A plan to turn 1 Belgrave Rd, Margate -occupied by Dreamland Beds and Lobster Van hire – into commercial units and parking at ground floor and 10 apartments over three floors, including 2 penthouses, has been submitted to Thanet council.
Lee Evans Partnership LLP has been commissioned by site owner Belgrave Road Margate Ltd to submit the application for the “unashamedly modern” development which the architect says would “create a statement building.”
The prominent building dates from the 1920s and has been used as a commercial building for its entire lifespan. It is currently divided into two for use by Dreamland Beds and Lobster Van Hire.
Planning documents say: “This proposal is a mixed used scheme of commercial units and parking at ground floor and 10 apartments over three floors, including 2 penthouses.
“The site is located in the heart of Margate and offers an opportunity for a bold landmark building that celebrates the excitement of arrival and will create a statement in the town and act as a catalyst for further regeneration of this location.
“The design respects the existing building by retaining the façade but instead of echoing traditional language the design responds to the image of Margate today – vibrant, fun, aspirational and unique.
“Successful regeneration in Margate has been based on key buildings creating areas of enhancement and focus – this proposal aims to do just that in this location, by uplifting values and increasing desirability.
“Great sea views and high quality flats are the starting point – aspirational homes right in the town centre, creating a new high quality housing offer for Margate.”
The new commercial space will be a larger unit at approximately 100sqm and two smaller kiosk style units at approximately 20sqm each. The parking area at the rear will have room for 10 cars.
The apartments are six 2-bed and four 3-bed.
The documents state: “The existing bed shop and van hire building whilst not a heritage asset, has some architectural value; the brick and stone detailing of the building has some quality. It is also has evidential value to the development of this part of the town in the early 20th Century. A time when the boarding houses on Marine Gardens were being turned into shops and their rear gardens sold for development .
“Without doubt the proposal is a bold addition on the edge of the Conservation Area. It is unashamedly modern and of this time. The proposals do keep the external shell of the ground floor which maintains the evidence of the past history of the site There would be impact on the character of the Conservation Area but arguably it would be positive contribution.
“Visitors to the town tend to travel along the sea front but often have to wait by the traffic lights and mini roundabout where Marine Gardens the meets Belgrave Road. At the moment the view down Belgrave Road is largely a wide sweep of tarmac and of scruffy commercial buildings.
“The new proposal would be a landmark building for anyone travelling into the heart of Margate and arguably would be a positive and honest addition to the edge of the Conservation Area.
“The proposals are bold, honest and modern and would have some impact on the Conservation Area and adjacent Listed building but the construction of a Landmark Building on this site which re-uses an existing structure would arguably make a positive contribution as you enter the main Conservation Area.”
A decision on the application is yet to be made. Find it on Thanet council’s planning portal, reference F/TH/22/1057