Sandwich shop plan to replace unoccupied micropub at Charles Court in Cliftonville is withdrawn

Charles Court Photo Frank Leppard

An application to change the use of a space at Charles Court from a micropub into a sandwich shop has been withdrawn.

A project to build 35 flats, three homes and a micropub on the site of the fire hit Holly Tree pub in Cliftonville was completed last year and the Charles Court site – included a micropub/restaurant which was being advertised for sale with an asking price of £300,000.

However, the micropub remained unoccupied and an application was made in January this year for the change of use with the aim of Subway taking up the space.

The application provoked a string of objections raising issues including increased traffic and delivery drivers and concerns that a chain would operate from the building rather than a local business.


One objector said: “My partner and I bought this property on the basis that we would have a micro pub attached to our property and thus adding to the value of our homes. Now you are proposing the erection of a Subway which will significantly devalue our property.

“This is one of a host of issues that approving a subway would generate, including increased litter in an already litter heavy area. Loitering from teenagers and people who are not residents. Parking is already a major issue in this area, creating a subway would strongly increase this issue with delivery trucks and customers taking up parking spaces that us residents are so heavily reliant on.

“Having a huge corporate restaurant will massively impact local independent businesses including the fish and chips shop as well as the sandwich shop next door. Not to mention there is already a subway five minutes down the road on Margate high street. Why do we need another sandwich shop in the area?”

The application has now been withdrawn.

Photo by Roy Goldhawk

The Holly Tree pub, where Charles Court now stands, shut its doors in 2016, never fully getting back up to strength after a blaze in 2014 started in the kitchen and ripped through the building. It was then destroyed by another blaze in 2017.

Some 20 firefighters and six engines, including the specialist height vehicle, were used to tackle the fire which was finally brought under control after four hours.

The pub was devastated by fire in 2017 Photo Frank Leppard

The property was so badly damaged that DDS Demolition were on site in the early evening to take down some of the parts of the structure which had become dangerous.

The pub, formerly Ye Olde Charles, was built in 1926 by Russell’s Brewery of Gravesend. A typical 1920s roadside inn, it was aimed at motorists visiting nearby Margate. It was named after local architect, Charles Reeve.

During World War II Ye Old Charles was used by pilots and ground crew of RAF Manston.

It is said that actor John Le Mesurier used to drink in the pub when he was seeing Carry On actress Hattie Jacques, who used to live in Laleham Close.


  1. Far better to build there than on prime agricultural land. Especially as it is a residential area.

    There are already shops opposite the block of flats which seem to cater for most services and block is only a short distance from main shops of Northdown Road so I’m not surprised the ground floor commercial premises has not been bought. I would suggest it is turned into another flat as property is what is so desperately needed in Thanet.

    • Indeed – once-upon-a-time it seemed that amusement arcades were inexplicably flammable – now it is public houses . . .

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