A planning application has been submitted for change of use of 1st and 2nd floors to 4 No. 2 bed flats, insertion of windows and roller shutter and staircase enclosure to the rear elevation, replacement UPVC windows juliette balconies to front.
Plans are available to view and comment on at www.ukplanning.com/thanet
Search for application ref: 12/0329
Site address: 17 MARINE TERRACE, MARGATE, CT91XJ
You can also write to the Planning Officer: Ms Cheryl Macer directly.
Tel: 01843 577138
Margate CAAG Recommendation: Refuse
The former Kent Hotel building, locally known as The Flamingo, is the book-end to Marine Terrace, one of Margate’s most visible architectural features, lining the seafront promenade from station to the Old Town and the Turner Contemporary, forming the first impression that visitors get when coming to Margate. The historic terrace is the backdrop to Margate’s famous main sands, and this building, in particular, is the backdrop to the Clock Tower.
Marine Terrace was built as the “New Road” in 1908, and the Kent Hotel building completed by 1835, as gentleman’s residences. It was possibly one of the first to be erected on the terrace.
Over the years, the whole terrace has been subjected to neglect and a series of highly inappropriate alterations, making what should be Margates pride into an eyesore. It is essential that this process is reversed and it is through applications for change that this can be achieved.
The Design and Access Statement refers to an approved application for number 18 Marine Terrace (F/TH/10/0398, May 2010). These plans, unfortunately, were not seen by the Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group. The situation in Margate has changed considerably since that decision. The visitor economy is one of the few sectors that is growing and the built heritage is an essential part Margate’s appeal. The application for number 18 was granted because it was like for like replacement. In this application, this is clearly not the case: there are new windows, new balconies and a new staircase and enclosure, new cladding. These are new works and alterations and will bring another negative change to the visual appearance of the Conservation Area.
The rear of this terrace, including this building, has also been subject to a series of inappropriate alterations, often without planning consent.
In order for Margate’s regeneration to gain momentum, for the aspirations for a developing visitor economy and for town pride, the Conservation Area needs to be treated as a Conservation Area. The rear elevation of this building is also very visible. It is part of the Eaton Road street scape and forms part of the setting of the Dreamland heritage site, so proper consideration should be also taken when considering alterations to the rear.
In the Application Form it states that pre-planning advice was not sought. There is no mention anywhere in the application that the building is within a Conservation Area -perhaps the applicant is unaware of this. This would explain why there is no attempt to look the history in the design statement.
The applicant seems to be under the impression that the upper floors of the building are of recent construction. While there may have been subject some unauthorised internal alterations, the building, including the upper parts, havs been there for a very, very long time. Perhaps the applicant could do some research into their building and include it in the Design & Access Statement.
The proposed UPVC windows are totally unacceptable in a Conservation Area, and even more inappropriate in such a prominent seafront position.
UPVC is an inappropriate material for the historic building and detrimental to the appearance. The proposed UPVC windows and doors do not preserve or enhance the appearance of the Conservation Area and are therefore contrary to national planning policy and must be refused.
Any new windows that are not an exact like for like replacement in design and materials should be conservation grade with appropriate design and materials, in keeping with the period and design of the building. For the design, we would recommend researching historic photographs for the design reference.
The windows in the west elevation are one of the few original features left in the building. These certainly should be retained.
The design of the proposed balcony balustrade is out of keeping with the design and period of the building. They do not preserve or enhance the appearance of the Conservation Area and therefore should be refused.
The building had a large terrace, similar to the ones on Marine drive with distinctive ironwork. The Iron work of the original balcony today sits decaying in a builders yard somewhere on the Pysons Industrial Estate.
If balconies are to be added, we would suggest the applicant recovers the original iron balustrade or, studies historic examples of balcony design, of which there are many in the area, and commissions an accurate replica.
The New proposed UPVC “weather board” cladding is also totally out of keeping with the building and fails to preserve or enhance the Conservation area.
The location of the bin store is at 1st floor level and at the end of a very, very long walkway. This is impractical. Rubbish collectors will not come up to the 1st floor to empty bins. Wheely bins will not go down the stairs, Anti-seagull bags left out on such a busy pavement would be unsightly and dangerous for pedestrians and a barrier for those with disabilities. A more appropriate location for the refuse should be found.
The Design and Access Statement refers to “inclusive access to the flats”. Access to the flats is only via a flight of stairs. Without lift access, these flats will not be accessible to anyone physically disabled.
The proposed windows, cladding and balconies are out of keeping with the period and style of the building.
The proposal fails to preserve or enhance the appearance of the Conservation Area and the setting of Listed and non designated heritage assets.
The Margate Conservation Advisory Group recommends refusal of the application, in line with national planning policy.
Recently the pastel coloured Flamingo signage was replaced with new red and yellow. No planning permission was applied for.
Margate CAAG thanks Suzannah Foad for historical research and photographs.
Site address: THANET PRESS, UNION CRESCENT, MARGATE, CT9 1NS
Tel: 01843 577138
– The buildings offer large open plan spaces, sizeable street frontage, architectural interest, and small-sale industrial interiors which would be suitable for art studios, workshops, mixed-use live-work or education. Even if the site were to be used for accommodation, a solution should be sought that can accommodate dwellings, retaining existing structure and the character of the Conservation Area.PROPOSED BUILDINGS
– The proposed housing estate has no relationship to the street or the buildings of the Conservation Area.
It is as if the designers, Arch-FX, have copied and pasted a scheme from another location. The whole scheme is anonymous and has no distinctive character. The materials are inappropriate and the design is poor. The proposal fails to preserve or enhance the Conservation Area and is therefore contrary to national planning policy. The proposal represents the lowest possible aspiration for the site and are consequently not in-keeping with the high quality of architecture abutting the site on all sides.- The proposed 6 story buildings are over double the height of the existing structures, out of scale with the surrounding environment, contravene the Councils no-flat policy and would result in overlooking into private dwellings and places of worship and so degrade the existing building stock. This is overdevelopment- The proposed buildings would negatively affect significant views within the conservation area, blocking the 200 year old views, such as those from from Listed buildings in Hawley Square or from Pump Lane with unsightly, inappropriate modern blocks of no architectural merit.- The scale of the site and its sensitive location in the Conservation area may benefit from the expertise of a qualified architect, perhaps one with a track record of successful developments in sensitive heritage areas.
– The developer may wish to undertake an assessment of views in which their site forms a significant part by following the guidance in “Seeing History in the View” published by English Heritage. This recommends picking a particular view and assessing it’s importance, the heritage assets contained in it, and the impact of a particular site.
They may also wish to consult English Heritage Guidance on the Settings of Heritage Assets.
The site was a great asset for the town because it provided much needed employment. Thanet Press, until last year, employed over 70 people and created secondary employment for many more in the area. Employment use should be retained.
Studio Margate and Thanet in general, lacks jobs. (add our record-braking unemployment stats …)There are a number of potential organisations that would like to move to Margate that would bring employment. We are informed that Canterbury Christ Church University and Acme Studios are among those organisations looking for sites in Margate.Parking and traffic as a result of residential use will be problematic.According to the application, residents will be using public transport, so parking is not provided. A condition should be placed that the new houses will not be eligible for Resident Parking Permits, to avoid the developers passing the impact of parking onto the surrounded streets. Union Crescent is a busy road and a main bus route. The road has serious bottle-necks, obliging cars to stop and give way to oncoming vehicles. The parking arrangements proposed on Addington Crescent will reduce the width of the already narrow road. This could cause major problems to the Cecil Square junction.Creating more dwellings without creating jobs will not reduce the housing waiting list, but revert Margate into a dumping ground for the unemployed pushed out by London Boroughs, putting even more strain on our overstretched services.
The Government benefits policy with recent news stories regarding the borough of Newham’s plans to send unemployed poor to poorer areas in the country where there are no jobs is a major concern.
Change of use would irrevocably damage the character of this part of the conservation area where mixed commercial and residential use has always form part of the townscape
This application for change of use follows an unfortunate recent decision to allow residential development on the neighbouring Grade II Post Office site, which was partly based on mis-information that the Post Office site had been marketed and that no commercial interest had been forthcoming. There was, in fact, evidence to the contrary.
The loss of commercial space from the Conservation Area in this manner both hinders the economic viability of the conservation area increasing the degradation of the historic environment and sets a worrying precident for future development of large sites in the town centre.
The proposal is short-sighted in the context of the current regional growth fund business-creation drive.
Lack of protection and enhancement of existing buildings in a Conservation Area contravenes national planning policy
Poor architectural quality
Adverse effect on Listed buildings
Adverse effect on street-scape
Loss of original street plan
Loss of undesignated heritage asset
Unacceptable change of use
As a point of interest:
An application has been submitted to modify the windows of 5 Union Row.
Search for application 11/0424 on http://www.ukplanning.com/thanet
The application is so poor that Planning Officers are struggling to understand even which windows the application refers to – it is a mystery how the application was validated, missing compulsory items, such as a design and access statement or a legible elevation.
In the past, terrible alterations have been made to some of the houses in the row. However, the terrace is still legible as a whole and could at some point be restored to it’s former splendor. Every effort should be made to ensure the terrace and its buildings are preserved or enhanced.
The buildings are within the Conservation area and Grade II Listed
From the English herirtage listing:
“A crescent circa 1800. 4 storeys and basement with area. Originally stock brick but now many are stuccoed or pebble dashed. Stone coping. 3 sashes each with some glazing bars intact. Left side doorcases have rusticated surrounds, semi-circular fanlights, some original panelled moulded doors and area railings with urn finials. No 4 has a balcony with verandah on 1st floor, now missing from all other houses in the crescent. Nos 3 to 12 (consec) form a group”
Number 9 has had it’s 1st floor full length windows reduced in hight. Numbers 11 and 12 have had one of the three 1st floor windows reduced. These are totally inappropriate modifications and should not be used as a template to follow.
If windows are changed, they should be reverted back to the original full length 9 over 9 sashes, with detailing to match the existing original examples in the terrace. Number 10 is a perfect example.
The CAAG members are holding their breath in anticipation for the officer’s decision….
Arlington Tower is one of Margate’s most significant non designated assets. It is historically significant and an iconic example of Brutalist architecture.
The proposed UPVC windows are chunky and inappropriate. The profile of the windows that open is much wider than the fixed glazing. This is aesthetically unpleasant and detracts from the character of the building.
The new proposal without the dark metal sills is in keeping with the original design.
The brilliant white will make Arlington Tower stand out more than it does at present.The contrast between the horizontal fenestration and concrete is a fine balance. If the glass were to be tinted, the vertical wave rhythm on the facade could be dominated by black and white horizontal strips of concrete and glazing.The proposed UPVC windows intervalled by the chunky opening windows is an unwelcome downgrade to the appearance of the tower.
The proposed lighting of the new top canopy is reminiscent of “1980’s Los Angeles” or a “Ford Fiesta with UV lights underneath and a big tail fin welded on the back”. The vertical strip of light facing the sea could be an interesting addition.
Retail Units (at the base of Arlington Tower)
This is designed as a single unit with 2 doors. The suggested use is “Doctor’s surgery” but as the NHS is not interested, we need to consider this on it’s merit as a generic retail space.
Mezzanine (The floor between the retail level and the residential tower)
Will setting back the retail units expose the mezzanine level with it’s ugly windows?
Building Adjacent to D- scale/mass. This is “massive”. It needs to be reduced in hight or stepped down toward the corner to allow for better views to and from the station and to maintain the slender vertical thrust of the tower.
Facade (station side)
The signage is massive. It is out of scale for an urban street setting, surrounded by Listed and non designated assets and one of the country’s best views.
Facade (Dreamland side)
The proposal of metal panels painted in a patchwork of different bright colours is an absolute blight on a gigantic scale. The kind of decorated facades seen in 1960’s Eastern block countries.The concept of Dreamland is that of vintage rides in a park, or pleasure garden.What would help is a living wall. That would be beautiful, sustainable and ad some green to this mass of concrete.
Why not a green roof?
The roof is massive. We already have a massive asphalt carpark, a big concrete building. In Google earth this part of Margate is a massive nature free area.
Why not give something to soften the views from above and create an environment welcoming to wildlife and pleasing to the eye.
Impact on Seafront Public Realm
The impact of traffic on the seafront will be detrimental to the regeneration aims of the town.
The heavy loads of traffic the applicant says the superstore will attract will create a barrier of noise, air pollution and safety issues between town and sea. This will be unpleasant for residents and for visitors who we are supposed to be encouraging to walk from the station to the old town and Turner Gallery.
Article and pictures copyright Sam Causer Studio 2011.
Russell Diplock’s 1960s vision for Arlington Square united beach, cars, shopping and living to create a civic space with pride and optimism. There were some negative aspects which need to be put right and the space has been treated badly.
Arlington Square fenced off, shops closed down.
Margate visitors can’t access the car park.
No way in to Arlington House from the square.
Clean and refurbish Arlington House
Re-use, adapt and clean existing concrete structures.
Retain roof-top carpark for Arlington House residents and Margate visitors.
New, locally sized supermarket with entrance off Arlington Square.
New lifts and stairs to rooftop parking from Arlington Square.
Provide direct access from carpark to beach via public retail space.
Refurbish and extend retail units for mix of shops and cafes.
Create garden terrace for Arlington House residents over parade of shops.
Install Canopies for rain and sun protection.
Result: Local economy, active townscape, visitor amenities, social cohesion.
It has been done before
This article is available as a PDF.
The outline planning application F/TH/10/1061 to erect a 7500m2 superstore and external alterations to Arlington House will come before the Planning Committee on the 15th of June 2011 at 7pm. The outline plans are viewable at http://www.ukplanning.com/ enter the reference F/TH/10/1061 .