Council officers recommend refusal for toned down flats and commercial units proposal for Belgrave Road

Amended design for the Belgrave Road building Image Lee Evans Partnership

Developers who 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 have toned down the design but council officers are still recommending refusal.

At a council planning meeting last month the proposal was sent back to the drawing board after members were divided over the bright orange cladding and ‘The fun starts here’ sign on the roof.

Original proposal Lee Evans Partnership

Councillors Steve Albon and Becky Wing branded the proposed  elevation at the rear of the building as ‘barking mad’ with Cllr Wing saying she didn’t understand why the rooftop sign was included but also supported large parts of the development..

Lee Evans Partnership LLP was commissioned by site owner  Belgrave Road Margate Ltd to submit the application for the “unashamedly modern” development

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.

The proposal is for a mixed used scheme of three commercial units and parking at ground floor and 10 apartments over three floors, including 2 penthouses.

Officers said there were concerns regarding the height of the building, design of the rear elevation, proposed materials and signage, and overlooking resulting from the development, and the provision of developer contributions.

There was support for the development from members including Cllr Reece Pugh, who called the application in to committee for discussion. He said it was a good use of a brownfield site and pointed out it was in the same area as the Flamingo amusements sign and the rear of Dreamland.

He added that, following covid, it could be a way to encourage people to come back to, and live in, town centres.

CGI of original rear view Image Lee Evans Partnership

Councillors including Phil Fellows and George Rusiecki spoke of the project bringing investment to Margate but others, such as Cllr Heather Keen, said the design was ‘gaudy’.’

In response to comments at the planning meeting new designs with muted colouring, altered balcony arrangements, changes to the rear design and removal of the roof sign have been submitted.

However, officers are still recommending the plans be refused, saying: “The previous plans proposed a bold and prominent building that could have been considered a statement form of architecture.

“The amended plans and muted colour scheme make no alterations to the height or scale of the building, and are considered to result in an extension that is neither a bold and unique form of architecture nor a seamless addition to the existing building.

Amended rear view Image Lee Evans Partnership

“Consequently the amended plan is still considered to result in an incongruous, dominant and overbearing form of development that competes with and detracts from the significance of the listed buildings fronting Marine Gardens and the buildings fronting Marine Terrace in the Margate Seafront Conservation Area, resulting in significant harm to its special character, appearance and historic interest of these designated buildings and area.”

A representative from Lee Evans Partnership told the committee that the scheme would be a “significant investment” in the regeneration of Margate and aimed to “revitalise a brown field site’ by ‘reflecting the unique and exciting character of Margate.’

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.

The revised application will be discussed by councillors on March 15th.

‘Bold landmark’ building proposal for Belgrave Road sent back to the drawing board for amendments


    • I think TDC should accept this revised proposal. In the pictures, it doesn’t look any higher than some of the older buildings along the seafront. It’s an improvement on the current building, which will be retained as the ground floor.

  1. The idiocy of KCC is outstanding.

    KCC Decide not to build a desperately needed new secondary school on the former deaf school site in Margate and sell it for housing. Their demand for a contribution from the applicant for this Belgrave building site should it gain planning permission will be:-

    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.

    Where is the mentality in this. Will this mean that KCC will purchase more farm land to build this new school. One only has to look at the the development that is taking place from The new Sainsbury’s store through to the Lord of the Manor Roundabouts and through to the Manston Tesco’s store. Let alone the continuing development along Nash Lane through to Margate football club area.

    Should the 2,000 dwellings gain planning permission for the Garlinge/Westgate area this will mean the expansion of Hartsdown School as this is the only school available with sufficient land available for an expansion.

      • The residents on the new Redrow social housing estate would complain about the noise from the little darlings

      • They may as well develop on the airfield, as with all the new homes being built around it how can noisy planes ever use it again? There would be trouble looming!

        These requests for development contributions must hardly ever be paid as there is nothing to show for it.

        • All plays into RSPs hands as housing is the only way they are going to make any money ! No-one is going to invest £500m on an airport that has never made money, they are going to want to see returns within their lifetime….

  2. Why refuse planning, the place needs to be rebuilt and start bringing Margate into the 21st century, we have got to start cleaning up Thanet ,the trouble is TDC doesn’t want Margate to improve TDC just want it to stay a sh-t hole ,TDC never spends money in Margate but other towns all the time, Ramsgate, broadstairs etc

  3. How is that Gaudy compared to the Turner monstrosity that looks like a power station? Looks great to me & better than the 1920’s shed that is there now.

    • Should never have been built, would be better if it & its awful contents just blew into the sea-where they originally wanted to put it one windy night.

  4. I wonder, if Tracy Emin suggested the colour scheme, would the council reject it ?? Or just love the artwork ??

  5. I really like the design and colour. But perhaps that’s because I lived in France and Italy for many years and they use far more colour on their buildings than we do. So much nicer than the drabness of most of our buildings. And I’d far rather see this developed as well as other similar properties throughout Thanet and one less new development on agricultural land.

  6. Yes Kent Resident it is a Conservation area, developers don’t care, it’s just £s and contributions to political parties.
    We were in Cyprus, walking along the sea front, we were approaching a large building. No signs on the side, it had Grecian style pillars on the front. Perhaps a museum? We walked up the steps, still no signs opened the doors and entered a WOOLWORTHS!! Some do care about their heritage?

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