Plans to develop Belgrave Road site into ‘bold landmark’ building recommended for refusal

Original design Image Lee Evans Partnership

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, is being recommended for refusal by Thanet council officers.

Lee Evans Partnership LLP was 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.”

Image Lee Evans Partnership

The proposal is for  new commercial space with a larger unit at approximately 100sqm and two smaller kiosk style  units at approximately 20sqm each. A parking area at the rear with room for 10 cars and apartments with six 2-bed and four 3-bed.

However, Thanet council’s planning committee is being advised to reject the application when it is considered on February 15 on grounds including its: “incongruous and dominant form of development that competes with and detracts from the significance of the listed buildings,” direct overlooking and the applicant’s failure to enter into a legal agreement for developer contributions.

Six letters of objection have been lodged with the council and one of support.

Thanet council’s conservation officer says the proposed conversion is: “too large for its setting and incongruous within the conservation environment.”

She adds: “A design of a more industrial influence would have better suited the constraints of the site, appearing not out of place against the listed terrace nor within its setting of the general conservation area whilst reflecting its past function.

“I am not against the development of this building as it has been established from the start, however it does need to be sympathetic given its important historical surroundings.”

The application has been called in to committee by Cllr Reece Pugh.

If the application is approved Kent County Council will ask for developer contributions of:

Secondary education contribution £12940 towards a new Thanet Secondary School or additional places and the secondary land contribution £3777.80 towards the new Thanet Secondary School land acquisition cost.

The community learning contribution of £164.20 at the Margate Adult Education centre, £655 towards additional resources for the Thanet Youth Service,

£554.50 for additional book stock and resources at Margate Library

Social care contributions would be £1468.80 towards specialist care accommodation, assistive technology systems and equipment to adapt homes, adapting community facilities, sensory facilities, and Changing Places within the local area.

A contribution of £554.70 is also requested towards improvements at Margate Waste Recycling Centre.


  1. Yeah, in fairness, the upper levels of the proposed development are pretty darned ugly, which is a particular shame because the original building has the potential, if sympathetically restored, to look very nice indeed.

    • Large developments these days have to contribute to lots of things Councils used to be able to fund before Central Government axed grants.

      Many Councils have lost 30% or higher of their annual budgets due to loss of Grants, funny though we don’t pay less tax, Central Gov keeps the money and still national debt goes up and services decrease. Funny ol’ world innit!

      • Yes, and a good reason why all those large developments get passed no matter what objections there are to them. Having to rely on developers to pay towards books for schools, etc is just wrong. This Country has gone to the dogs !

  2. This is the problem with architects. In their quest to leave a legacy of innovative buildings they end up creating monstrosities like this one.

  3. A chance to clean up this part of town and the council are going to refuse planning,
    The back hander not bigger?

  4. Why should a developer of housing ,pay kcc,money for education,etc,that’s KCC,s job ,how much have the people building thousands of houses ,flats at Westwood cross given ,it seems one rule for big companies and a different for a small company,Brown have needed here for sure

    • Why don’t you ask them, you’ll be amazed how much they’ve paid into these funds, every large scale developer does, it’s how services can be partially maintained by Councils since Central Government axed Grants and kept our tax whilst increasing national debt and decreasing services.

      • Its different paying for a roundabout,or road widening ,changing road lay outs ,etc, but education library books

  5. I put and checked twice that it should read, bags, before I pressed the button,and twice it changed to have

  6. It doesn’t look any worse than the old Kent Hotel, now the Flamingo amusement arcade. How that awful front was allowed to be put over the old balcony railings I don’t know..

  7. A friend of mine built 6 bungalows in herne Bay a few years back. He handed over to Canterbury Council 68 k for them to spend how they wish on libraries ect .There big developers my hand over millions to local authorities.

  8. i believe for big out of town new superstores and the like, the developer may pay the cost or contribute to, say, a new changing room for a local sportsground etc etc

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