Derelict West Cliff Hall in Ramsgate put on sale market once again

Savills is marketing the West Cliff Hall (Photo Savills)

Ramsgate’s West Cliff Hall is back on the sale market with a guide price of £325,000 for the building freehold,

It is being auctioned by Savills who say it has ‘positive’ pre-planning application advice to create an 89 bedroom hotel on the 0.75 acre site.

The auction takes place on May 29 and West Cliff Hall is lot 119.

Hotel idea for the site Image Savills

The West Cliff Hall has been empty since 2005 when the Motor Museum left the site. Over the following almost two decades the property has remained empty and continued to deteriorate.

In November last year the company set up by the owner of the West Cliff Hall had compulsory strike off action suspended for a second time.

The first compulsory strike off action was discontinued in January 2023 for the company which has been dormant since it was created in 2019.

A second strike off action was lodged in September last year and suspended in November. Accounts for the company are listed as overdue and should have been lodged by July 2023.

The company, Westcliff Development Ltd, is headed up by Dr Davinder Singh Jamus and Mohinder Singh Rajan, who bought West Cliff Hall for £225,000 in 2018 after Thanet council put it to auction.

No planning applications for the site had been submitted to Thanet council until the pre-application noted on Savill’s website.

It opened in 1914 as a theatre, concert hall and promenade venue, adjacent to the Royal Paragon Baths.

It had been an Italian Garden with bandstand until the cliff was dug out to make space for the new hall. The first 40 metres of the existing promenade along Ramsgate’s West Cliff, are formed by the roof of the concert hall which previously hosted acts including the Rolling Stones in 1964.

Plans to rebuild and recreate the site were put in motion by youth charity Project MotorHouse in 2009.

Guy Holloway design

The charity, which was headed by Ramsgate resident Janet Fielding before a decision to shut it down in 2022, wanted to create cinemas; theatres; bars; restaurants, offices and youth facilities.

The site had been on the council’s disposal list from 2005 to 2010 without any other interest being expressed.

Photo Frank Leppard

In 2014 Thanet council and Project MotorHouse jointly commissioned a surveyor’s report which found that not only was the steel frame of the building severely corroded and needed replacing, but the outer walls were resting on wet masonry with no other support.

A structural survey, which was carried out by Holt and Wotton Ltd, said the toilet block of the hall “in part supports the adopted highway,” adding “some propping has been provided within the building.

Photo Frank Leppard

“The propping in the two-storey section is due to serious deterioration of precast concrete roof beams and the section of the promenade over this area of the building has been fenced off to prevent public access.

“The propping in the stairwell is due to the heavily corroded condition of the steel beams within the stairwell.”

The report outlined corrosion and cracks throughout the hall and added: “There are many issues with this building.

“In simple terms the exposed steel work in the stairwell between the building and the toilet block and at the rear of the stairwell at low level are all severely corroded such that they would need replacement.”

Photo Frank Leppard

The survey said the asphalt roof had reached the end of its life. In looking at options for the future of the building the report said retaining it would mean ‘significant repair,’ and a new build would be “easier to achieve long term solutions.”

A third option, to infill the site, was deemed too expensive. A suggestion was to demolish the main building and construct an embankment.

MotorHouse raised more than £300,000 which paid for lawyers, asbestos removal and propping, fixing the garden walls, vat specialists,  surveys, a construction industry project manager and designs by architect Guy Hollaway.

Guy Holloway design

But in 2017 Thanet council approved the sale of the West Cliff Hall, and the Western Undercliffe café and toilets, on the open market.

It was bought at auction the following year for £225,000. Since then no work has taken place at the site.

At the time of the sale concerns were raised over possible landbanking.

Ward councillor Becky Wing said: “Sadly the Westcliff Hall was sold at the same auction as the Western Undercliff Cafe and that is now being offered for sale for a third time at nearly 10 times the original sale price.

“Both sites are difficult but with this one the large space under the promenade is also an integral part of supporting the road, which incidentally, is in a really bad state. It is also in a conservation area and so any plans coming forward need to consider this.

“As a local resident I share the frustration that community assets are sold, left to blight our communities and then flipped, often at a considerable profit. This is a cycle that with hindsight we must stop.

“It is also interesting that the plans mentioned have not been submitted to Thanet District Council’s planning department for formal consideration, I know that fellow ward councillors Raushan Ara, Tricia Austin and myself, along with many residents would have liked to have seen what is actually proposed.

“Let us hope that if new owners can be found that they do indeed seek planning for something which will enhance the area and progress with a build.”

The sale details can be found on the Savills website here

49 Comments

  1. Wow. A crumbling, neglected building marketed as a potential hotel with no parking anywhere near it.

    Where do I sign up ?

    • It appears to have parking planned for the bottom floor (level -3), presumably at the same level as Military road.

  2. Wonderful, a hotel, who would want to come and stay here these days, well unless you like overpriced bars,cafes and a huge naff spoons

  3. Why isn’t there a report on this site on Craig Mackinlay, currently on the front of some newspapers, as well as the BBC? For those who don’t know, the poor man had to have his hands and feet amputated due to sepsis.

    • Whats that got to do with this? also he’s a Tory and after reading some of the letters ive had back form him when supporting causes, i honestly couldnt care less

      • wevsky – What a nasty piece of work you are with such a comment! If you are indicative of Labour Party members in Ramsgate, I despair .

        • DedupB. what i am is honest, i dont have the letter(s) sent out by this chap in relation the to letters sent about the people dying of covid and the fact Boris was behaving as he did, but his replies where ,to be frank quite vile,mocking what the avergae person was going through as you would expect from a self serving Tory who cares more about donations,contracts than the general public to which they are supposed to serve

    • If Craig’s team don’t issue a press release to IoTN what should they do? Maybe you should ask Craig rather than IoTN?

    • Because Craig chose to release the news nationally so I waited for him to return to Parliament today rather than just scrape from other people’s work. Is that ok by you?

    • He’s a very horrible excuse for a human being who doesnt care about what his party did during covid, the letters he sent myself and countless others proved he doesnt care for the lives of other people, why should i care about his.

      • Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Ephesians 4: 31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

  4. And just where are all these visitors going to park , as it is all of us that live in Royal Crescent St AUGUSTINES road ,can’t park most of the time wk ends are a nightmare, as visitors see it as free parking and take up tge local residents spaces,it’s about time it’s made into residents parking only .

  5. It’s an absolute disgraceful situation that this building has lasted this long with no plan in place to open it for business, successive local Cllrs and MPs have done nothing to ensure a responsible owner with genuine sustainable plan and sufficient funds to see the project through. It’s a dangerous and irresponsible situation, funny how it draws parallels with the multiple times failed airfield.

      • That would have to be discussed and moved forward quickly, so it benefits Ramsgate, there are multiple options.
        Function rooms, multiple purpose area, for business in hospitality, a Ramsgate or Thanet museum of local history, arts and crafts venue, live performance venue for up and coming acts, comedians, music and other, a resteraunt hotel chain, there is more.

        • The big problem is that the main beams that hold the building together are rusted beyond repair. So it would have to be completely demolished and rebuilt again… and no-one is going to come up with that much money for a project that has no guarantee of success.

  6. If it’s an hotel I suppose the RNLI people smugglers can just drop the illegal immigrants off on the door step . Can’t see it being used for holiday makers nothing to see in thanet, our council shut everything down even our town has nearly gone because rates and rents are to high .

  7. Its the councils fault for letting the building get like this-Tory run and Labour Thanet council. Watched a Dvd off Ramsgate in its heyday from 1957-When a Reporter from london came down to Ramsgate. How nice it looked then-Sadly 67 years later what a dump it is now.

    • I’m with you there. Margate was finished that day they opened the Turner, and started pretending that everything was fine.

      • I totally refuse to enter the turner centre never have never will , that money could of helped the struggling people in thanet and the run down towns .like spend it on maintaining the winter gardens and the Royal ,lido ,margates old sun deck , Ramsgate old marina swimming pool , instead some place just to look at pointless articles.

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