaside is 2 mins away from this house. How come it don’t fit in then ?. Madness.

  19. The work was done without planning permission and fell foul of Policy even though it looks funky and cool.
    If the Officers decision had been overturned then next door could go for purple and white and the house next to yours could be painted pink and blue, This is why we need planning polcy even if it isn’t always popular.

  20. Is there a problem with the structure of the extension and how it was built?
    Is the problem the colour? Presumably grey, white or blue would be fine, so is the problem stripes? Is it all stripes?
    Is the problem the beach hut shape cut out? Is that actually part of the extension? Is the problem the surf board, but again, is that part of the extension? If the planning permission is for the extension, then the hut and the board are surely a separate issue that the council can decide whether or not to pursue – should it be part of the permission discussions now?
    So what is wrong with the extension? Would you, for instance, intervene if a previously granted extension had later been painted with blue, grey and white stripes? If all you have is “but I don’t like it”, I hope you realise how stupid that sounds.

    • I don’t think”I don’t like it” sounds any more “stupid” than “I do like it”. Both points of view are equally valid. However, the reason permission has not been granted is that it contravenes the local plan.

  21. What would happen if you painted your house in awful colours or covered it in graffiti like so many of the public spaces. Petty and short sighted and typical of TDC’s lack of insight! The Turner Centre hardly fits with it’s surroundings but is held up as a shining example! I think this house is far nicer.

  22. Was okayed in white and grey, but blue is the only disagreement. So colour is the problem, so sad that people can be so narrow minded. Maybe the whole of Thanet should be beige, boring and a getto

  23. TDC won’t be happy until we are all living in identical boring houses, all built to the same shape and colour on designated mass estates. That way they know they have imposed there control over the people. God forbid you might want to be slightly individual in your decisions, that would never do flying in the face of TDC officers self imposed rules.
    Good luck with the appeal great to see someone doing something so interesting and yet tasteful.

  24. What a shame Mr Brown wasn’t as concerned about the community’s views when he 1;lied about the environmental permits necessary for Brett Aggregates’ unlicensed and unlawful activities which continue to blight this community’s environment and health. 2;then wrote to Brett Aggregates telling them they had all the permission they needed to install their unlawful batching plant operation. 3;then resurfaced acting as “agent” for the “O’Regan Group” scam to establish a filthy concrete block manufacturing and scrap timber processing operation on the Port of Ramsgate. The man is an liability to the welfare of this community, and should be exposed for the duplicitous liar he truly is. #truthwillout

  25. All they have done is change the colour of their house, from the original granted planning permission. I didn’t realise you need planning permission to do this. So WRONG.

  26. They must really have a grudge against Doug Brown. The cladding looks fine – it’s a mixed road. Compare this to them approving the demolition of a family home and garden on the Westcliff and replacing it with a monstrous 3 storey block of flats in dark slate and glass – totally not in keeping, totally ugly.

  27. I don’t like this one bit but am wondering what would have happened had they just painted all that surfer stuff on. Would that have been untouchable? Personally, I’m all for houses looking smart and sensible/stylish. It makes for neater streets and improvement overall, including house/area values and by default, the level of care people have for their area overall including litter dropping, dog poo etc etc. At least that’s how it ‘should’ be. Let loose in your own personal spaces of course.. there’s a joy to a row of houses looking traditional externally but entirely different inside and at the rear. As for all the comments regarding addressing run down buildings, is there such a thing as a penalty for buildings looking rubbish and run down other than for listed buildings? Don’t think so, so not sure why everyone is slinging mud on that point! At least make statements that are plausible! Agreed that Thanet would benefit from a massive pot of money that could be accessible to people – ie grants – who want or need to make improvements. Some of that could be achieved through energy efficiency grants perhaps. The external wall insulation? Double glazing? But it’s very much on owners and landlords to find out what they can get and you want to do something. A bit more incentive and info plus those Grants would be great. But where’s this money tree?

  28. TDC at its narrow minded parochial best, but of course rules are rules “and we have no authority here”
    I drive past every day and it makes me smile and lifts my spirits as i am sure it does for many others.
    It is not in your face as the colours are muted and lest we forget we live by the sea.

    • Should people who live in or near the countryside decorate their house exteriors in shades of green,with added tree shapes? What about people who live in industrialized places? People who live near large important railway stations? Or near airports?

  29. Ridiculous.

    TDC at its finest/worst.

    The absolute state of many buildings and houses and they are demanding brand new cladding be removed.


    And as for the small minded busy bodies that “disapprove” get yourself a job and a house and get the cladding you want. Keep your noses out.

    Cladding is not the same as a extension or building that should be scrutinised – if it had offensive logo or message I’d understand but this just stinks.

    Go to Hastings or Whitstable and plenty of properties have colourful schemes and it brings character. It’s not to everyones taste – but it’s not your house.

    I wouldn’t have it on my house but I love they have done this and there is nothing wrong with it.

    We must as a community say no to the TDC saying we can’t have the cladding we want. What next. Paving slab colour just coz Mrs Miggins from 98 doesn’t like – no way Pedro.

    Fight the power.

  30. Remove items not in line with permission granted then paint the whole house. Strips, Rainbow or flying pigs over walls and roof! I prefer a nice Nazi party flag. Generally speaking, you don’t need planning permission for exterior painting and decorating. You can paint the outside of most properties, outbuildings and fences without having to give notice or apply for permission. However, if your property is listed or on designated land, there are some additional rules that apply

  31. always such nasty comments about TDC fyi real people do these jobs with real lives. I think this article just goes to show TDC employees and EX employees aren’t above the registration, which is on the contrary to most of the local residents believe. I think this house does look really nice, however that doesn’t mean the next person who doesn’t comply with their plans will do a good job! And the comments about local maintenance of properties is not relevant. Maintenance and upkeep has nothing to do with planning permission. #thinkb4upost

  32. Why does he need planning for cladding?
    Maybe same effect with paint, I’m shore thats ok. We need colours and lovely properties for people to come and enjoy a walk around entertainment.
    Drawing foot fall will help everyone and this house will contribute.
    I’m not a fan but that’s not the point, an English mas home is hie Castle….

  33. I also think the property looks great,and reflects the seaside nature of the area. There’s far too many busy bodies these days, they should focus on things that really are a mess. Take a walk around the Wimpy estate, a tiny little plot given permission for a house, front gardens full of rubbish, or tatty caravans, or over sized motors homes, actually that could be anywhere on Thanet. This decision is a disgrace!

  34. I know the house. See it all the time. It’s just a bit… underwhelming. Certainly not offensive. Not many in the comments have picked up in the fact that the owner is former head of development at TDC. Is that the sound of axes grinding I hear?


  36. I don’t care what the house looks like, truly. The issue, it seems, is that it has deviated wildly from the original planning application. As much as I think TDC make dreadful decisions almost universally, refusing this is not one of them. If they now approved this, it would set a precedent, allowing other people to do what the hell they like. I don’t really want that as a resident.

    Footnote: I think the house looks OK. Clearly well kept and well loved. Not to my taste and, in my opinion, a little tacky. But were I a neighbour, I’d never have objected, had the original planning application shown this and been adhered to.

  37. We are a coastal town along with broadstairs Margate sandwich etc we have beach huts all round the beaches and promote our Harbours boats and the local sea food!! A house with the them of the coast and colours is blending in more than all the modern buildings that are going up right next to Listed Property’s !! I heard one person complained but everyone else around had no problem!! The only reason they had to say know is It was not on the plans and if they give it to one they would have to give to all !! The only one that is in the wrong is the one that started it the one that complained!! And there probably a lonely person with nothing better to do than moan!! I think it’s a shame it’s got to go!!

  38. The first person who complained is certainly not “in the wrong”. He was perfectly within his rights to object to it. People living nowhere near it were also within their rights to express their support or to object.

  39. There’s an interesting article about this case on “Kent Online” , where you can -not just comment, but show what you think of a comment without the bother of writing anything.

  40. With all the rundown mismatched buildings in ramsgate, this house is great. Councillors stop wasting your time and concentrate on more important issues.

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