‘Hotel apartments’ plan for Margate’s Hawley Square granted permission

15 & 16 Hawley Square (image google)

Approval  has been given to create holiday apartments at Grade II listed buildings next door to Margate’s Theatre Royal.

The plan is to make 15&16 Hawley Square –  currently laid out as office space and flats – into seven serviced ‘hotel apartments.’

The site is a 4 storey plus basement terrace building with a parking area at the rear. The property was built in the late 18th century in a Georgian style and was made grade II listed in 1973. It has been unoccupied since August 2017 and much of the original features have been altered over the years.

The approved proposal from MCUBE Ltd is to create the holiday apartments to: “help attract visitors to Margate and in turn assist with the uplift of the local economy.”

MCUBE will reinstate original features to front and create a rear roof terrace, provide three parking spaces, add balconies and transform the interior.

How the front could look Image London Fields Studios

Planning documents state the property will be run as a serviced apartment hotel, with flexible staying times. Guests can stay for long weekends, a week or even months with all services and bills included in the price.

The developer adds: “As part of the scheme’s sustainable drive, limited parking will be made available onsite for guests to park permanently. Spaces onsite can be used by guests to drop luggage off and for short stay. For longer stays, guests will be provided with car parking at a local car park.

“As the location of the building is within close vicinity to the rail station it is envisioned that the majority of guests will arrive by train. This mode of transport will also be recommended as the best form of transport to reach the serviced apartment hotel.”

A developer contribution of £1,768 is required as holiday accommodation means additional recreational pressure on the area.

How the rear could look Image London Fields Studios

The property is within the Margate Conservation Area. Hawley Square is a Georgian square created by Sir Henry Hawley in 1770, who owned the land. It was conceived as a pleasure ground where people paid a subscription to access the gardens.

The terraced houses surrounding the square may have begun construction in the 1780s and by the 1790s, the square was practically completed. The buildings are characteristically tall, a notable mark of status of the town and the number of visitors it attracted from the capital despite its distance from it. Their height also reflects an economic thinking: ‘tall buildings provided more rooms to rent out as lodgings and therefore more income for the owners’.

During its Georgian and Victorian heyday, many of the terraced buildings in the square were used as hotels, boarding houses and private schools, whilst others provided residences for gentry, new professional and mercantile classes.

15 Hawley Square (Methodist Ministers House) 1908 Image Margate Local History

In a heritage statement for the project, it says: “The proposed change of use is a direct reflection of the historical use for the building and those surrounding Hawley Square, in the context of Margate’s development as a popular seaside resort town.

“There are numerous historical sources that confirm that buildings in this square were developed and thrived thanks to their popularity as quality lodging houses for seasonal guests that would descend from London.

“Margate has in recent years regained popularity as a weekend and seasonal destination with visitors from the capital, and the offer of quality accommodation has the potential to attract more interest. The proposal wishes to capture the spirit of Margate and bring it back to life in an updated version for the new visitors that it will attract.”

The development was granted permission by Thanet council on June 13.

19 Comments

  1. With the constant uproar about airbnbs and the need for rental accommodation, I wonder how much these developers paid TDC to get their planning permission. Theatre Royal next door to that. Still closed
    Greedy bastards. Madeline Homer finally gone, the rest need to go to

    • £1,768 according to the article. As for rental property the government’s white paper for rental reform announced on thursday and the likely upcoming energy efficiency legislation will almost certainly result in some landlords selling up , whilst it may provide an opportunity for those able to buy,, those who are reliant on the private rented sector ( for whatever reason) are likely to have less choice, see rents rise and landlords require guarantors in a majority of cases.
      It may also encourage more landlords to move over to the airbnb style of letting as it avoids much of the proposed legislation and has tax advantages.

      • Yes indeed. Recent governments have screwed residential renting. If you can’t afford to buy, and are unable to rent with a housing association, the future is bleak.

        • The underlying plan would seemingly be for larger corporate built to rent operators to enter the market, ostensibly offering new , efficient, properties , the economies of scale they’d have meaning the new restrictions would have little effect on their bottom line, plus they’d have additional facilities and tenant support. All very well in areas where such companies can have many hundreds of units for well paid professionals , not sure how that model will translate in areas such as margate reliant on rentals being available at or around the Local Housing Allowance figure. ( there are those that will claim there are very few at that level, coming available that is true, but ignores the hundreds around thanet with existing tenancies at that level). The campaigning of generation rent and shelter are very likely to back fire very badly for those reliant on cheaper rents. The gove could reinstate the LHA to the 30th percentile but a quick look at rightmove shows that for a 2 bed that means uplifting to around 800 a month, which would massively distort rents for those not in reciept of help with their housing costs.
          But as it looks as thoug someone could move into one of my flats ( unknowingly to me) for 6 weeks whilst their house is being decorated , then give notice and leave at no cost to them, leaving me at a considerable loss. As a result my rents will be going up to cover this and other possible losses under the new proposals. Hardly good timing when it comes to the cost of living and stagnant wages/benefits. Going to be hard on some of my long standing tenants no matter how little i increase. ( for the record i have several tenants on rents below LHA, but they won’t be for long)

  2. Guests will have to use car parking elsewhere. Tdc councillors why did you not tell the public before you decided this fate.

    • The building has been empty for 5 years,cwas not fully utilised before that. In a time when housing prices have boomed it obviously means the building is a bit of an oddball. As for people knowing, the application would have been posted outside the building and could be viewed online and comments left. Not that given the councils approach to comments means much would happen , as evidenced at the Old British Legion, the ward councillor chose to meet with residents of Hawley Square but made no efforts to meet with residents that can see the building from their homes.

  3. Looking at the cars parked at the rear of the property in one of the photos I assume a crane will be used to park and extract the vehicles.

  4. ‘There are numerous historical sources that confirm that buildings in this square were developed and thrived thanks to their popularity as quality lodging houses for seasonal guests that would descend from London.’ Well that’s alright then!!
    Except … the population of London in 1800 was about the same as that of Winchester today. The population of Margate was tiny compared to today. What a pathetic attempt to justify taking property out of the residential sector. And just to add insult to injury, sorry, I mean ‘to show just how carefully they have considered the implications of this development’, the developers add ‘‘tall buildings provided more rooms to rent out as lodgings and therefore more income for the owners’.!!
    In some parts of Margate every second property appears to be an Airbnb. There are so many places to stay in this town. Almost nowhere to rent. It’s criminal.

  5. what about old forge ahead with cyril ( hoser ) no one wentions him nowadays ?, he would have fitted in well with this current shower

  6. I agree with others. Disgusting that we might attract tourists to the area. We should focus on the cheap bedsit formula that hawley square has had for years.

    We don’t want people bringing money to the area which creates better jobs.

    Ban tourist.

    We need borders to Thanet we can police. Local people only.

    Take back control.

    Thanet independence.

    Thanetxit

    • There are better locations for hotels, that are truly “within close vicinity to the rail station” (unlike Hawley Square)… I’d start with refurbishing The Nayland Rock Hotel with its stunning views.

      • As a hugely successful local author it’s brilliant you feel this way I look forward to you funding the project with your handsome book royalties

          • That was super positive. You should get out more and learn about human emotion. Are your “books” like your put downs…. Very repetitive? You are the one that’s constantly negative. Everything is dangerous. Everything is wrong.

            You are a typical project fear monger!

          • Well, within the past couple of days on here I’ve praised the forthcoming Railway Museum, Margate Queer Writers and the new Ramsgate Book Shop. Can’t see much encouragement from you on here.

      • Refurbing the Nayland; that’s a great idea. If the top 2 floors were done to a good standard they could command a premium rate.

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