Couple win planning appeal to keep ‘beach-themed’ extension cladding on Ramsgate home

Doug and Sue

A Ramsgate couple who created ‘beach-themed’ blue and white cladding on their property extension have won their appeal against a Thanet council decision to reject planning permission.

Doug and Sue Brown have blue, white and grey striped cladding on the property in London Road, Ramsgate, which they say is “based upon a common seaside theme, stripey deckchairs, windbreaks and beach huts and invites visitors towards those attractions.

“The colours are complementary pastel shades and are only seen from relatively close quarters, a surprise in the street scene. The design cheers people up and forms a bit of local art for people’s enjoyment.”

But when the case went to Thanet council’s planning committee in April retrospective planning permission was refused with the council saying the cladding colour scheme must be removed.

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. One complaint was made to Thanet council against the altered design.

Planning officers said the cladding was: “visually intrusive, incongruous and discordant.”

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.

Former town planner Mr Brown and wife Sue lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate and have now been notified that this was successful.

The appeal inspector Nicola Davies said in her decision: “The property can be seen on the approach when travelling west to east along London Road. However, being on the inside of a bend in the London Road highway and given its set back from London Road, No51 with its extension is only visible in localised views from London Road. Given the single storey nature of the extension, I do not find that it is particularly intrusive or visually prominent in public views at its corner siting.

“I saw that other properties in the area have variety to their finishes with some incorporating coloured hanging tiles, render, composite or upvc cladding, stonework, black tile, amongst other materials. I accept that the striped cladding would be different to that of the finish of any other property in the area. However, given the mix of finishes in the locality the striped composite cladding does not appear as an overtly visually discordant feature in this location.”

The beach hut silhouette at the property, which Thanet council says requires planning permission, is a separate matter and was not considered as part of the appeal decision.

Doug and Sue have lived at their home for 33 years and say they intend to spend the rest of their lives there.

Doug said: “I hope the council will take note of the decision and allow people to bring a bit of life and colour to our lovely seaside town as it seems lacking in many of the larger new developments they are allowing.”


    • Yes. We can now all taet our houses up to look like anything we like.
      Pirate ships, Soanish Galleons, Men o’ War, mermaids, Neptune, Triton, the Kraken, sand castles, bouncy castles, fish, whales, lifeboat stations, fish processing plants, oil refineries, sewage pitfalls…. anything you like, as long as it’s vaguely related to the coast.

  1. Good. Glad to hear it was a success. Next thing I’d like to know is the cost of the council’s futile and petty minded attempts at opposing it in the first place.

    • It seems that this was a vendetta against Mr Brown by his former employers from the outset.

      The Planning Committee had to take the vote twice to ensure it got the result it wanted. It is no wonder that Mr Brown appealed the decision to the Inspector and it should come as no surprise that the appeal was upheld.

      Perhaps Mr Brown should now seek a wasted costs order ?

      • Why does this “seem like a vendetta from the outset”? The house hasn’t just been painted, it’s got large wooden (?) shapes attached to it, but more importantly, the owners “took a punt”, presumably thinking they’d get retrospective permission from the council.

        • Because the Planning Committee voted twice on the same issue on the same night. Somebody did not like the decision the first time around.

          Its a bit like all those who did not agree with Brexit demanding a second referendum !

    • That’s an absurd comment to make. Are you suggesting that a challenge is only legitimate if it’s successful? How much money was spent on challenging the relocation of the stroke centres? Was that wasted?
      Really, Cllr.

      • Phyllis – I commend your comment and view. I am afraid Mrs Constantine is rather like Mr Lewis in making silly ill thought out comments. Must come with their territory.

    • In an article about this house on Kent Online, the owner said he thought he’d”take a punt”and paint the stripes,etc, despite not having applied for permission.

      • Mr Brown did apply for and obtained consent in the first instance.

        All he did was add a different, third colour . . .

    • Common sense has eventually won out at TDC-when the story was printed here most of us thought it looked nice. These jobsworths need to concentrate on real eyesores & people doing crazy renovations/additions that blight those around them, not senior citizens trying to add some colour to life. Total waste of time & money.

    • Agreed.

      In this instance TDC took action against its own former planning officer following the receipt of one objection. In most other planning issues, TDC chooses to ignore a greater number of objections.

      This case stinks of malice or corruption or some other form of foul play by TDC.

  2. Looks great to me! a lot more pleasing to the eye than the monstrosity of the Turner building in Margate, that just looks like a Power Station gone wrong.

  3. Can we look forward to the officer who recommended original rejection having his salary docked to pay TDC cost of their incompetence?

  4. Well done, looks great to me, and the silhouette is a fantastic idea.

    Another defeat over the incompetent TDC (Thanet Dodgy Council).

  5. I dont particularly like it but its not offensive. What is worse is that they originally rejected it while having no problem with freeholders not maintaining the exterior of the precious listed buildings. The state of some of them.

    • One being the old vicarage in Northdown Road, Cliftonville. Grade 11 listed yet never maintained by the owner. Stone walls falling down, large chunks of stone missing from the house, cracks in the supporting bay window. It is a lovely building but falling apart and TDC are not bothered about that, yet they waste resources chasing people over a small area of cladding. They let developers walk all over with ugly, plain, basic looking cheaply made homes, destroying all the mature trees too.

    • Here here. Haven’t they got anything better to do. Same names always moaning. Full of their own self importance. Narcissist beyond a doubt !!

  6. I’ve commented on the TDC before and on this property , the house is his own how he wishes to maintain it is his perogative, after all he was the planning officer and obviously k own his stuff unlike the current officer who quite clearly hasn’t got a clue .If one person is allowed to dictate what is allowed then the descriptive noun of dictator comes to mind also where does planning permission come into colour of property in CLIFFS END we have a post office yeow bungalow not .y choice but I don’t live there, by the way .y property is blue and white almost Mediterranean? but that is my choice and I own my property .So a big thumbs up to the couple in London Road , and a double digit to the council official who wasted monies by going on with one miserable *it that didn’t like it .

  7. I wouldn’t say that deliberately doing something very different to the house from what he’d originally described in the planning application was “knowing his stuff”. And as I said earlier, the officer was correct to recommend refusal.

    I thought the Ramsgate Heritage Group had also objected.

  8. Typical – the planners want to pick over the detail of a modest and, frankly, largely insignificant issue with a ‘one man band’ yet roll over for chummy local builders and big developers who come forward with ‘grand designs’ wholly inappropriate to the proposed location.
    Seems to me that is the behaviour of a planning department that feels inadequate, unable to hack it with the big boys but tries to take it out on the small fry!
    Did you see the article in Thanet Extra by Prof Richard Scase – words to the effect that planning departments in Kent are weak because good people get a job in the commercial sector and the duffers end up at local authorities… TDC.

  9. For God’s sake! The government wants Thanet to have 17,000 new homes over the next few years, and there’s very little the local council can do to stop it. But that doesn’t mean that they are going to ignore other aspects of planning altogether.

  10. Whether people like it or not is both subjective and beside the point.The principle was that the homeowner had applied for and been granted planning permission for one thing and then had done something completely different. If everyone disregarded the conditions of their application where would we end up. The planning inspector has undermined the planning authority and sent a message that people can do what they like regardless.

  11. “Ruby Tuesday” is right. How is this house not in the public domain?People coming along London Road from the direction of Sandwich can see is, as can people going up the side road the striped wall faces.

    • Looks like you’re very much in the minority here. What you can do is close your eyes every time you go past on the bus then it won’t offend you so much.

  12. The council should spend more time and effort keeping our streets clean and safe. There is nothing wrong with this house. I know lots of people that say it cheers them up when they pass it. How about cleaning our streets. There’s the eysore!

  13. Brilliant news. Whilst I agree that planning processes are important. People are allowed to do far worse to their properties than this and some properties are in a terrible state. Those in an outrage and posting over and over in this thread and outraged at this “monstrosity” could use that (faux) outrage and use that energy for campaigning for the real eye sores round here.

    • What’s “faux” about thinking that somebody who altered the look of his house without planning permission should not have done so nor been allowed to do so by a planning inspector?

      • The faux is the amount of replies you have made on a thread about someone winning an application case. It’s clearly personal to you. If you go to successful tourist towns. Especially in the southwest you will find plenty of houses like this. It’s part of the attraction and people enjoy seeing things like this. It does no harm to anyone and actually brings a lot of people joy.

        Wishing this away is only bringing sadness. The only joy would be from causing misery.

        The world needs to embrace joy and not find joy in misery of others.

        People will travel to this area if more houses looked as good as this one.

        • When the house was first done I was initially taken aback but I soon grew to appreciate it and it is only cosmetic! Now I think it is perfect for a seaside house

        • Actually it is not at all “personal to me”.

          “Sadness”, “joy” and “misery” are surely exaggerations in this case.

  14. I am not sure people will travel here if more houses looked more seaside’y. Bit I get your point most other seaside towns have house similar to this.
    What would have been his time limit to change the cladding back to this if they had to go back to what was in the planning application.

    Do you need planning permission to change your old cladding ? Does it need to be up so many years after planning permission before you can change it.

    A few neighbours changed their cladding colours around me and I didnt see any planning notice stuck on a lamp post

    • Agreed art it won’t be the only reason but the overall look of many Devon and Cornwall towns is exactly that – seasidey. It’s appealing. The run down and grey look of most of Thanet just simply isn’t appealing for any but the beano and the old town hipsters. Moving into an age of holidaying at home.. on U.K. soil…. More houses like this certainly wouldn’t hurt the appeal of Thanet.

  15. Doug said: “I hope the council will take note of the decision and allow people to bring a bit of life and colour to our lovely seaside town as it seems lacking in many of the larger new developments they are allowing.”

    What, like the vibrant developments that went up around Thanet when he was in charge ?

  16. Doug Brown and Brian White did more work in planning after they retired including working on behalf of O’Regan’s to set up further polluting cement and industrial works at the Port. Tasteless, in considerate, mediocre men.

  17. Don’t like it that much but it’s not too bad & I think the planning department made the right decision in the end. If only they could / would savage the design & construction of most new homes which are boxes, little boxes, all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same.

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