Plan to build property in front of Margate’s Old Coach House rejected

The Old Coach House viewed from Hawley Square

Permission to build a house in front of another property in Hawley Square, Margate, has been denied.

The application from Sali Farage was to build a two-bed, three storey home in the rear garden of the existing Old Coach House which would face out onto Hawley Square. The Old Coach House has its main entrance on Addington Street.

Documents from Saxon Architects say the aim is “for the redevelopment of the incongruous garden site providing a two-bedroom high-quality dwelling…

“The proposed building will blend in well with the surrounding street scene and provide a harmonious architectural transition between the two neighbouring buildings on both sides.”

It adds: “The proposed structure does not have a back garden and is fully connected to the neighbouring structures, as a result, the proposal can be viewed as a continuous element of the space. With more than enough light and ventilation, it is possible to provide a distinctive and pleasant accommodation while respecting the architectural harmony of the existing structures.

“The designs’ modest yet elegant presence enhances the neighbourhood’s Georgian street context without drawing undue attention or upsetting the peace.”

Image Saxon Architects

The plans provoked 21 letters of objection raising a number of concerns including the impact on the listed properties either side, quality of design, use of the property as a holiday let and loss of light and outlook for the Old Coach House – which is referred to as 25 Hawley Square in the application.

One objection says: “Hawley Square is one of the jewels in Margate’s crown and to allow this project to proceed would be tantamount to cultural vandalism And possibly even illegal considering the listed status of both neighbouring properties

“We can vividly recall the first day we approached 26 Hawley Square and encountered the two elderly tenants sitting proudly in their garden outside the Old Coach House They would use the garden come rain or shine and were a permanent fixture of life in the Square until they were evicted and a shoddy repair job carried out turning the Old Coach House into an airbnb.

“The new build would not sit flush to our 200 year old listed building and as such how the new build juts out, directly affects the daylight and sunlight from our front door and all windows. The new build will have an overbearing impact on a 200 year old view.”

Another said: “I object to the planning application to build a two-bedroom house in front of another house at Hawley Square.

“I believe this is unnecessary and we should be keeping a piece of Georgian architecture visible. The new building will not fit into the current style of the square.

“It will also be marketed as an Airbnb. As you may be aware, non-owner occupied Airbnbs are impacting communities such as Margate, where there is currently not enough housing available.”

Image Saxon Architects

Thanet council’s conservation officer objected to the plan. They said: “At present, 25 Hawley Square deviates from the architectural character of the rest of the square, which is characterised by a well-balanced Georgian Terrace showcasing retained original details and a cohesive outward appearance.

“Historically, 25 Hawley Square served as the coach house for the square, contributing to its distinct, lower-set profile and creating a historic gap in the square’s ensemble.

“The proposal to directly infill this historic gap threatens to disrupt the carefully preserved historic outlook of the square, fundamentally altering its intended form since its original construction. The proposed structure, due to its dominant, forwarding stepping and incongruous presence, would appear out of place within this setting. This would therefore negatively impact listed properties and the outlook of the surrounding conservation area.”

In a planning officer’s report it notes the separation distance between the Old Coach House and the new building would be just 0.9m adding that the Old Coach House would have doors and windows facing the blank rear wall of the new build resulting “in a significant loss of light and sense of enclosure to this existing dwelling.”

The new property would have had six windows and a door in the front elevation with none in the side or rear elevations.

Reasons for refusal include:

  • Location, design, materials and projection forward of 26 Hawley Square, would result in a prominent and incongruous form of development that would alter the historic arrangement of Hawley Square resulting in significant harm to the character and appearance of the Margate Conservation area, the adjacent listed buildings and the understanding of the historic development of the area
  • Inadequate provision for refuse facilities
  • Enclosure and corresponding loss of outlook and light, to the adjacent property,
  • Lack of garden and doorstep play space.


  1. This would not have been redevelopment either, but new development as this gap was designed into the original layout housing the Coach house for the historic Square with many listed residences. It would be sacrilege to try and build a new house on it in any way or form, never mind this proposed house with no rear windows or door. Such a crazy idea!

  2. It never fails to amaze me, what people think they can get away with. This application is totally shocking from an architectural point of view.

  3. A bit like Monty Python’s silly society for putting things on top of other things, only they want to put things in front of other things. Clown World continues to get worse.

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