Surface collapse at Lido site leaves gaping hole by sea-facing wall

Barriers are due to be put around the collapse area Photo Rob Yates

A huge hole has appeared in the pavement area at the Cliftonville Lido car park.

The surface has collapsed at the area closest to the sea facing wall along from the Cliff Bar building. Members of the public are asked to keep their distance for safety reasons.

The car park was owned by private firm Stour Side Investments which bought the site in 2014 but is now in extended administration under Duff & Phelps. Parking is operated by Parking Eye.

Photo Rob Yates

Last year members of Save the Lido were clearing debris from the complex with the aim of regenerating it. Laser mapping of the area was completed by Thanet council and £44,000  was secured from the Coastal Revival Fund for a feasibility study.

The group is aware of the hole although they currently do not have access to the site. A spokesperson is requesting people do not approach the area, saying: “It is a major safety issue. The last thing we want is anyone getting badly hurt.”

The owners have been notified.

Photo Rob Yates

The collapse happened early this morning. It is thought poor drainage and years of neglect are contributory factors. No-one was on the site at the time.

The hole has also been reported to Thanet council and a team has installed barriers at the area.

Photo Frank Leppard

A council spokesperson said: “The Lido Car Park is privately owned, however, the council’s Building Control team will be installing barriers in the car park and on the coastal path to ensure the safety of the public, and will be liaising with the owners.”

In 2014, Stour Side Developments and Stour Side Investments acquired  two plots at the Lido, including the car park, for £699,999. The purpose of the buy was to develop  residential apartments or re-sell after having secured planning permission but no progress was ever made.

Photo Frank Leppard

The third Lido site, of the snooker club, was bought by Lido Streetview Limited – run by long-time Lido manager Neville Borck and Martyn Buckley – for £100,000 in February 2017.

Photo Frank Leppard

Andreev and Eley mooted a sealife proposal for the site but this never came to fruition. An attempt to sell at auction also fell flat with the property being withdrawn.

Administrators Duff & Phelps were brought in during July 2017 after concerns over business irregularities were highlighted.


    • Indeed. It is all very sad.

      Unfortunately we no longer attract holiday makers – only refugees. So the tide has turned and all these unused or underused places now need to be bulldozed and turned into housing.

      • Are you joking? Tourism is a huge part of Thanet’s economy, it grows every year. Build it and and they will come, just look at the positive impact the Turner gallery has had on the area. The overseas occupants of Cliftonville West aren’t and should not be a reflection of the overall area. If anything, they help contribute towards its diversity.

    • Plenty of money for the Turder Centre, Dreamland & all the other ‘art’ luvvies over the last decade of course. No money to protect what was once an asset & to protect the public from broken limbs or even possibly death if it should collapse under them-but no shortage of from thousands to millions for people to doodle & throw paint at a piece of paper & then hang it on a wall, or have some bits of plastic sticking out of a wall-or other such nonsense, or funding a failing theme park losing millions every year, that is owned by a bunch of mega rich, hedge fund tax cheats in the Caymans.

  1. Yes Tony that’s be Thanet’s answer to Heritage neglected wait for it to burn down or collapse and if that don’t work bulldoze it. There should be a group called “Heritage keepers” to stop wanton destruction and neglect of places of interest I think the orb pub was the latest to be knocked down to be replaced by a new build slum.

    • I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to be rude and negative about new buildings. Calling somewhere a slum- have these flats been completed yet, is anyone living in them?- has Bill got a good reason for doing so?

  2. Marva, yes I am angry the Orb was knocked down I used to pop in there very regular and met friends in there and know that there was an attempt to buy it but that was turned down so the vandals at TDC gave planning permission to developers to knock down an historic building to be replaced by slum slum slum slum and slum.

    • The vandals, if any, are the developers. If they submit a legitimate planning application, then the council can’t legally refuse it.
      What’s the point in hanging on to a closed pub building, just because you used to go drinking there?

      • Indeed Phyllis and is it not privately owned? Maybe a compulsory purchase order is the building is a public danger!

  3. Phyills, it would not have closed had we been able to buy the pub and turn it into a pub and restaurant. It would have been extended with restaurant and staff accommodation and larger car park. I know about these things I have my fingers in many pies, variety is the spice of life. I like to buy empty pubs / shops / land / houses. Fit the shops out as say an hairdressers or what ever employ a manager on a 50 / 50 agreement half for me half for them and turn an empty buildings in to a profitable business, it’s great fun most of the time.

  4. we all know certain people are getting very rich with these developments , and then they will just vanish into the mist with all the money they have made from concreting over thanet. just stop and think about it , you only have to look around – and no i am not naming names i cannot afford the legal costs .

  5. Such a shame. It used to be so lovely there in the 80s and 90s when Tony Savage and (later) Jimmy Locke used to entertain us all.

  6. Tony Savage ! That name Peter is a real blast from the past . I remember fondly him playing his Hammond and Farfisa organ down at the Lido with row after row. of holiday makers sitting in their deckchairs listening to him .
    He really was the sound and spirit of The Lido in its heyday !
    I remember also when there used to be beauty competitions at The Lido which Tony Savage compered in the 70’s & early 80’s when people weren’t offended by them like they are now. .
    How they seemed to be such happy innocent times ….
    How about your next book being about those Peter ? Lol

        • My book even includes photos of GG! I first and foremost write books that I would want to read, and I wouldn’t want anything that censors how the show was at the time.

          • Peter, What period of TOTP’’s are you covering , and will it feature Glam Rock ?
            Maybe Glam Rock needs a book of its own !
            I think you would sell many copies if you featured Bowie, Roxy Music ,Cockney Rebel ,Sparks ….
            All appeared with memorable performances on TOTP .
            Btw. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the theatre 🎭 that used to be at The Lido where people like Norman Wisdom the heyday 70’s along with many other top showbiz names .
            I remember as a kid getting 60’s / 70’s comedy actor Hugh Lloyd’s autograph outside the Lido theatre and how pleasant and chuffed he was that should ask for his autograph .
            Those were the good old days before selfies and celebrities who won’t give an autograph.
            Not mentioning Ringo Starr. and more recently Paul McCartney .
            I don’t mind because I’ve got McCartney’s autograph twice already ! Ha ha ha .

      • I see that following my earlier comments here this week about the beauty competitions held at the Lido back in its heyday that the Daily Mail have picked up on these comments this week when they reported about this recent collapse at the Lido and they’ve put several photos up online including participants in the Miss Lido and Best leg competitions.
        They’ve also written some interesting historical things about The Lido and who designed it etc and that in 2008 it was a listed building.
        If that’s true how come it’s been allowed to get into such disrepair ?

        • Certainly true about the listed status, and the year would be about right (I worked at The WG 2007-2011, and I recall both buildings being listed around the same time). Unfortunately, giving a building listed status doesn’t automatically give it funding.

  7. The lido should be the second jewel in margates crown after the wintergardens , with Dreamland ( in its current guise) being the third, the turner and harbour being a distant ( but important ) fourth,between them they would give a superb spread of attractions on margates seafront. But instead 2 of them have been allowed to decay to the point of near no return , most certainly so in the Lidos case and the wintergardens probably only 10 years behind.
    The Lido is now fit for nothing more than redevelopment as flats and much as it’ll be bemoaned and resisted by TDC there’s really no other viable alternative in the absence of someone with massively deep pockets and inspired vision and there’s unlikely to be anyone willing to throw the money needed at the Lido to return it to its former glory.

    • Agree totally.

      By the way, what on earth has happened to the so called “Old Town”? 5 or so years ago it was almost living up to its hype, but I was saddened by the amount of closed and derelict looking shops (including that old fashioned cafe in the middle), with the Old Kent Market also having around half its shops empty. I know there has been in a pandemic, but take a stroll through Birchington or Broadstairs High Streets and there are still very few empty shops. Time for a Plan B perhaps?

      • Possibly a tad presumptuous but like yourself i’ve found the old town lacking, all fine and dandy on a saturday but on a sunday everything shuts at 3pm as the arty london types want to be home by 6. Margate should be a “kiss me quick” pier type destination for the masses ( some of whom may well be be art oriented and have their own destinations) theatre royal, winter gardens, lido, and dreamland are the jewels margate could use to become a second Brighton , art can most certainly be an additional and substantial part of that, but not the “be and end all”.
        The area has lots to offer , but seems to neglect the sandy beach, harbour arm etc in favour of the new religion “art” . A bit of balance is needed.

        • I don’t think most of them know how to run a business, regardless of how good or bad their product is. Hardly any of them give any indication of opening hours, and of the few I visited yesterday, not one of them gave a friendly “Hello” or even acknowledged my presence. Things only improved when I grabbed a couple of book bargains from the charity shop in the old bank (run by a friendly chap with a very broad Northern accent), followed by a meal in the always excellent and welcoming Cafe G.

  8. It saddens me how Margate and Cliftonville have deteriorated over the decades. Moved here in 1959 after holidays here. Lovely place with so many attractions. Even worked at Dreamland and also the Cameo and Plaza my youth. I’ve seen the deterioration of Margate as a holiday destination. The old Hippodrome demolished, albeit it needed renovating, by the monstrosity of the law court/council offices and library. The through road got rid of the interesting little alley ways and shops and so on. We lived in Cliftonville initially but moved to Charlotte Square. All the lovely old hotels vanished replaced by blocks of flats. Dreamland ruined for years and so on. Lido closed it’s sea bathing pool gone. I use to swim there. Then we lost the Jetty in the storm which I’m sure with investment could have been rebuilt. Need I go on. Then in later years that horrible monstrosity of the Turner centre or should we call it the Factory centre as it looks like one. OK these things take money to restore etc but I’m sure it could be done with planning and appeal to big companies in return for publicity etc. There are still nice parts of Margate and Cliftonville but not much for day trippers and holiday makers now. I understand progress but not the ruination of our once lovely and lively town. I’m 73 now and still live in Margate near the hospital but never go down to Margate town now. Just disappointed how it’s all deteriorated.

  9. Peter when was the last time you visited the old town all the shops there are now fully occupied has been for a few years the old town tea bar is a waiting TDC to decide. At the lower end of the high street there is only five empty shops including Primark and the former Marks and Spencers building. Then top end of high street only five empty two are currently getting ready to open the centre behind TDC offices are fully occupied I would like you to take a look at what’s going on in this part of Margate.

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