Developer gets green light to demolish Ramsgate High Street building and replace with 5 shops and 39 flats

The developer will demolish the building and create new shops and flats

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.

Aerial view image Kudos ADS

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.

Corner site image Kudos ADS

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.

Developer contributions:

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.

Sugar Rush

Heidi (bottom) hopes to take Sugar Rush and Stage Door Arts from the current site to a new base at the HSBC building

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

Find the Sugar Rush JustGiving page here