Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Plans to demolish Ramsgate harbour slipways update

Talking to people in Ramsgate at the moment this seems to be the main issue that they are interested in, when it comes to developments in the town.

A bit more information has come my way and here it is.

Today started with the information that the last date to comment on this application was this coming Tuesday, information about this application differs depending on who you ask.

I have since discovered directly from the planning case officer that last date you can comment is 1st of October.

For Ramsgate this application is a watershed and the choice is between having a working boatyard in the town and a single isolated slipway with a very small workshop. The main distinction is between a working harbour and a leisure marina.At the moment we have four slipways combined with a large workshop and yard area.



The intention is to turn most of this in to a restaurant and bar complex.

More information and pictures at http://www.ramsgateslipways.co.uk/ and http://www.ukplanning.com/thanet planning ref L/TH/10/0736

No. 1 Slip - 60 MTRS LONG X 12 MTRS BEAM

700 TON DISPLACEMENT

This is the main slipway, mostly used for plating, painting and repairs to small cargo vessels. Very roughly it is not available for use about half of the time, by this I mean it either has a ship on it or is down for maintenance.

No. 2 Slip - 36.6 MTRS LONG X 7.5 MTRS BEAM

100 TON DISPLACEMENT
The council surveyed this in April 2009 and declared it unfit for use.

No. 3 Slip - 15.3 MTRS LONG X 5.5 MTRS BEAM

50 TON DISPLACEMENT

The firm that operates the slipways recently spent quite a bit, rumoured to be about £50,000 repairing this and rebuilding the cradle.

No. 4 Slip - COVERED SLIPWAY 16.5 MTRS LONG X 4 MTRS BEAM

20 TON DISPLACEMENT

This is a small vessel slipway that takes vessels into the workshop and was largely replaced by the marina’s boatlift.

No. 5 Workshop - MULTI-DISCIPLINE FACILITIES AND PROJECT OFFICES

The general stance from the slipway operator has been that slipways 2, 3 and 4 are not profitable but slipway 1 is. I don’t really know if this is based on some sort of commercial evidence, certainly none seems to be available. I would think that the harbour’s lift has had an impact there see http://www.portoframsgate.co.uk/welcome_to_the_marina/booking_berths__fees/boat_lifting_charges_2010.aspx

Another consideration that comes into this is the future of the maritime museum, the historic vessel pontoon and how these integrate with the historic boatyard next door.

I suppose my assumption was that slipways 2 and 3 with their World War 2 heritage status would have had a part to play in this, I would assume that grant funding would have been readily available, particularly as the original wartime 1942 winding equipment is still there and working, something I assume is fairly unique. What I expected to see was these being used for modern boat repairs and historic boat restorations, providing a backdrop to our emerging café culture.

There is a bit of a balancing act here, on the one hand when it comes to what Ramsgate has to offer that makes it different from other towns is its unique heritage, something that is much more evident in most parts of the town than is usual.

On the other hand a working boatyard does produce noise and dust and to some people may be seen as a bit of a nuisance in the middle of our emerging café culture.

Another aspect here is the wind farm operators both Thanet Offshore Wind Farm and the London Array, the smaller slipways are ideal for the maintenance of their support craft. At the moment slipway 3 is used for this for much of the time.

A major factor in the decision about what happens here will depend the comment from local people both those supporting and those objecting to this application. At the moment my information is that no one whatsoever has commented at all.

The developer has recently restored The Custom House, something that I think most people would consider has been fairly successful, although in this case it puts the town council in the difficult position, that is should they wish to object to the application to demolish the slipways, as this application is being made by their landlord.

The developer also recently demolished The Granville Marina Restaurant, I would say that most people would consider that this restoration project has been less successful.

I should make it clear that the application that one has to consider is one to demolish the slipways and although there are potential development plans attached to the application, their approval isn’t being sought at this time.

There are several aspects of this potential development that concern me, the first being that the land has already changed hands.

The council own the freehold and the lease to the yard operator for the whole site was a twenty year lease dating from 1990. The developer paid the yard operator £90,000 for the remaining 10 years leasehold, for the part of the site that the development is to be built on, so the land registry now records two leases from the council.

This is unusual as normally there would be a sublease from the yard operator to the developer. It would seem unlikely that the developer would wish to construct an expensive development with only a ten year lease.

There is also a rumour that the council intend to grant the developer a 120 year lease, normally any lease over 25 years would be seen as an asset disposal and therefore have to go through the council procedures and scrutiny associated with this.

This rule doesn’t apply in some cases where tenants already hold long leases, however I am uncertain of the position should the council wish to use this exception in this case.

There are also likely to be conditions attached to the lease stipulating what this site can be used for.

There is also the problem of what could be done with the remaining slipway and the smaller workshop facilities, you can see from the plan above that the proposed bar and restaurant complex is very close to the slipway. As I have already pointed out work on vessels rends to be dusty and noisy.

Considering that a normal high tide comes up to the bottom of the slipway cradles when they are at the top of the slipways and the new workshop is much smaller, it is difficult to see where normal ship repair operations like bending a ships steel plate to shape could take place.

You can also see that what remains of slipways 2 3 and 4 would be submerged at high water, so they would not be of any use for anything.

The listed status of the slipways, in fact all of the harbour is somewhat fragmented and appears to be out of date, here it is:

“RAMSGATE ROYAL HARBOUR
TR 36 SE + TR 3864 NW
3+ 13/345

East Pier, No. 1
Slipway, bollards
30.10.85 and Victoria or
Dover Stairs
GV II
Harbour pier, slipway and bollards. Circa 1750 to 1792; built in part round
the old pier. Later repairs. Thomas Preston, Harbour mason. Extension or
advanced pier to south west c.1788, with Smeaton as designer and engineer:
pier head repaired 1812-14 by John Rennie. Faced with granite; stepped
granite to inner walls, roll moulded outer wall below parapet. Stone flag
paving, largely covered now with C20 paving. Thirty eight painted granite
bollards along inner wall. Radial pattern paving slabs at pier head. No.
1 slipway against east pier inner face is a Morton's Patent Slipway of 1838
with travelling cradle running on inclined rails above granite sets,
originally steam operated. Victoria or Dover stairs of granite, 1831 against
inner face of East pier. (See Busson, chap. 3; also Maritime Thanet,
R.B. Matkin).

Listing NGR: TR3812864526”

What protection is affords in this case is uncertain, I suppose that most people assumed that the harbour would be better listed.

Something that also concerns me is that the delays in granting the maritime museum a lease, means that the people closest to this development are not in occupation and therefore not in a position to make the comments about the development that would hold the most weight, in terms of planning law.

With the pavilion vacant on the other side, the site has no immediate neighbours available to comment, a situation that makes the site vulnerable to unsuitable development.

75 comments:

  1. The miss-information has started. I have commented on the proposal yet you've been told nobody has commented. Rest assured the public file will be examined carefully at the Gateway offices as experience has taught me that only chosen information appears in the public domain.

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  2. What is TDC's part in all this, if they agreed for the lease to be spilt/sold, they must have had some meetings and one assumes given tacit assent.
    Yet again TDC planning department seems to be allowing developers to drive a coach and horses through everything without the local voter being consulted or given the full facts of the case.

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  3. Indeed, what did TDC agree too at the secret April meeting of this year?

    What is the utterly worthless EKAP doing about this?

    I am given to understand that a heritage application is in to re-designate the whole harbour area - I take it this application would be to up grade it (the whole of the Harbour).

    Surely this is something our so called leadership should have instigated decades ago and most certainly the RTC should have looked after our significant Royal Harbour heritage over and above developers interests.

    The RTC/TDC can no longer properly represent us regarding this matter as too many documents and meeting agendas are not available so how the hell can we the so called electorate actually comment?

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  4. (1) why did T.D.C not apply for
    any grants available to update
    slipways, wokshops etc

    (2) no1 slip will become unusable
    if cafe/bar next door H.H.law
    re dust noise ect OR IS THIS
    THE INTENTION

    (3) has any consideration been
    given re R&M to windfarm work
    boats or is it get it over
    before the need arisees

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  5. 07.21
    WERE RTC TOLD IN THE FIRST PLACE I DOUT IT

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  6. Our future is being decided without us even knowing. When a highway robber jumped out of the trees with a gun, at least you knew you were being robbed. With these buggers you don't know what they're up to, the only certainty being that someone is up to something. I think it's time for a full and structured response from us, collectively or individually, forcing disclosure of all information - including that enclosed in brown envelopes! Maybe this latest stunt will be the one that pushes us too far. If it goes ahead we'll be robbed of a major part of our heritage, and we'll have a constant reminder of how we've been manipulated every time we go near the harbour.

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  7. Come on people of Ramsgate - whats the matter with you, think future this is 2010! If the slipway is developed think of the new jobs it will create, new restaurant and bar, bringing more visitors and revenue to the town.
    In turn hopefully the run down monstrostity of the casino might actually get some attention and not forgetting the development at the Royal Sands. Ramsgate will become one of the best seaside towns to visit - that makes me feel proud to be a part of this thriving town.

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  8. WHAT NEW JOBS? ROYAL SANDS ONLY FOR THE RICH NOT LOCALS WHERES THE PARKING?

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  9. We can't keep hanging on to old stuff because it 'dates from the war' We need to move on and chuck it away for nice new shiny stuff :)

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  10. To correct one point; no one is 'demolishing' slipways for this new development, just the old mixture of sheds and buildings! Slipway 3 is being retained to become home to a 'feature' boat and could be used for a revolving display of 'Little Ships'. Slipway 2 is being gifted to the Sea Scouts and Sea Cadets along with a new facility in the basement of the new development which they can use as a clubhouse or training facility. Slipway 4 was condemned some time ago and the Slipway Operator has apparently said that it would take nearly half a million pounds of investment to bring the yard and slipways back up to any kind of standard. In the current climate the banks are not lending and even if there was a full order book it apparently wouldn't support such an investment.

    Despite the poor state of Slipways 2,3 & 4 the operator was still paying rent and rates on the whole yard. If the business was viable he wouldn't have been so keen to sell part of it.

    A reinvigorated slipway 1 with brand new workshops and offices and a modified cradle (which could accept two smaller vessels at once) would actually secure the future of the slipway business and as for the wind-farms..... I think other ports are benefitting more than we are but I'm no expert in that field.

    Certain people seem to want Ramsgate to be set in stone with nothing ever changing. Einstein said that "if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got" Ramsgate needs to be adaptive and to modernise. We need to bring people to the town to both live and visit.

    I have kids of 10 and 11, I want them to be able to stay in Ramsgate and build a life for themselves, not to need to move away to find work and decent facilities.

    If our policy is always to sit on the fence and do nothing there will be nothing NEW in the town to attract new investors and people moving down or visiting from elsewhere. There will be no new jobs to speak of and it would send out a dangerous message to any outside investors.

    The new development will also give a boost to the Maritime Museum by opening up a walkway all around the outside of the existing building and increasing footfall generally. The Museum could be involved in the arrangements for the permanent exhibits on Slipway 3.

    The plan is to attract National Companies as tenants for the new facilities with a view to having more family-oriented places than those already on the sea-front. The explosion of Cafe-Culture on the sea-front has been a generally positive thing for the town but the evenings are completely out-of-bounds for families due to the focus on entertaining the 18 to 25 year olds and the inherent noise and boisterous behaviour this generates. This needs to change!

    I work in property locally and know the developers. They employ local people and have the funds available to start this project immediately. The new development could well be completed before Royal Sands is even above pavement level.

    Criticism has been levelled at the developers regarding the Marina Restaurant site but that stood semi-derelict for fifteen years without any input from TDC or English Heritage. If Mr Pugin hadn't built it out of odds and ends and spoil from his other developments it might have stood the test of time better. The new development being built there is a vast improvement on what went before in my opinion... how many people who have had a good moan about it have actually looked at the plans???

    Would everyone be moaning if, as a result of showing a willingness to adapt and change we managed to attract a big new employer or leisure / tourist facility??

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  11. quite agree new is good! there are many buildings around the harbour that look tired, unused and unloved, look at the custom house now it has been renovated, before it was an old empty run-down building, now its transformed into a very nice cafe, offices for the town council and is home for extremely important people like the RNLI. surely change is good??

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  14. Mmmm

    The develop at any cost luvvie's are on the site Michael, a bit like Magpies and shiny things.

    The trouble with developers they are only in it for what the can get out of it and employ family members need I say more!!!!

    That this scheme will rob TDC of revenue elsewhere, is a local tax payers concern as we do not live off shore and have offshore accounts.

    St Bennett's anyone?

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  19. On a wider point; nothing ever happens anywhere without there being a commercial benefit for someone. TDC needs thriving businesses on their sites to secure ongoing rental income as does any Landlord. TDC also benefit (although not greatly) from more Business Rate income.

    Where Public Funds are used (and abused) for regeneration like the immense amount of funding thrown at Margate via SEEDA and on the Turner Contemporary (which I hope will be a great success!) it's more a case of "shutting your eyes, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best".

    I'd rather trust someone with a vested interest (a developer) to make something happen.... keep up the moaning and they will stop even trying to spend their money here ... then we can all look proudly on the wilderness we've created!!!

    Every action has a reaction.... Newton's Law. If NOTHING gets planned, nobody moans.

    THANET, the Inertia Capital of the UK..... sounds great doesn't it?

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  20. Ramsgate Fan I think the issue is TDC thinking stuff can go through on the nod. They seem hell bent on stuff the want and maybe what is needed is a more democratic approach. TDC'S officers aree very self serving and do think that their ideas are Best because THEY KNOW BEST. I disagree with that and would far sooner see TDC take a less autocratic approach stance. I commented similarly on Kates blog earlier today after she was ignored at a planning committee meeting, read her blog http://katherinelvjackson.blogspot.com/ and see how she got on trying to change planning.

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  21. Ramsgate Fan, it’s my day off today, so have been out Spitfire Museum, book buying, piza at Osteria Posillipo Pizzeria in Broadstairs, no Wi Fi there so I didn’t have a chance to check on the blog.

    There is no comment moderation set on this blog, nor have I deleted any on this post, what has happened is that blogger has set up some new automatic spam controls, and automatically spammed some of your comments.

    I have been into my blogger controls and said your comments are not spam and as far as I can see they have all appeared now.

    Could you confirm that they are all there, as this a new thing and I don’t want comment vanishing without my control.

    I didn’t think that this post was particularly for or against the development, just trying to tell people what is going on and trying to gauge local opinion.

    I have reservations about both options with this one, and could put up a fairly strong case in both directions, essentially I don’t really want the harbour to become just a car park for seldom used expensive toys, but am also uncertain that this is the best location for light industry.

    I also don’t think the development shown in the plans is suitable for the site, partly because pretty much anything on the foreshore that uses non traditional building materials very soon starts to look pretty awful, particularly a site like this one where the sea spray goes right over the top it, and partly because I think there is an error related to the floor level of lowest floor and level of the highest tides.

    Business rates is a very sore point as far as I am concerned, as this money goes to central government and is the apportioned by them to various councils, meaning that the councils don’t get any less business rates when their actions cause businesses to close.

    I don’t really understand the feature boat at all as it is in tidal water, i.e. does it float up and down with the tide?

    With the lads and lasses, is it Sea Cadets or Sea Scouts? And what part of the development do they have that is above the high tide mark?

    What the developer has put on the planning application is: “Listed building consent for the demolition of workshop, offices and other associated structures, together with partial removal of slipway rails and boundary fencing.”

    I think you will find it was slipway 2 that the council condemned, slipway 4 is a concrete ramp with no mechanical parts to condemn.

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  22. OOOPS!!! Many apologies for the multiple copies of some of my posts but due to technical issues at my end and the issue Michael outlined in his post above a train wreck occurred. I'm also new to blogs so will watch out for this in future!

    I have deleted the repetitions....

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  23. As I understand it, the feature boat display will be on a slip-cradle designed so it holds the boat level with the new boardwalk. As far as I am aware the facility earmarked for the sea-cadets under the boardwalk will be usable and dry at high tide.

    My original comment was directed more at the initial flurry of responses to your well-researched post and whilst I fully admit that I am pro-development I am also extremely keen to see our true heritage retained in Ramsgate.

    I was luke-warm to the proposals when I saw them initially and then I took the opportunity to look out of an upstairs window at the Customs House on a visit there and the existing structures are a real blot on the landscape.

    I have come round to the idea of the development and can see the merits.

    Would people have stronger opinions if it was going to be 'Tate Kent' rather than a commercial enterprise?

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  24. Don.... I fully take your point regarding TDC Planning although I don't think it's as simple as them just giving things 'The Nod'.

    It's normal procedure for any developer committing funds to a project to seek advice or guidance in advance of putting in an application. If you didn't get the Planners' initial thoughts beforehand you could waste thousands on Architect's fees etc.

    I'm sure plenty of people will have plenty to say as part of the wider consultation.

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  25. Still repairing older duplicated posts..... at 09:23 Anonymous said that "Royal Sands was only for Rich People etc. etc......" WE NEED RICH PEOPLE TO MOVE HERE AND SPEND THEIR MONEY IN OUR TOWN ...... Our local economy can only thrive if we bring in outside investment!!!

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  26. I think Ramsgate Fan has missed the point. I doubt anyone wants to set Ramsgate in stone, but both the Harbour and the Clock House are over 200 years old, they are nationally recognised as listed structures and a modern glass monstrosity simply will not complement either.

    When did you last visit a town because of a restaurant Ramsgate Fan? I tend to find a place of interest first and then find a restaurant in character with that place.

    What jobs will a restaurant provide Ramsgate Fan? Low paid seasonal work for immigrants or students maybe, and only then the bare minimum. Is that what you want for your kids?

    Surely Ramsgate Fan, to reinvigorate No.1 Slipway would put it at odds with a restaurant complex alongside. Have you been down there when they’re pressure cleaning a hull, or grinding metal. I understand there’s already some kind of noise restriction on them from which started with a complaint from across the road. Given time the new restaurant will probably close the slipway.

    Do you really think people who come to Ramsgate for a restaurant are going to give a significant boost to the Museum. I think the Museum should survive on its own merits, not those of another restaurant in the area.

    We do agree on one point Ramsgate Fan. We should not always sit on the fence, and I have a feeling this one will make people chose which side to sit. Think about it. The splitting of the leases on our slipways has occurred without any public knowledge and in an unusual manner. Draw your own conclusions from that. The leaseholder for No.1 Slipway has apparently been paid a considerable amount of money to split the lease. No developer would develop on the terms of the current lease, so there must be some skulduggery already decided which just has to be manipulated through the democratic process. Perhaps rather cleverly the developer is the landlord of Ramsgate Town Council, who should have a major say in this. And it’s all occurring during an interim period when we have lost the specific heritage protection previously afforded by the Local Plan. In short,it stinks!

    The developer has a bit of a history with listed buildings and has shown little regard for the principles relating to heritage assets. It’s important to recognise that Heritage assets are a non renewable resource, and just because contemporary opinion may favour something else, the Council has a duty to preserve our heritage for future generations. We can only see how the Council discharges its duties, but looking at the evidence so far I suspect the deal is done, and just waitiung for the rubber stamp. How when and why will no doubt become the subject of an inquiry if this goes ahead.

    It’s time to stop sitting on the fence, and to stop the smoke and mirror activities of the few that are manipulating our future for short term gain.

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  27. There too many 'anonymous' on this blog. Or is just one 'anonymous' having a discussion with himself.

    It's all really very confusing.

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  28. Anonymous 17:57. You make some valid points but the biggest issue that I have is WHERE ARE THE OTHER IDEAS COMING FROM? TDC has no money, RTC has no money. Some on RTC seem proactive in trying to push 'SOMETHING' forward for Ramsgate but unfortunately if we wait for Government Subsidies for more earnest and worthwhile endeavours we will be waiting a long time....

    I'm glad you agree on the point that we do need to get off the fence but we do also need to GET ON WITH DOING SOMETHING that will re-invigorate dilapidated areas and show that the town is OPEN FOR BUSINESS....

    I was with some out of town investors today and they LOVE Ramsgate and want to invest BUT they want to see the local authority getting behind development schemes and thinking outside the box....

    Brighton City Council would LOVE beaches like ours and a Sea-Front like ours..... their whole sales gambit was that it was "only an hour from London".

    We have a major opportunity to capitalise on the massive infrastructure spending going on round East Kent with the trains and roads. Whilst I fully support your wish for open and honest Local Government I don't see why this should conflict with developments in principle......

    As for your comment on jobs... yes, some of the jobs will likely be low-paid and some may be taken by migrant workers but if they pay rent to Thanet Landlords and spend their wages in Thanet Shops it has to be a good thing.

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  29. WELL SAID JOHN HOLYER!!!! Even if we only use aliases, at least we will know more than one person is having a discussion!!!

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  30. I don't understand how we can pass judgment on projects such as this without also knowing the nature of the cafes/bars/restaurants that will be housed inside the proposed new building. Will they be sterile, generic chain-store style premises, or places with charm and character that echo the harbour and it's history?

    TDC don't provide the full picture because they probably don't have one.

    Judging by the drawings I have seen on this website, the architecture is very poor and consistent with waterside projects from the 80s that insist on having "nautical" details such as round windows, which are tacky and restrict the view.

    This is amateurville design. If ever you needed proof that waterside architecture doesn't need childish nautical detailing to be beautiful, just take a look at Venice, or, Ramsgate itself, of course.

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  31. Whoops! My last post showed me as "administrator", that wasn't intentional. I was using that name for a blog where I was the administrator and forgot to change it back in my profile. Sorry…

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  32. Ramsgate Fan thanks for sorting that lot out, I can assure you that I only delete comment here if it is obviously spam, may wind me up in court, contains obscene language or uses the names of local people in a context that may cause them problems.

    With the Granville Marina Restaurant, I accept that now it is demolished it needs rebuilding as soon as possible, there are however two aspects of the development that I am not happy about. 1 Despite its history of flooding and being cut off by the sea, there is no emergency escape to the cliff top built into the new designs. 2 This structure is an integral part of the Victorian viaduct designed to form part of the cliff support system, hence the unusually thick walls extending out from the cliff that formed part of its structure. This aspect of the structure needs thoroughly investigating and any extra support required incorporated into the new building.

    With the slipways development, I think the fundamental problem is that the designers don’t seem to have measured the sea level properly, have made no allowances for wave action and don’t seem to have allowed for rising sea levels during the life of the development.

    I will remind you that the waves in the outer harbour have smashed up the pontoons there before, so let us say that the highest waves in the outer basin are likely to be about 2 metres, this is a guess. I have been on the pontoons there with a rise and fall of about one and a half, as I helped my brother get his converted lifeboat of them before it was cast adrift.

    Let us also say that the expected life of the development is 90 years, predicted sea level rise by 2100 is between about half a metre and about two metres.

    So how low is the development and how high is a spring tide now, click on the link and you will see what I mean http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop910a/id12.htm

    It’s pretty much the same problem as the Pleasurama development, which is the architect has never seen a combination of a storm and high tide in Ramsgate. When we get a severe one the sea picks up lumps of the harbour wall and sea defences weighing several tons and throws them about, like confetti.
    Yes we do have some old buildings in Ramsgate that were built so that they are subject to flooding and storm damage and yes it is sensible to try and protect them, but to build new developments on the foreshore without adequate flood protection or the minimum of protection for the people inside is another matter altogether.

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  33. Another good post Michael. I'd be surprised if the seas WITHIN the outer harbour got to 2m. I've seen 1m and that's enough to give you the willies standing on a pontoon!

    I can't comment on the engineering points you make about the Granville Marina site but when I went round it with a view to buying it in around 2000 it was already in a shocking state and the top floor was like a water-bed.... Anything built there will be an improvement structurally!!!

    As for the slipways, surely the Planning Department & Environment Agency will have an opinion about water levels etc..? I was surprised Royal Sands didn't incorporate a 'step' or 'raised veranda' in their design but then again, they were already struggling to keep the thing below the clifftop anyway.

    Reading the critique from some regarding the architecture.... My thoughts are that whatever you put in between the Pavillion and the Maritime Museum needs to be strikingly different rather than something attempting to look "olde worlde"

    The materials planned according to one RTC member I spoke to include 'Chameleon Board' which reflects the surroundings like an ever changing pearlescent paint and which looks really nice when used appropriately. There aren't too many pictures up on the web but what there are look quite impressive.

    Finally, as far as I am aware the plan is to try to tempt more 'family-oriented' tenants to balance the current offering in the town. No names have been mentioned yet but it is early days..... If I find out more I will post it here!

    Anyway... I need to get on with normal life so it's goodnight from me.......

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  34. For reasons best known to me I prefer to remain anonymous on this one, sorry John! Ramsgate Fan I agree wholeheartedly with your 18:28 post, even about the migrant workers. I welcome migrant workers, we would be in trouble without them.

    The popularity of this topic indicates the interest in our town and its future. As for the planning application, it is just that at the moment. The problem is the way it has evolved stinks of dodgy dealing. Talk of brown envelope decisions plague TDC, and will do until they are more open. Try finding out what’s happening with the Pavilion or the Maritime Museum. I doubt if you’ll get an answer. Why? Again, I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

    I’m sure there are investors wanting to invest in Ramsgate, but until we get rid of this secretive approach from TDC and get democracy working again we’ll go nowhere except where the few want us to go. It simply has to stop, and we’re the only ones who can stop it. I’ve started doing my bit, I just hope others will follow suit and try to expose what’s going on.

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  35. Ramsgate Fan 2 metres was a bit of an understatement really, perhaps you didn’t understand what I meant here, in a big easterly storm the effectiveness of the eastern harbour arm is somewhat limited.

    The waves go over it, these waves are big I wouldn’t be able to give you an accurate height, I wouldn’t recommend mooring a ship on the harbour wall when one is forecast, it is difficult to describe to someone relatively new to Ramsgate.

    Park your car there and I don’t suppose you would be able tell what make it was when it got craned out of the wreckage after the storm.

    One thing is for certain you won’t find any photographs of a big storm in progress there as you can’t get near enough, fortunately we only get big storms from this direction about three or four times in a hundred years.

    The last big storm like this was in 1978 I think, about then anyway, click on the link and look at the pictures of the damage it did to the harbour wall http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop910a/id13.htm fair question here, what do you estimate the wave height was in the outer basin at the height of the storm?

    With the Granville Marina Restaurant and associated viaduct as with the red brick arches by the harbour, the brick walls that project outwards from the face of the cliff form the cliff support structure. This isn’t complex engineering, build a leggo wall a foot high and you can blow it over, build one with walls coming out of it at right angles every six inches and it will be hard to kick over with your foot.

    The cliff there has a history of collapses involving hundred of tons of chalk, knock down part of the support structure and you are advised to consult a civil engineer.

    I can provide pictures of previous collapses if you want.

    With the Royal Sands this is what the environment agency had to say http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/ea/index.htm from an historical point of view, during the 1953 storm the sea threw a 12 ton crane that had been working on the beach into the middle of where the development will be, in the 1897 storm the sea flattened most of the buildings there.

    Back to the development on the slipways.

    One thing is certain whatever building materials are used, repeatedly pouring sea water on it is a test that they need to survive and look good afterwards, if you want the building to look good after a single winter.

    What I am trying to get at here is that I am not against new development, provided that in the first instance that development is safe and fit for purpose, what it looks like is a secondary consideration.

    We have a history of problems where people unfamiliar with the effects of the sea locally have tried to build things too close to it, the Turner Centre debacle at least means the revised building has proper protection from the sea.
    I don’t think this means that the experts weren’t consulted about the one that got away though.

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  36. A development could be very good for the harbour, but when TDC and the developer started being secretive and underhand alarm bells start to ring.
    The lease on clock house did not go through because it was seen as an asset disposal, and tdc have not managed to come to an agreement in over 2 years of discussions. Miraculously they have agreed that the lease on the slipway could be divided in a very short space of time without any discussion apart from the very few in the "know". The lease on the slipway is up in about 10 years, which means either the developer has already got an agreement that it will be extended or they are prepared to take a very big gamble.

    It should also be remembered that both the casino and the slipways were on a full repairing lease so if they look tatty and run down it is because TDC has not made sure the terms of the lease are complied with.
    Millions have been spent repairing car parks leased by tdc as the landlord insisted tdc carried out the work, when it comes to tdc's own property they show no interest in making sure the tenants responsible for the up keep of the buildings comply with the terms of the lease.

    Finally I don't see anything regarding the fishermen and where they are going to land their catch.

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  37. I always make it a point not to read anything that comes from 'anonymous'' Rightly or wrongly I feel that if they do not have the wit to invent a unique name, then they cannot be expected to have anything to say that could possibly worth hearing.

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  38. It's late and I'm missing out words. Here it is again for what it is worth -
    "I always make it a point not to read anything that comes from 'anonymous'' Rightly or wrongly I feel that if they do not have the wit to invent a unique name, then they cannot be expected to have anything to say that could possibly be worth hearing.

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  39. It's late and I'm missing out words. Here it is again for what it is worth -
    "I always make it a point not to read anything that comes from 'anonymous'' Rightly or wrongly I feel that if they do not have the wit to invent a unique name, then they cannot be expected to have anything to say that could possibly be worth hearing.

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  40. John Holyer it maybe that some anon work for tdc and in the current climate are fearful for their jobs.
    Saying that i hear that euroferries are taking tdc to court because a certain director of regen said that they were a bunch of W***** who couldn't run a bus company let alone a ferry company and they have taken umbrage. watch the Sits Vac

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  41. I am very keen to see the revitalisation of Ramsgate's waterfront but I have three nagging questions with regard to this development.

    1. Why does the building need the be so big that it dwarfs the Clock House? Architecturally it is "interesting" but it is totally out of scale with its neighbour.

    2. Does Ramsgate need more bars and restaurants,even family ones?
    I haven't heard of a "family" bar unless the licensing laws have changed recently.
    Also restaurants and bars have a notoriously short life span in terms of popularity, usually 7 to 10 years or until the next new restaurant opens. In this case it maybe until the first big wave hits it.

    3. Is there anything in this new development which could not be housed in a refurbished Royal Victoria Pavilion.

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  42. John Holyer has decided not to read comments from Anonymous contributors. How gracious of him to tell us this earth shattering news! At least they’re contributing to the debate, and does it matter who said what as long as it’s relevant. Could someone please pass this comment on to him as I doubt if he’ll read it.

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  43. i wonder how many of the jobs that are created will just be lost from other eateries. We all know westwood X has created jobs, but it has also cost a lot of jobs in Ramsgate/margate town centres.
    How fortuitous that the sea scouts are being offered a home when tdc are scrapping all grants to such units, are the sea cadets to be relocated too.

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  44. are no lease to clock house and dividing slip lease connected in some way?

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  45. Morning Michael, I think I did misunderstand your post regarding 2metre seas in the outer harbour. The isolated Easterly Storms you mention have in the past caused damage and no doubt the outer basin was affected.

    The parallel you draw with the original Turner Centre design is a little disingenuous as that was designed to be sited in the open sea.... we all know what happened there!!! lol 24 Hours wasn't it?

    Much sensible debate has been posted here and I think most of the bases have been covered. I personally am for the development because I think the only alternative would be for TDC to assist the Slipway Operator in completely refurbishing the whole operation in the HOPE that it paid off. The slipway Operator apparently thinks that the return wouldn't justify such investment and I'm sure he must have looked long and hard at it from a business posint of view.

    One thing I only heard recently is that a lot of the jobs we see going on at the slipways are actually being carried out by the boat owners themselves with the slip only being rented out at £80 per day which is apparently the going rate. If a slip was rented out 24/7 363 days a year it would earn only £29,000 per annum. I can't see how you could pay Rent, Rates and also reinvest on an income like that even if you allowed for two slips used in this way. Perhaps someone more experienced could comment here.

    If there was any funding available from anywhere I would love to see a Tourist Attraction such as an Aquarium or Dunkirk Museum in Ramsgate but such worthy endeavours eat up public money at an alarming rate. TDC wants a secure income from the slipways and I suppose it sees this as the only viable option.

    As I have said before WHERE ARE THE OTHER IDEAS AND WHERE WILL THE CASH COME FROM?

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  46. Keep Ramsgate MediaevalSeptember 17, 2010 11:55 am

    I agree with all the negative comments. We must not allow Ramsgate to become an attractive place for people to visit or move to.

    Then the bloggers, sitting in their underpants imagining what it would be like to have a real girlfriend other than digital ones, will be happy.
    Let's hear it. No to progress.

    If Cardinal Walter Kasper thought Heathrow is like a third-world country he should see Ramsgate after the Luddites have had their way.

    So, let's Keep Ramsgate rooted in the past and wave goodbye to all those selfish kids who get an education and then swan off to places where there are real jobs and hopes for the future. We will still have the chavs, bless 'em.

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  47. Oh dear on one hand we have the developer luvvies spouting off about new shiny things and how wonderful it will be - and on the other we have the offensive lets keep things medieval remarks.

    We had a secret meeting over the slipways which is a fact and the lease was agreed with startling speed unlike the Clock house. The developer luvvies and Mediaeval poster must accept this and move on.

    Clearly TDC want the Sea Scouts out of their current building so in essence the public who pay much more than any developer collectively in local taxes are not being democratically served at all.

    I am wondering what exactly the protect the development at any cost posters have actually done for their community?

    Clearly Ramsgate First should be renamed Development First as its this political party that got us to this point - perhaps Jerry could enlighten us to why RF supported this disgrace.

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  48. Morning Ramsgate Fan well it’s afternoon now, your comment was in bloggers amazing new spam folder, there is no facility for me to turn this off. I suspect this may be due to the word Fan in your username combined with having a blog that you have never posted on.

    With the harbour and the seas here, I learnt to sail in the harbour in the mid 1960s, since then about once a year I hear some story or another where someone has underestimated the power of the sea in this area.

    I would say a powerful southerly storm presents the greatest risk to this site, that is unless the east pier is breeched, something that is becoming increasingly likely with the general state of disrepair of the harbour.

    My parallel with the Turner 1 fiasco really relates to the architect of this one not appearing to have investigated the high tide line and the height of waves in the harbour, pretty basic stuff really, that makes me doubt the basic civil engineering behind the rest of the plans.

    Obviously the plans are the only reason for this demolition application and if those plans don’t appear to viable, then it puts a completely different complexion on the application.

    A new planning application has just appeared on the council’s website and this one has a flood risk assessment, so I will have to read that before I can comment further, as it is quite likely that I misunderstood the first one, or they have modified the plans so that part of the building isn’t submerged at high tide.

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  49. The sea is indeed a merciless adversary which demands respect!

    I think just about all the helpful debate, or at least the issues that people want to highlight, have been aired in this thread and I think it's now encumbent upon those with constructive comments or criticisms to go through the proper channels any further 'debate' on here is just going to look like a bunfight..

    I'm broadly in favour of development as a tool for regeneration but I am also 100% behind local democracy.

    What I don't like about Thanet is the way in which some people use issues like this simply to preserve the status quo.

    If this admirable bile, guile and insight were redirected into creative thought on how to develop some of our under-used or vacant assets we could all be on the same team.

    I fear that the kind of entrepreneurial spirit required to bring about change may be quashed if the environment locally is perceived as negative...

    I was reminded yesterday about the immense rumpus there was When the Bexhill De La Warr Pavilion opened in 1935. I'd love to see the equivalent of 'blogs' from that time....

    Some interesting parallels maybe?

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  50. At the end of the day, if TDC had been open and above board with their dealings most of the negative comment would have been avoided, and a discussion could have followed regarding the pros and cons.
    As it is it appears that dirty dealing and the bad old days of brown envelopes is reoccuring.
    Will there be more flights to China complete with massages for the members of the cabinet and directors or will it be somewhere more exotic, perhaps a similar scheme is ongoing in the Bahamas.
    Cynic me surely not!!!!

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  51. this development could work if the
    R.V.P next door could be sorted at the same time back to ice rink/swimming pool (duel use) sea life centre or some other useful visitor attraction ???

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  52. What no comment from Ramsgate First (RF) who started this hair brained scheme!!!

    Perhaps the RF would kindly show the pubic its manifesto for the wholesale destruction of our waterfront or is that only for private meetings with developers?

    On a different note did not see the RF at the MACCC meeting at KIA last night?

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  53. An interesting debate. To the poster who doubted anyone would come to Ramsgate to eat in a restaurant...I do...in fact two or three, of which one does employ foreign nationals whom in their case adds to the enjoyable experience. Surprisingly the local(ish)hotel I stay at does not. That might be because that it isn't part of a national chain.
    As for the Slipways...shiprepair always has been either a feast or a famine so given the current climate it doesn't surprise me in the least if the owners jumped at the chance to unload what is in effect an operational liability. Always a shame to see what used to be an asset dissappear but it is very much a case of change or face a slow painfull decline.

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  54. Well Pat M, you’re certainly the first to admit to coming to Ramsgate just for a restaurant. I agree about the foreign nationals, they do enhance the experience, but hardly help the local workforce find work. What a pity you don’t find our harbour scene as interesting as the restaurant, but each to their own I guess.

    I agree about the feast or famine of ship repair and many other businesses, but without a working harbour with slipways we will be unable to take advantage of the feast when it comes again. Ramsgate’s emerging cafe culture is probably the result of the current economic climate when thousands are no longer holidaying abroad. What will happen when the economy picks up and people start looking at more exotic destinations again?

    Ramsgate’s heritage is perhaps its greatest long term asset, the point here being that we don’t necessarily want to sacrifice it for short term gain. We should be building on it and creating new opportunities based around it, not destroying it. This debate needs to be considered carefully and in the public domain, not behind closed doors and in record time.

    In my opinion what’s happening still stinks. Closed doors are very useful for concealing brown envelopes.

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  55. Well Pat M, you’re certainly the first to admit to coming to Ramsgate just for a restaurant. I agree about the foreign nationals, they do enhance the experience, but hardly help the local workforce find work. What a pity you don’t find our harbour scene as interesting as the restaurant, but each to their own I guess.

    I agree about the feast or famine of ship repair and many other businesses, but without a working harbour with slipways we will be unable to take advantage of the feast when it comes again. Ramsgate’s emerging cafe culture is probably the result of the current economic climate when thousands are no longer holidaying abroad. What will happen when the economy picks up and people start looking at more exotic destinations again?

    Ramsgate’s heritage is perhaps its greatest long term asset, the point here being that we don’t necessarily want to sacrifice it for short term gain. We should be building on it and creating new opportunities based around it, not destroying it. This debate needs to be considered carefully and in the public domain, not behind closed doors and in record time.

    In my opinion what’s happening still stinks. Closed doors are very useful for concealing brown envelopes.

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  56. It's been encouraging on here to see the amount of opposition to the partial or probable complete closure of the slipway. Public feeling seems quite strong on this, more so than with regard to what buildings will replace it.

    I have also found it interesting to see the number of supporters for yet another cafe complex, who seem to forget the many empty buildings which could or will be put back into a similar use which are only a few yards away. Lets not forget the other buildings which are planned for the beach area too which are yet to be built, presumably many of which will also have cafe's and restaurants attached.

    So all in all we have potentially quite a few cafe's and restaurants to come online soon, which no doubt will be busy in the three or so summer months(assuming the UK holiday bonanza continues).

    Lets think of the autumn,winter and early spring though....what happens in Ramsgate then? It's a ghost town with restaurants mostly closed or on restricted openings and with most Cafe's deserted too.

    One local business though seems to run consistently throughout the year......rain or shine....it has weathered economic storms and survived over the last 100 years in contrast to the many restaurants which have not. It is the Ramsgate Slipway Yard.

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  57. My apologies I should have said...I came to Ramsgate many moons ago because of the Harbour when I was briefly involved with tug operations based there for a couple of years. The Harbour is still a draw ....the eating part is the metaphorical icing on the cake! One is the excuse for the other really.
    As for heritage I have spent many hours gawping at the various architectural delights in Ramsgate perhaps with the exception of the town centre which I have to say is an area in which not to loiter for too long.

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  58. With the port investing heavily in the wind farm industry it seems slightly mad to get rid of one part of the infrastructure that would be used. The boat hoist cannot lift most of the wind farm boats, but the slipways could handle most of the tugs and all of the cats etc. I counted over 30 vessels using the port for the TOW project and surely a similar number will be required for the London Array project. As a strategic asset for the port tdc would be totally bonkers to allow it to be developed.
    I guess we all know what will happen.

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  59. Friend of RamsgateSeptember 19, 2010 7:01 am

    The slipway is perhaps not the biggest draw in Ramsgate but as Nautilus said, it’s been around a long time and has survived longer than most other business in the area. What I can’t understand is the need to develop leisure facilities within a working harbour. If the developer is serious about establishing a long term viable business, what’s wrong with sympathetically modernising the Pavilion next door into a food court etc? Such development would fall within Listed Building guidance, there is plenty of space, there are terraces, and it’s already there, being repaired at someone else’s expense. It was built for leisure purposes

    I suspect the motivation for the new building lies with profit derived from its construction rather than the running of a long term viable business. There are many ways a quick profit can be secured from such a development, but I doubt the same applies from running a cafe for 20+ years.

    Now we come to the way this has gone ahead. Is the developer going to take a risk on a ten year lease? I suspect not. It seems very likely that an agreement has been reached for a much longer period without us knowing. Are we really going to let TDC get away with such dealings? Have TDC been operating in our interests, or their own? There are a lot of unanswered questions here, and we should demand the answers

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  60. After reading all this I'm amazed that anyone would either want to be a Councillor or a Council officer serving Thanet. Dammed if they do dammed if they don't. Small wonder its heads below the parapet when it comes to Council business.
    Sorry but as an outsider this is what comes across to me.

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  61. Sorry that I haven’t had much time to respond to comment here in some sort of systematic way, I will do my best now.

    21.59 I think the problem here relates mostly to the council’s planning website, where the council have set it not to display public comments, there is a double standard here where viewing of public documents is a available at the gateway but not on their website.

    In the public domain, out of the public domain and only in the public domain if you apply in person and view them on the spot, frankly it makes no sense as council documents are either public or they are not.

    22.25 I will attempt to get the details from the council tomorrow.

    7.21 I have spoken to the council’s heritage department and there is an application to redesignate the whole harbour, they also agreed that the heritage listings for the harbour needed updating.

    7.37

    1 I believe that this would be the responsibility of the lessee.

    2 As an ex engineer it doesn’t look like a viable site with the new development so close and reduced workshop size, you have to appreciate that No1 slipway is of considerable historic significance and I doubt any application to demolish it would be successful.

    3 The windfarm craft use slipway No3 on a regular basis as it is.

    7.21 I think they must have been informed at a very early stage as an artists impression of the development has been on display in the Custom House since before the application was submitted.

    7.49 I intend to put in an individual response and my understanding is that a collective response still counts as one response.

    9.06 Royal Sands seems to lack a flood risk assessment and without this the EA say it may be dangerous, the casino seems only to be having external cosmetic work done, and internal occupied parts of this development appear to be submerged at high tide.

    I am not against new development, but do become concerned when plans for new developments appear to be flawed or substandard. So yes some of this part of Ramsgate needs improving, but it is important that development there is seen to be of a high standard.

    12.19 I should point out I think the Custom House isn’t new.

    12.38 I suppose now and when it comes to pretty much all of Ramsgate the finance comes from developers, I do sense that there is poor communication between developers and the town, perhaps there is some way that they could consult with the Ramsgate society.

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  62. Sorry it won’t go in one comment

    Don I see you are being pushed into the position, rather like the rest of us where you find yourself reluctantly in opposition to the council that is supposed to reflect out interests, difficult isn’t it.

    17.57 I think that we suffer considerably where new buildings within areas of period style are designed to contrast with them rather than complement them.

    John too right it does help if they give themselves nicknames and doesn’t compromise their anonymity.

    18.58 I have to admit the porthole windows did set the alarm bells ringing, bit like the poor old Royal Sands gull wings that had to be cut off like the ugly sisters toes.

    Data Hover take some consolation that one of the people commenting here managed to include their blogger password in a comment on a previous post, happen to us all.

    20.34 as I said before I will ask the council about the lease tomorrow, it may be that everything is above board.

    23 .24 I think it is only your point about the fishermen that hasn’t come up in earlier comments and I don’t think this would be effected by the new development.

    John I think that the problem with anonymous comment is that while people may be very bright outside of the internet, they don’t necessarily understand how much or little their identity is visible and to whom when they comment.

    From my own experience a lot of commentators start out commenting anonymously but eventually move to a blogger identity.

    It is about trust and in some cases people’s careers may be in jeopardy if their identity was revealed.

    Readit couple of points here, the largest profit and pretty much the only retail not suffering from internet competition is food an drink, look at it like this the café culture would obviously benefit from a bookshop down there in the middle of it, but I wouldn’t stand a hope in hell of paying the rents there.

    When the work on the pavilion is finished I believe the inside will be unusable as there are two modern and smaller buildings inside it that formed the casino and night club, as far as I understand the inside will not be reinstated to how it was before the tenant modified it.

    5.47 I think it is more a matter of having some sort of nickname so one can tell one person from another in a post wilt a great many comments.

    6.06 I think another factor here is that local businesses tend to spend locally whereas big chains tend to use contractors from out of the area. I have just had a row with my insurance company that didn’t want to use a local firm for a repair job.

    Slim Jim as far as I understand there is even a bit of no mans land separating them, but no not connected apart from the council own the freeholds of both.

    Medieval, in a normal sane world the council would represent us in insuring that all the new developments were at the very least safe and viable.

    With this one though there is the added factor that while the slipway business in itself may not be viable and I have seen no hard evidence to show that it isn’t, in fact the only thing I am certain of is that they have recently spent a great deal of money on a slipway that they now apparently say isn’t viable.

    That’s enough for now I will try to catch up eventually.

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  63. Friend of RamsgateSeptember 20, 2010 6:06 pm

    Michael, sorry to give you more work but could you tell us where the plans to redesignate the whole harbour and update the heritage listings are or will be subject to public scrutiny, or is it not our business!

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  64. no 3 slip could be in use all year with just wind farm craft if the contract was price was faverable

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  65. Jim the price has always got to be right, and in this case it seems the amount in the brown envelope was right, or was it a white one in this case.

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  66. 18:06

    Its members of the public that are dealing with the heritage review, that's right us the local electorate, If you look at the listings for the Royal Harbour they are inaccurate and wrong. Why don't you do the same?

    The public scrutiny does not actually exist in terms of applying for re-listing etc. its implemented by EH.

    Have a nice day.

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  67. Friend of RamsgateSeptember 21, 2010 6:29 pm

    Anonymous 10:01, I’m afraid you’ve confused me. In your first paragraph you say it’s the electorate that are dealing with the heritage review, and in your second paragraph you say there is no public scrutiny. Also, I wasn’t even aware of a review. I was asking about plans to re-designate the harbour and update the heritage listings.

    When you say “look at the listings” do you mean the Heritage Gateway site? If so I do use it regularly but admittedly I haven’t worked my way through the hundreds of listed structures in the harbour area one by one, and I wouldn’t profess to have the qualifications to say if they are inaccurate or wrong. I can’t see anything on the site about a review, although I would expect English Heritage to update or check their records from time to time.

    My main concern is the plan to re-designate the harbour that Michael mentioned. Are you saying it is this that’s being dealt with by the electorate? If so, my question was and still is where can I find details? I’m part of the electorate and would like to know how any re-designation of the harbour is arrived at and by whom.

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  68. Sorry Friend of Ramsgate you got got by the new blogger spam control that I can’t turn off for a mo there.

    The answer here is anyone can go onto the English Heritage website and suggest designation or re designation as a listed structure area or to raise lower the status of one already listed.

    Personally, and this is only what I think, I believe that the harbour is special enough to be listed as a whole and probably should rate a grade one listing.

    I suppose that English Heritage use qualified experts to make the decision, I don’t really see how history can be arrived at democratically, it would involve presumably dating structures by vote.

    Click on the link for a few pointers Click on the link for a few pointers http://www.thanetonline.com/AnHistoricalreportonRamsgateHarbour/

    I am working up to an updated post on this subject as more information is coming my way.

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  69. I don't see why one would want to apply a 'blanket' listing to the Royal Harbour. That would also serve to preserve its' uglier, later constructs such as concrete and tin sheds and the 'cracking hover-pad' which in my opinion would make an excellent site for another new quayside extension to the existing crosswall.

    Having also had time to reflect on this thread I also think that an opportunity exists to further develop the commercial port at its' junction with the Western Arm. The dry boat-yard there would be an excellent place to locate a brand new repair facility and slipway. It may even be possible to create a system where boats that were too heavy or wide for the boat hoist were drawn up a slip and straight onto the boatyard on some kind of wheeled cradle.

    It's absolutely vital that we retain a 'working' harbour but it does need to be modernised to adapt to the 'work' required of it today and with the Western Side of the Harbour becoming the hub for so much commercial activity it would seem sensible to relocate some of the Boatyard operations to this side of the port. Given the amount of silt already in place it may be relatively cheap to reclaim a little more land if necessary.

    If you look from the top of the cliff... Commercial to the right, quaint and leisure to the left.

    If one views the entire Harbour as an asset to be maximised this maximisation has to have regard to ergonomics and the changing commercial priorities.

    The Western basin of the Royal Harbour has loads of wasted space where the deliberate shallows were built so boats could be safely grounded. This area could be rationalised and utilised by the Fishing Fleet perhaps. The net store on the old Hover Slip is not ideally located and could be regarded as a blot on the landscape IF it weren't shielded from view by another blot on the landscape!

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  70. Friend of RamsgateSeptember 21, 2010 7:31 pm

    Thanks Michael, I was under the impression that some other kind of re-designation was about to take place with a more local democratically accountable body!!

    If it's English Heritage re-designating the harbour in terms of its heritage I don't have any issues.

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  71. Ramsgate Fan it seems the dialogue on this one just goes on and on.

    I have mixed feelings about boat repairs being carried out right in the middle of the central leisure part of Ramsgate.

    As I have said before I see the inner basin progressively turning into a sort of car park for toys of rich people that are seldom used.

    The problem here being that it is the interesting diversity there that is causing the café culture to emerge.

    A very large problem is that the only businesses that appear to be able to pay the overheads in this part of town are cafes and bars, but if the area becomes too saturated with them then the reasons that they are so successful start to diminish.

    It is the position of the slipways is largely responsible for the changing scene there, move them and you have a static scene.

    There is also the fact that slipway 1 is probably so old and unique that changes to it would be unlikely to be allowed.

    Another heritage aspect there is this site is directly over the old Roman Harbour, something that doesn’t seem to have been taken into account when preparing the application.

    Listing status doesn’t prevent change though and a blanket listing wouldn’t freeze the harbour in this time frame, what it does is increase regulation.

    At the moment the harbour isn’t listed properly and whatever happens the way it is listed is bound to be changed.

    This development itself has aspects that don’t make sense either.

    At the moment the only definite things that I have access to are the lease details held by the land registry.

    Yesterday I put some questions about certain anomalies relating to the leases to the council.

    A senior council officer contacted about these questions but there had evidently been some misunderstanding about the depth and detail of my understanding of the issues, so he promised to read various documents that he didn’t realise I had read and phone me back today, this hasn’t happened.

    And the plans.

    There are several aspects of these that I don’t understand and I have been discussing these with planning officers, the architects and others.

    I am awaiting some responses explaining these things to me too, I expect that I have just made some stupid mistakes, but until I have the answers I am a bit stuck.

    As an example of what I mean a corridor that appears to be the only means of safe dry escape for a youth organisation that would be housed in the new development, appears to be below the predicted static high tide level ODN in the FRA.

    Friend of Ramsgate, I am glad to have been of some help

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  72. As every day goes on the water seems to get murkier and murkier.
    It would appear that TDC has come to some sort of agreement with a preferred developer, which is probably untoward and certainly not in line with open and honest local goverment. This is the leadership we are paying £750,000 a year for.
    Unfortunately the officers cannot be voted out of office.

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  73. Friend of RamsgateSeptember 22, 2010 7:51 am

    Michael, I’m sure you’re right about the changing scene created by the slipway being one of the reasons (if not the main reason) for the emerging cafe scene. Maybe this is difficult for the authorities to comprehend and quantify, but I genuinely believe the waterfront is emerging because of and not despite the working harbour. The construction of a modern restaurant will do nothing to enhance this phenomenon.

    Another contributing factor that is helping Ramsgate has been a change in policy by TDC regarding pavement activities. It was only a few years ago we had the ridiculous situation where the council was threatening legal action against traders placing advertising “A Boards” outside their premises. Now we have tables and chairs spread out everywhere. Such a simple climb down by TDC can have a major effect on the atmosphere of the town.

    The problem is that to get our points across we not only have to fight bureaucracy but also secrecy. Thank you for questioning the detail for us Michael, but we also need to be able to question the concept.

    We really must get rid of the secrecy surrounding TDC activities. Only then we can arrive at a democratic rather than authoritarian (or possibly corrupt) conclusion on planning matters.

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  74. Got it in a nutshell, well said
    We really must get rid of the secrecy surrounding TDC activities. Only then we can arrive at a democratic rather than authoritarian (or possibly corrupt) conclusion on planning matters.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Demolition work involves many of the hazards associated with construction, that is why it should be done only by demolition experts. It should also be registered for safety purposes.

    ReplyDelete

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