Flats and retail units plan for hand car wash site in Northdown Road

Hand car wash site in Northdown Road (at time of auction in 2021)

The  car hand wash site on Northdown Road, at the corner with Athelstan Road, could become a block of 20 flats with two ground floor retail units if planning permission is granted by Thanet council.

The site, which is adjacent to the Pettman Repository Building that was once the home of Resort art studios, was previously a petrol station.

In recent years it had become the subject of complaints due to flytipped rubbish being left at the site.

In 2021 the property was offered at auction and there was planning permission in place for two commercial units and 21 two-bedroom flats.

The current planning application is for 13 one-bed and 7 two-bed flats and 2 ground floor retail units with associated refuse stores, storage and landscaping following demolition of existing workshop.

The proposed new building would be an L-shaped block, four storeys high fronting Northdown and Athelstan Roads with a lower ground floor accessed from a ramp down from the latter.

The application, by Ang Construction Ltd, proposes 20 cycle spaces but no car parking area.

Athelstan Road Tenants & Residents’ Association Chairperson Matt Shoul has lodged an objection saying the proposal is: “atrociously inappropriate attempt to further increase the population density on Athelstan Road.”

He added that it is: “inherently inappropriate and ought to be rejected on overpopulation/overcrowding grounds on Athelstan Road, irrespective of where the building entry points may be placed – being a corner site.

“It is also aesthetically utterly out of keeping with the Cliftonville West Conservation Area status and merely having bricks on some areas of the truly hideous façade is grossly inadequate for the 150 year old Victorian period architectural context in which the plot is sited.

“It is also a very significant concern that parking for a proposed 20 new households is not provided within the footprint of the plot, given the ultra high density population living on both Athelstan Road and this part of Northdown Road.”

A decision is yet to be made. The application can be seen on Thanet council’s planning portal, reference F/TH/23/0135


  1. Parking is already a major problem in that area, so although it’s good there is more housing, until there is adequate parking spaces i can NOT support thr proposals

    • A concerted effort between DVLA and thanets CEO’s would soon identify many vehicles in cliftonville that should not be on the road and as such removed. Then get the police to set up a few anpr traps to get a good number more. Once that’s done any chance of KCC doing something about the road surfaces in the area that are closer to ploughed fields than a modern road, Edgar Road being a good example.

    • Good call Barry. It would be better to convert the repository into flats and use the car wash space for parking

    • In reality new decent quality retail units may well have more chance of being used than the rotting shells that make up many of the roads empty shops.

  2. 20 flats there going to be a bit tight on space . And as people have said parking the roads are full now. And retail put the flats on stilts and provide the homes with offroad parking space.

    • Agree with Supachip. Years ago I lived in such a building and it’s a great way of creating car parking space at a low cost. More retail space is definitely NOT needed.

  3. What is wrong with underground parking. ? Many older properties have basements. Several new builds in Thanet have underground parking. Is it all down to costs or attempting to attain the greatest profit at the least expense. ?

  4. Parking underneath would solve that issue with access in and out to Athelstan Road. There is no parking allowed on street in that area and any further along is already maxed out.
    I agree with Matt though that this part of Cliftonville is already overcrowded with too many people living in cramped rented conditions. There is a policy with TDC not allowing anymore single bedroom flats or bedsits in Cliftonville West but I already see applications going through council planning officers being approved so if they cannot even check and abide by their own regulations then the developer is king in Thanet. Makes you assume something dodgy is going on.

  5. I used to fix the electrics down that Road, in certain flats you have to wait for the ring leader and his dodgy hench men to turn up in his blacked out dated BMW to tell you what the problem is, he is running a nice little raquet down that neck of the wood. Multiple generations of non English speaking people living in overcrowded and dangerous conditions and this was the Selective Licencing Area too.

    • Yep, but tdc turn a bit of a blind eye when the solution to an issue is complex and or going to cost them money. Lots of issues centred on problems that were the freeholders duty to remedy , but the freeholder is long gone , building in a terrible state tenants suffer but their landlord isn’t legally liable to do anything. TdcKs only option is to do the work and put a charge on the freehold which they’d have little chance of ever recouping , or they walk away. A change in the law is needed to deal with such issues.

  6. Why can’t it be a car wash.. It was and could be.

    Cliftonville is already maxed out and overpopulated with
    . Matt people make the area.
    Police are always in that Athelstan Road.
    Houses of selective licences is another issue.

    Building that.. Profits TDC only.

    Social housing is needed not 30% social housing given to barry

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