Plans to demolish a row of shops on Ramsgate High Street and rebuild 5 smaller shops and 39 flats will go ahead after councillors agreed to defer to officers for approval subject to agreement on developer contributions.
The application submitted by JDP (Ramsgate) Limited is to demolish 60-68 High Street and 1 to 11 George Street which comprises the Pilgrims Hospice shop, Sugar Rush, formerly Cats in Crisis and Simply Danish furniture shop.
The proposal is for shops and 32 one-bed , 5 two-bed and 2 three-bed flats with refuse and cycle stores and external play space. Car parking is not included in the application which was discussed by councillors at a planning meeting last night (March 15).
JDP (Ramsgate) Limited says the flats will be energy efficient and built to ‘lifetime homes’ standard. They say town centre properties need to ‘diversify’ to survive. Four of the flats will be disability adapted but the site will not include an obligation for affordable housing.
A representative speaking for JDP, which is also developing the former Sports Direct/USC building in Queen Street into 31 flats and four commercial units including a basement gym, told the committee the proposal would create housing and more sustainable commercial units for independent businesses.
He added: “We will deliver much-needed, sustainable and affordable accommodation in the town centre.”
He added that although no parking was included – or needed under national guidelines- there are several car parks close by.
Ward councillors Tricia Austin and Becky Wing called the application in to be considered by the committee due to concerns of potential overdevelopment of the site and the mix of flat sizes proposed which consists mainly of one bed units.
Cllr Austin said: “There is a great deal to like about this application, the design is a massive improvement on what we have at the moment and fits in much better with the conservation area. It provides a variety of small shop units which is one of the things we really need.
“It’s providing housing, it’s a brownfield site in the town centre and it’s providing the sort out housing we need which is one and two bedroom flats.
“What is worrying ward councillors and residents is the number of flats, it appears to be considerably overdeveloped. Thirty-nine flats in this relatively small block is a hell of a lot.”
Cllr Austin said there was a high density of single bedroom flats resulting in overcrowding.
She added there were also concerns at the lack of affordable housing and the lack of parking in an area not really served by the Loop bus service.
Planning officers say an independent viability report has shown that the developer could not offer affordable housing on top of the contributions due to be agreed and that any change to the mix, such as the number of one-bed flats, would also reduce viability.
Cllr Helen Crittenden raised concerns at the amount of residential development in Ramsgate town.
She said: “This is a national problem but we are seeing our town centre in Ramsgate increasingly residential, not just this site but what we have referred to at the top of the High Street and all along King Street. It is becoming a major problem.”
Cllr Becky Wing raised some concerns including asking the developer is a clause to disallow sub-letting could be included. She cited a development in Effingham Street that has 40 units with 30 being used as Air BnBs with permanent residents’ lives “blighted by the constant turnover.”
Cllr Jill Bayford said Thanet needs one and two bedroom homes and the development would be a good use of a brownfield site.
The developer will make contributions to Thanet council and KCC and the NHS.
Community learning, youth service, libraries and social care contributions of £640.38 towards additional resources, equipment and services at Broadstairs Adult Education Centre
£2,554.50 towards additional equipment and resources for Thanet youth services
£2,162.55 towards additional resources, equipment and book stock (including digital infrastructure and resources) to be made available at Ramsgate Library
£5,728.32 towards specialist accommodation in Thanet.
A contribution of £2,124.33 is also requested towards improvements at Thanet Household Waste and Recycling Centre to increase capacity.
NHS Kent and Medway have requested a contribution of £21,744.00 towards refurbishment, reconfiguration and/or extension of Dashwood Medical Centre and/or The Grange Practice and/or East Cliff Medical Practice and/or Summerhill Surgery and/or Newington Road Surgery and/or towards new general practice premises development in the area.
A contribution to the provision of off site open space of £34,125.00 towards play equipment and facilities at Boundary Park in Ramsgate.
Thirty-five letters of objection to the scheme were lodged with Thanet council with concerns including over-development, lack of parking, increase in traffic, lack of consultation with current business owners and a need to protect the Sugar Rush community hub and dance school.
Sugar Rush has mounted a fundraising campaign to help raise £15,000 to take over the old HSBC building in the town.
Sugar Rush, headed up by Heidi Moran, also houses Stage Door Arts, provides performance, rehearsal, meeting space, music and office rooms, hotdesks, baby and children classes, community social groups and more.
Fundraising events include a ball and auction at Ramsgate Music Hall on March 31 from 7pm.
It will include cabaret, live music, DJs and auction.
Tickets from £5 at https://www.outsavvy.com/event/12529/the-filthygorgeous-ball-charity-auction
Central Harbour desperately needs parking zones and permits. Residents of these flats won’t use the car parks, they’ll cram already absurdly crammed streets like Elms Avenue, a street already an overflow car park for Chatham School and Waitrose and endless builders vans, airport minibuses and all the cars off Nelson Crescent etc when CPZ went in there.
Why is RTC and TDC not proposing a full CPZ in Central Harbour?
Chatham School is on Chatham St and has two huge car parks that take all staff cars. The car parks at Clarendon, are regularly free with spaces too. I walk passed there twice a day. I’d be more worried about those who use Elms/Clarendon Gardens as their personal garages, despite not living in the area. Like the big white van that’s always illegally parked outside the school gates and the bmw metallic blue estate that hasn’t moved from clarendon gardens in nearly two years (its kept taxed/insured)…
Cllrs in Central Harbour and Eastcliff are awaiting the outcome of the District wide parking review that is due to start in June. This is the result of a motion I took to full council last year (as an Eastcliff Cllr) because of the increasing problems new developments have caused to parking in our town centres. Resident parking schemes often seem like a good solution but they need to be looked at from the wider perspective (and the parking review may do that), otherwise small ad hoc parking schemes only push the problem out into other areas in a ripple effect that doesn’t actually solve the problems (as you have already seen).
“Resident parking schemes often seem like a good solution but they need to be looked at from the wider perspective”
Aye, like if they’d prevent partially disabled like me (who aren’t blue badge eligible) people being able to park close to the town/shops and their places of work.
“Money talks, mmm, mmm, money talks
Dirty cash I want you, dirty cash I need you, ooh
Money talks, money talks
Dirty cash I want you, dirty cash I need you, ooh
I want you, money
I’m dirty cash, the one that you asked for
I’m wanted by the rich and the poor
More and more, you just can’t reject it”
That covers it.
Another architect designed building that after 10 years Wll like its due for demolition. Modern design is just boxes not a curve in site.
Yes I was referring to Chatham and Clarendon School and I agree, Clarendon Gardens is also stuffed and is often blocked. Then there’s the caravan and as previously the staff cars that don’t fit in the car park who I see every day. These flats will simply exacerbate the issue unless the entirely sensible CPZ is introduced. I don’t begrudge anyone parking anywhere, but the Council is failing to recognise the issue or introduce measures that support us.
Clarendon Gardens is blocked due to the wooden bollards to prevent it being used as a rat run, logically speaking. You can always get in/out of the properties and their driveways there. It seems like you’re inventing a scenario to push your agenda. I never have any issues finding a space to park around Elms/Beresford/The Vale/Carlton Ave/North Ave areas, across many different times of day.
RE the caravans, make a complaint to RTC and have them removed, along with the motor trike down there, that is allegedly apparently meant to be sorn, hence why its under tarp.
What a surprise… have they ever turned down a development?
yes – only to get those decisions overturned by appeal – costing the council in staff time preparing to defend the appeal and the legal costs involved – and then for the development to still go ahead when we lose the appeal – as this developer stated in his presentation to the meeting, whether we like it or not his proposal complied entirely with the law, contributes towards our targets from central gvt to allow a certain amount of housing to be built and the development meets the criteria laid out in the Local Plan, and the only way to stop him is with a change in the political will at national level
The developer had paid attention to all the objections in advance and addressed them in his presentation to the meeting. To turn down a planning application there has to be good and valid reasons, otherwise the inevitable outcome is that our local decision gets overturned at appeal (which costs us in time, legal fees and reputation).
This development is within the boundary of the town centre that means parking does not have to be a consideration, even though there is a lack of public transport services at that particular location; Thanet has not seen enough new dwellings built to meet government targets and that effectively forces us to consider favourably every new development proposed (not just in Ramsgate but across the whole District); the development meets all the necessary criteria laid out in both national planning law and the Local Plan. In a nutshell, no grounds to refuse the application and every likelihood we would lose on appeal.
As shopping habits and needs have been changed over the years by the development at WWX and internet shopping it is inevitable that our town centre will contract with the old shops at the outer edges being turned into accommodation. This has already been happening most noticeably in King Street and the top end of the High Street. And some of those developments are an improvement on empty and abandoned buildings. However those developments don’t change the planning regulations.
I honestly do not think this development will do anything to improve our town centre.
It makes me so angry that TDC didn’t fight the Government’s housing figures when they had the chance. One point states that councils are allowed to object if the houses proposed change the nature of an area. Surely anyone can see that Thanet is changing from being semi-rural to urban. Haine Road is a nightmare already and is going to get much worse, due to lazy officers, who have now left, thank goodness, using the excuse that’s they may have been told to increase their numbers even more. Grrr!
“Haine Road is a nightmare already and is going to get much worse”
Mate, it takes less than 20 minutes to traverse it at peak times.
“It makes me so angry that TDC didn’t fight the Government’s housing figures when they had the chance.”
Do you want the area to thrive, or do you just wanna be a nimby decrying progression and ironically, evolution?