Approval given to demolish ‘eyesore’ buildings next to Dreamland

The buildings in Belgrave Road will be demolished

An application by Dreamland administrators to demolish buildings adjoining the amusement park has been granted against the planning officer’s recommendation.

The derelict buildings at 10-14 Belgrave Road will be knocked down and the area fenced off.

The application on behalf of Benjamin Wiles, for administrators Duff & Phelps, was made for the front of the properties which sit in a conservation area. The buildings are among the sites bought by Dreamland prior to the reopening in May this year. Investors Arrowgrass, which own more than 98% of shares for Dreamland, have a charge on the properties.

There have been complaints of drug use and fires at the site.

Part of the building at the rear of the site is outside of the conservation area meaning no planning permission is needed for the demolition of that part of the property.

Planning officers objected to proposals to knock the former Thai restaurant down, saying: “The loss of the buildings which are the last of the buildings from the previously historically built up frontage along this part of Belgrave Road (irrespective of their poor state of repair) and the subsequent creation of a gap, tarmacked surface and installation of 2m high palisade fencing is considered to be detrimental to the character and appearance of the designated heritage asset – the conservation area.

“Whilst it maybe the intention for a scheme to come forward in the future on the site, this cannot be a requirement of the demolition. As less than substantial harm would occur, it falls to weigh the public benefits of the scheme against the harm to the designated heritage asset.

“In this instance it is considered that there are minor short-term benefits from removing a building in a dilapidated state, it is not considered that the permanent harm to the character and appearance of the conservation area is outweighed.  It is, therefore, recommended that the application be refused.”

But structural engineers advising planning agent John Elvidge said the site is unstable. He said: “The buildings are in an extremely poor state and in fact are unstable. Therefore, if some of the building was to come away and either cause damage to a neighbouring property or more seriously cause injury to a passer-by, who is responsible?”

He added: “The former restaurant at 10 – 14 Belgrave Road, along with a building to the rear, has been vacant for years and have become a derelict eyesore.

“As it is the first thing that is seen as cars turn the corner from Marine Gardens and approach the Dreamland car park entrance, and is also in plain view when approaching from the south, it was considered essential that this eyesore be removed, particularly given that this entrance will also form the primary entrance to the new event space being created immediately adjoining the car park.”

Councillors at a planning committee meeting last night (September 20) agreed and permission to demolish was granted.

5 Comments

  1. Once again planning officers have been correctly overruled
    The same as in the manston change of use case along with numerous others. When will people realise Thanet council officers are not fit for purpose. If they were doing there jobs correctly this would not keep happening.

  2. Apart from knocking these derelict properties down, when is the arcade building on the seafront that was destroyed by fire well over a decade ago going to be rebuilt. Isn’t it about time Dreamland or TDC were proactive in restoring this prominent facade to it’s former glory instead of continuous shoring up and boarding up of the site? There is a mysterious silence by the Council on this.

    • Seriously?
      You don’t think anything is happening? Have you not noticed the restoration of the cinema, the Cinque Ports and the ESC building? Clearly Dreamland is being proactive, perhaps you should give them a little more time especially as until recently the gap in the seafront wasn’t owned by Dreamland or Arrowgrass? Be patient, things are happening, clearly.

    • Already said this in reply to your other comment on the Fort Hotel story but again: the seafront gap, ‘Godden’s Gap’ is now owned by Arrowgrass and currently in use as a dumping… ahem, storage, site for Dreamland operations. Staff from the Ziggy’s Rooftop Bar and adjacent former fish and chips shop or Cinque Ports were actively dropping the rubbish off the roof down towards the bins within the site throughout this year. Piles of bottles and general waste were accumulating next to the bins, effectively causing a health hazard. Little to improve the general long term neglect of the service road that is Hall by the Sea Road.

      There are plans currently rumored for Arrowgrass to submit a planning application and develop the gap site as a hotel/guest house and perhaps some permanent residence, to support their operations at Dreamland. Incidentally despite recommendation of refusal, Arrowgrass who also now own the derelict historic properties on Belgrave Road/Hall by the Sea Road, have been given approval by TDC to clear those properties, level the site and fence the area. In the future it is likely they will develop that site also.

      Otherwise all the other Marine Terrace properties are now fast going through a restoration movement bringing the former residences above the commercial properties back into suitable repair and reoccupation. This has been so called kick-started by the Dreamland investment and the restoration of the commercial properties before the cinema by Arrowgrass.

  3. The heritage advisor recommended refusal of this application as it was seen to be a loss to the conservation area while creating a hole in the line of Belgrave Road, without any proposed development replacing it. It is proposed merely to fence the remaining open perimeter with the same prison palisade fencing which the Dreamland site is so abundant with and then store more rubbish and vehicles etc from Dreamland operations upon it.

    Some surveys were done but again not enough to prove the structural integrity of the current historic buildings, although clearly in a very poor state of repair from the external sight. The council as a whole despite their reputable advisor, however seem to have taken vote to see it all demolished and cleared as it has been an eyesore for so many years with many failed applications.

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