A former Westgate care home once owned by Margate’s Royal School for Deaf Children will be converted into 12 flats.
St Gabriel’s [Westgate College] in Elm Grove was originally built as a convalescence home then used by the Church of England until it was occupied by the Royal School for Deaf Children.
It then provided residential support for approximately 15 people with hearing, autism, and sight issues. Margate’s Royal School for Deaf Children shut down suddenly in December 2015 after The John Townsend Trust, which ran it, went into administration.
St Gabriel’s was later run by Achieve Together and closed after being placed in special measures following an inspection by health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in 2022.
L&J Investment Property Limited will now turn the building into four, 1-bed and eight 2-bed flats. The conversion retains the existing external frontage.
Seven objections to the development were lodged with Thanet council raising issues including parking/highways. Plans were amended to increase parking spaces on site from nine to 12.
A planning officer report says: “44 Elm Grove is not a listed building and is not within the Westgate on Sea Conservation Area. It is, however, considered that the building has attractive architectural qualities and its retention and continued use through conversion is welcomed.
“A total of 12 residential units are proposed. It is acknowledged that there were previously 3 flats located within the building. One on the ground floor and two on the first floor. Thus there would be a net gain of 9 residential units through the approval of this proposal.
“A total of 12 parking spaces are proposed on the site, where the existing hard surfacing is and additional soft landscaping is proposed to the front and rear of the site with the attractive front boundary hedge being retained which limits views into the site from the road.”
The developer has agreed a Unilateral Undertaking (UU) which provides £2,088 to mitigate additional recreational pressure. A decision notice approving the scheme was published on December 7.