Councillors to discuss plan for four houses at woodland off Tivoli Park Avenue

The site off Tivoli Park Avenue (Google)

A proposal to build four homes on woodland at the end of Tivoli Park Avenue in Margate will be discussed by councillors next week.

An application has been submitted by site owners Ernest Biela and David Watts who bought the plot in 2017.

The area was previously a community garden and had become overgrown. It was used by dog walkers and links Tivoli Woods and the former railway line, creating a wildlife corridor.

The land was sold  by Thanet council as part of its asset disposal programme, fetching  £155,000 at auction. It was marketed as offering potential for development, subject to all necessary consents.

Photo Frank Leppard

The owners previously cleared a number of trees at the site in 2019, prompting objections from Salmestone Ward Residents Association.

At that time Mr Biela said there was a plan to “replant on site to yield produce for eateries to complement locally sourced seafood and enhance the local food scene with entirely Margate derived menus.”

However, the new plan is to create four 4-bed homes with landscaping, access and highway improvements.

Planning documents say: “Low density, high-quality housing is proposed within a landscaped setting, retaining and protecting viable mature trees.

“A new access is proposed to be created off Tivoli Park Avenue. Highway improvement works are proposed at the junction with Tivoli Road and on Tivoli Road itself which require use of a small section of the application site and that has been subject to scrutiny and support from Kent County Highways Department.”

Each home will have two parking spaces and an additional visitor parking space will be provided. New tree and hedge planting around the site is promised and nine of the TPO trees are being retained.

Part of the site is being offered to KCC for off site highway improvement works to the Tivoli Park Avenue/Tivoli Road junction, required under the Thanet Transport Strategy.

WAM design ltd Architecture + Interior design

Six letters of objection to the scheme have been lodged citing concerns including loss of trees and green space, impact on wildlife, no affordable housing and a restrictive covenant for the land for recreational use only.

A report to councillors notes that mitigation should be included for wildlife, suggesting: “native tree and shrub planting along borders and wooded embankment, nectar-rich flower planting for invertebrates, log piles for invertebrates, small mammals and birds, integrated bat and bird boxes in buildings and boxes on trees.”


An archaeological evaluation is also requested. The report says: “The proposed development site lies in an area with significant archaeological potential.

“Extensive archaeological remains can be seen as cropmarks in the fields to the south of Hartsdown Academy including a number of ring ditches representing Bronze Age funerary monuments.

“Excavations at the Hartsdown Football Ground revealed significant Iron Age remains (amongst others) and the camber of a roman road may cross Tivoli Park to the west of the present site. The remains of a possible Roman villa have been found to the north west on Tivoli Park Avenue.”

The Roman villa site, containing multiple frescos, was partially excavated in 1924 by Arthur Rowe – who bequeathed many historical finds to Margate.


The covenant was also raised in 2019 by the Thanet Trees group. They said the Tivoli site was covenanted to the Borough of Margate in 1923 for public park and/or recreational use but it was not clear whether the covenant was still valid.

The report to councillors deems the covenant as not applicable, saying: “This query has been reviewed by the council’s legal team, who have confirmed that the land was not sold subject to any restrictive covenants.

“They’ve advised that the original conveyance contained a restrictive covenant restricting the use of the land as a public park garden, recreation ground or for allotments; but following investigation it was determined that the covenant was unenforceable, as the covenant appeared to be personal to the original covenantees, who had more than likely ceased to exist due the original covenant being made in 1923.

“Furthermore, disposal of the land (application site) was advertised under Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972, and no representations or objections to the disposal were received at the time. As such, it has been considered that the statutory function under the Act released the council from its obligations to hold the land as public open space.

“It is the council’s view that the land has not been sold subject to any restrictive covenants.”

The application will be heard by planning committee members on January 17 following a call in by former ward councillor Pauline Farrance  and Cllr Mike Garner, to consider the impact upon ecology, loss of trees and potential for overdevelopment.


However, planning officers are recommending that the decision is deferred to them for approval.

The report says: “The site is not protected open space or local green space, and the proposal retains a number of protected trees along the southern and eastern boundary of the site.

“The proposal is for a low density scheme of only four detached dwellings, of a scale and size that is likely to appear in keeping with the character and appearance of the area.

“Substantial landscaping is proposed within the site that will provide ecological enhancements and visual benefit. There are considered to be no impact upon neighbouring amenity or highway safety, and land and a financial contribution of £7,000 is being offered through the application, which will secure necessary off-site highway improvements that are sought through the Council’s Transport Strategy 2015-2031.

“Whilst the proposal will result in the loss of open space and six protected trees on the site, resulting in some environmental harm, it will provide four family dwellings for which there is a need within the district, highway improvements necessary to the council’s transport strategy, and landscape and biodiversity enhancements within the remaining site.”

The plans can be seen on Thanet council’s planning portal, reference OL/TH/22/0499


  1. At that time Mr Biela said there was a plan to “replant on site to yield produce for eateries to complement locally sourced seafood and enhance the local food scene with entirely Margate derived menus.”

    Can’t believe people actually fell for that !

    • TDC are thicker than I thought (they’ll ven be surprised when Dreamlabd deems the site “unviable” and want to build a housing estate!).

  2. Yet again, insufficient parking spaces. Of course there will be at least two cars for a four bedroom house, but to only have one visitor parking space for four houses?

  3. Oh well keep this up and wildlife and trees will be extinct in Thanet as well as farm fields, whilst we continue to introduce to the area people who decided it was cheaper here than there own places, if all the houses being built here went to locals we would have no shortage instead all we are doing is increasing the population which is making life difficult for schools hospitals doctors etc when is this going to end

    • The allotments next to Staner Court tower block in Manston Road were developed into more houses and flats, so no, TDC don’t care about that at all.

  4. Absolutely disgusting if this gets planning permission. Thanet is virtually Barron of trees and wildlife and giving these developers permission to destroy some our last remaining wooded areas is environmental sabotage. Developers who choose to concrete over our dwindling woodlands and green spaces really are the scum of the earth imo.

    • The council effectively gave that permission when it sold the land off as having development potential. It was always just a waiting game as will the eventual building on a large part of the Dreamland Estate.

  5. Thanet planing department. Devoid of any worthwhile ideas except to remove all trees and green areas. They will not be happy until Thanet is a concrete and brick jungle.

  6. This floods !!!! I’ve seen it flooded , how can you say you’ll build one thing then dismiss and build houses . GREED !!!!!!! Why are they intent on turning Thanet into the backend of bloody London . People move here to get away from the city then expect city life . Feel sorry for the people stuck here and can’t afford to move or rent .

  7. Why not, they are building on everything that resembles undeveloped land with exception of where they should be, the massive concrete eyesore slab at Manston. You never know if they did the quantity of residents in the new homes put on the old multiple time failed airfield may even make parkway station viable.

  8. Not as much as you, the detritus you spew is laughable, still your one of those aren’t you. The sort that your opinion is the right one and don’t listen to other opinions. The trouble is opinions are like arsx holes, everyone has one.

    • Presumably, you mean “YOU’RE one of those”. “Your one of those” makes as much sense as your opinions.

  9. Shows the extent of your boredom when you get petty over grammer, still carry on and leave the real discussions for the grown ups. Just so you know, I won’t be responding to your next child like petty retort.

  10. Unfortunately, unless new housing targets are met, Central Government funding will be witheld, so Councils are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place.

    UN agenda 21 for sustainable development dictates that Western nations must create sprawling megacities for the new technocratic era.

    Strange thing that so many new dwellings are required when the birthrate among the Western natives of white European ethnicity has dropped to well below replacement level.

  11. Six protected trees to be felled for 4 homes to be built? And what about the protected trees which were felled previously? How are they protected and who is supposed to be protecting them? That seems a load of BS which TDC is responsible for, but nothing new there. A pay off of £7000 covers that for highway improvements there that are not needed. There is nothing wrong with the highway as it is. It seems that you can do anything in Thanet with our bunch of Planning officers on the case as long as you have some extra dosh to mitigate it by a financial offer. Yeah well, that sounds about right in this backwoods area. The planning officer always suggests “leave it to them to be passed” when they recommend to the councillors to defer it to them.

  12. Absolutely disgrace. Taking away more and more of our land and trees in the middle of a global crisis, honestly, how stupid and wrong is this. Thanet is looking more and more awful with all these new builds. 42 years of living here since birth and I used to always say how I’d never move away from here because I loved it. Now I hate it. Stop it!

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