Flats plan for rear and upper floors of former Ramsgate Rook’s shop rejected

Hidden Treasures site Photo Dave Stillman

An application to create flats at the rear and upper floors of the former Rook’s shop in Ramsgate has been rejected by Thanet council.

Property owner Behrooz Ahmadi wanted to create 5 one-bedroom flats and 1 two-bedroom flat for the local rental market whilst maintaining retail at street level.

J C Rook & Sons shops closed in March 2022 after the firm went into administration.

The businessman, who lives in Margate, made an investment to bring the Ramsgate and Herne Bay sites back into use.

Behrooz, who formerly worked in Iran where his business had the sole contract for laying the gas pipelines, initially teamed up with Dave Humphries, who was in the paper industry before retiring, to launch Hidden Treasures indoor market last May at the Ramsgate shop. However this closed at the end of September due to Dave’s ill health. It has since reopened but with one trader rather than as a market.

The new application proposed the erection of a two storey rear extension and increase in roof height to provide an additional floor with two dormers to create the six flats. The work would increase the premises by 30%.

In planning documents it said: “This is a sympathetic restoration with much needed ‘start up ‘accommodation.

“The flats are for private rental/ Air B&B market and are suitable for couples with one larger flat on the top floor with an additional bedroom.

“The building is in a very poor state of repair with minimum use above the shop premises due to being previously used as a large butchers with preparation and office space above.”

The application provoked nine letters of objection which raised concerns including fire safety; noise; loss of privacy and bulk and height.

Ramsgate Town Council objected on the grounds of bin storage, overdevelopment and the impact on neighbouring properties. Ramsgate Heritage Design Forum also objected saying it was overdevelopment of the site.

Thanet council’s conservation officer said the planned elevations “appear somewhat clunky and ill considered. “

They noted the building is within the Ramsgate Conservation Area and adjacent to a Grade II listed property, adding: “Some development is likely to be acceptable here in principle however historic aspects of the site need to be fully considered.”

The council’s planning officer recommended refusal, saying: “There is a need for new housing development that is in a sustainable location, with reasonable access to public facilities and amenities. The application site is located within the town of Ramsgate and within easy walking and cycling distances of the town’s facilities and amenities.

“The proposals, due to their design and appearance, would not be out of keeping with the immediate character and appearance of the Conservation Area or the surrounding area.

“There would be harm to residential amenity through overlooking and some of the flats would not offer a good standard of accommodation.

“Whilst there are some public benefits to the scheme, the provision of residential units, the benefits do not outweigh the harm.”

The application was refused with the decision notice published this week.


  1. That makes a big change, a refusal from the TDC Planners on overlooking other properties and not offering a good standard of accommodation !! That hasn’t stopped them giving consent in the past. In fact, not many applications are refused in Thanet and the quality of build in many is diabolical, with the design and layout too. Was something not forthcoming from the developer? But it does seem that you need to be going large with development on the green fields to get the green rubber stamp of approval.

    But in any case, no more Airbnb’s please, these are pricing local tenants out of Thanet. There does need to be regulations and council tax on these premises as they are big money making businesses to the owners whilst evicting long standing tenants. There must be safeguarding of those tenants as a priority.

  2. Property owner Behrooz Ahmadi
    Sounds like another non British investor to me? trying to cream off the back of the local housing situation
    Rich Far Eastern Arabs owning almost everything around Mayfair area and around the Westend of London, a lot of rich Russians on the take too
    Eastend and the Asians incl Wembley and Southhall
    Our forefathers who gave their lives for this country in WW1&2 will be turning in their graves.
    Not to mention the 1000’s of boat people we are allowing in every week.
    I think WW3 is inevitable whoever starts it and maybe even needed.
    No wonder we are being overrun by the DFL, they are all trying to escape and I think we all would given the choice.

  3. It simply is not true that “(The DFL) are all trying to escape. That is a ridiculous thing to say.

  4. @Baggy … Yeah sorry you are correct, my bad – not sure if that’s just my Charles Dickens School education shining through there or a typo/head fuzz 🙂

    @Kathy … I’m sure he does

    @RL … Nope just facts

    @M.M.Rees … Ridiculous? Look around, open your eyes, Broadstairs has been taken over by the DFL – Head for the hills or the coast!

  5. The “DFL”s are not all trying to escape. Some of them move out of London because they fancy a change.Some move to a seaside town because they want to live by the sea. And not everyone who moves to Thanet moves here from London.

  6. Looks like the famous antiracist algorithm missed the racist comment by the racist Central ScrutiNAZIer…?

    You lot ‘proper born and bred Thanetians’ keep selling your homes to whomever gives you the money, forriners or DFLs.

    Those who fought in any war for this country would only be ashamed of how weak you all ‘proper born and bred Thanetians’ are.

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