Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group

Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group online

Planning Application: 17 MARINE TERRACE, MARGATE, CT91XJ

with 4 comments

Kent Hotel in its current state. The “Flamingo” signage in the picture was changed this year without any consent.

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
Search for application ref: 12/0329


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.

Kent Hotel with the original shopfront and balcony before it was illegally removed. At the time the building was locally Listed. Photo sourced by the Margate Historical Society.

Marine terrace 1828

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.

Buildings on such as the Terrace Hotel on Marine Drive had similar balconies.

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.

In summary:
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.

Flamingo last year (2011) The signage seems to have changed. Can’t see a planning application on UK Planning…

Margate CAAG thanks Suzannah Foad for historical research and photographs.


Written by Louise

May 16, 2012 at 10:20

4 Responses

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  1. The original balcony was removed without permission. Apparently, the owners were allowed to retain the illegal works in exchange for a small fine. The whole terrace seems to have been shaped by be a succession of unlawful works, arson, and planning decisions totally out of step with the policy guidance on Conservation Areas. The owners of these buildings have been bringing the town into disrepute for decades. This is a process that needs to be reversed if our town is to live up to it’s regeneration aspirations and have a thriving visitor economy fit for the 21st century. The Turner contemporary’s 500,000 visitors in the 1st year show that it is possible.


    May 16, 2012 at 15:03

  2. The Incredible old pictures. Awesome post.


    December 6, 2012 at 08:29

  3. I understand that this terrace of buildings used to be quite grand, but anything of any historic value is now gone. I really believe that in order to make the most of the seafront and Dreamland the arcade strip should be levelled and redeveloped entirely. There is an opportunity to do something really special with this site, but the council needs to be clever and intervene.


    January 17, 2013 at 02:23

  4. Regency terraces are one of margate’s distinguishing features and this Seafront strip is one of the most recognisable faces if the town. Whilst there have been some unfortunate alterations the majority of the original buildings remain. Whilst CAAG would agree that the environment has been degraded, the group advocates the sympathetic conservation and restoration of historic buildings. Because this terrace is so prominent there is a wealth of information relating to it’s history, including numerous images – drawings, paintings and photographs. This terrace contributes to the settig and character of adjacent listed buildings and the conservation area. It is the backdrop for main sands – possibly Britain’s most historic beach which was the first to have deck chairs, donkey rides and possibly even bathing machines – the birthplace of the British seaside. The town must make the most of it’s cultural and heritage offer to increase tourism. Restoration of historic buildings us key to this. Wholesale demolition has not and will not be the answer to Margate’s problems.

    Margate CAAG

    January 17, 2013 at 10:27

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