Proposal for two-bed home at Viking Bay’s Waterloo Shelter submitted to council

Home proposal for the Waterloo Shelter (via Thanet council planning)

A planning application has been lodged with Thanet council to build a two storey, two-bed home at the Waterloo Shelter on Viking Bay.

The proposal has been submitted by property owner Justin Van Oortmerssen who bought the site from Thanet council via auction in 2017 for £350,000.

Justin and wife Annita Gkioka opened the Funicular Coffeehouse at the site in 2018 after overhauling the property, doing most of the work themselves through Justin’s skills as a carpenter and experience of property renovations.

The site in 2019

In 2019 plans for an upstairs cocktail bar, events and yoga space and a specialist seafood restaurant at the disused shelter were submitted by Mr Van Oortmerssen but then withdrawn.

A row had broken out over the beach huts in front of the Funicular with Justin saying there was agreement with the council that if the site was used for a commercial purpose the huts would be moved. But there was protracted wrangling between Justin and council officers before a resolution was found.

The restaurant plan

The plans were resubmitted in 2020 and permission for the build was granted the following year.

Now a new application has been lodged for the residential build at the shelter with the footprint falling within part of the area earmarked for the restaurant and yoga studio scheme, according to the block plans submitted to the council.

The new application for the Waterloo Shelter is for a “two storey building incorporating existing Victorian pillars for use as a residence.”

Plans show a lounge, dining area and kitchen on the first floor with two bedrooms, gallery play space and bathrooms on the ground floor.

The application was submitted in February and appeared on the Thanet council planning site on March 17.

A decision is yet to be made.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “The previous application for the Waterloo Shelter site on Viking Bay (F/TH/20/1576), for a restaurant and yoga studio, was approved on 22 April 2021.

“The subsequent application submitted (F/TH/23/0246), for the same location, was received on 16 February 2023 and is currently open to public consultation.

“We expect to make a decision about the second application later in the spring. The two applications could not both be completed; it would be one or the other.”

The application can be viewed on Thanet council’s planning portal, reference F/TH/23/0246



  1. This is a brilliant use of space, it’s great for everyone to visit and at least it’s preserving a beautiful old building and not shoving up a new one in our green spaces.

    • The shelter has been bulldozed already so not much preservation in the conservation area. The modern look is not in keeping with the area of many grade ll listed buildings either.
      If building work starts before consent is given it will be a breach of planning regulations.

  2. Keep changing the plans after getting consent is a tactic used often by developers to get what they really wanted when they knew it wouldn’t be granted straight up.
    The local Councillors should call this in for the full planning committee to decide. This is on a public beach and it seriously should be looked into fully before any decision is made by a planning officer.

  3. The plans have been changed and resubmitted after this approval. It’s now planned to be a private residence, not a restaurant or yoga studio. It has gone from something designed to benefit the community to something that will only benefit the developers. This shouldn’t be allowed.

Comments are closed.