Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Plans to demolish the slipways in Ramsgate Harbour

The application register sheet describes the proposal as: Listed building consent for the demolition of workshop, offices and other associated structures, together with partial removal of slipway rails and boundary fencing.

The TDC planning website is one of the most bizarre websites I have ever come across in as much as the web addresses of the pages on it change after a while so you can’t retain links to them. If you want to look at the application you need to go to the site and enter the application reference in the search box, this link takes you to the site the planning reference is L/TH/10/0736

When the site stops working or if it doesn’t work in the first place, close all the pages you have open that come from the site and start again.

I have a few planning drawings that relate to this and have stuck them on the web at in view the difficulties using the council planning site.

There are pros and cons to this development and I know that I have mentioned them before in my posts about it, that I made before the official application was submitted and now I am afraid that I am going to bore you by reiterating some of them again.

My main concern is that although the slipways may not all be commercially viable when viewed as an isolated business i.e. three slipways and a small ship repair firm, it may be that the harbour as a going concern isn’t viable with just the one slipway that we would be left with if this application is successful.

The problem here is one of getting medium sized vessels out of the water for maintenance and repairs, this particularly applies to the service vessels for the offshore wind farms.

The key question here is would the harbour as a whole be commercially viable with only one slipway? The secondary considerations relate to our heritage, both in terms of the listed status of the slipways and any building between the two major and iconic listed Ramsgate buildings, The Clock House and The Royal Victoria Pavilion.


  1. Another short term money grabbing scheme. Would this development not be better off using part of the Royal Victoria Pavilion rather than deface one of our major assets? How many people come to Ramsgate because of the harbour, and how many people will come because of a restaurant?

  2. Who are Neath Properties? Anything to do with a well known local builder?

  3. What this application doesn't do is to establish the need for the proposed development. There isn't exactly a shortage of cafes and bars in this area. However, the slipways were, are and could be viable - they were much more used until TDC went into competition with them and purchased the travelling boat hoist and with proper management and promotion couldd attract considerably more commercial and historic vessel repair.

    It is a poorly designed scheme which doesn't take into account the history of the slipways or the Grade II* Clock House. Although some of the operators of the existing bars and cafes may not realise it, the reason why people come to Harbour Parade is because they feel they are at a traditional harbourside location. The slipways and the work being done on them, fishing boats and heritage is what makes the area appealing. Albert Dock in Liverpool, St. Kathryn's in London or, on a local scale, Whitstable and Hastings have traditional buildings or receations of them - not glass and steel sheds more suited to Westwood Cross!

  4. Good to see TDC planning department was in favour back in April and a former TDC planning officer who now offers a consutancy service is involved in greasing the palms to make sure it goes through.
    Ramsgate needs another new restaurant & bar open 24 hours a day!!! Pity they cannot get the Eagle cafe open.
    The slipway currently has restrictions on when it can work due to complaints from the business's across the road, with a restaurant on its doorstep i am sure it will have even more restrictions on it.
    There are also questions about heavy metals and asbstos etc buried on the slipway site from the war years.
    What is the best way to object to this proposal.

  5. Good points 20:46 and 23:46. When the 'Jazz Rooms' first opened its owners complained about the noise from the slipways caused by busy shipwrights at work - there was a bit of a clue in the pub's real name which they obviously didn't understand!

    The application declares that the site is not contaminated but, as pointed out, shipbuilding and repairing has made use of toxic and carcinogenic materials for centuries. Do the developers/TDC not know this? Development sites on the Medway were subject to hugely expensive de-contamination regimes and some were found to be unviable.

    I remember a certain TDC officer as the author of statements declaring the importance of the Clock House as a focal point ('nodal' was another favourite!)and the need to preserve its dominance in the view when approaching the harbour from the town. Perhaps retirement has changed his opinion?

  6. Let's hope nobody leaves brown envelopes laying around and someone sets light to the slipway or clockhouse!

  7. just another money grabbing scheme to help the turnip site margate at the expence of ramsgate yet again

  8. if they go ahead the no1 will be unuaseable due to noise dust etc

  9. They took what was the boatman's
    beach to build the slipways that was for the duration only,on the understanding the beach would be reinstated when the 2, and 3,slips
    were taken away after the war,this never happened as there was a big demand for them after the war,It was Ramsgate council then,now it is Thanet district council and they love these mad schemes,just another nail in the Royal Harbour's

  10. It appears that that TDC do anything they can to put a nail in the harbour coffin. Collapsing quays, falling down piers, dangerous landing stages, empty arches in a state of disrepair, some so bad you can't step on the floor.
    Why not get rid of the slipways as well.

  11. no 00.24just get rid of the anti ramsgate cant be better than margate mob at the duffers centre

  12. The item before Ramsgate Town Council on Wednesday was just the demolition of existing buildings and railings. The new build proposal is expected next month.

    The committee decided:

    To Defer decision until the committee may consider, at its meeting to be held on 13 October 2010, both the Listed Building Consent application for demolition and the application for replacement building/s.

    Amendment proposed by Cllr Green. Seconded by Councillor Doyle;

    That the following concerns be raised with the Planning Department at the Thanet District Council;

    1. That the District Council establishes whether the proposed new development is compatable with a viable slipway business and whether the new owners have the expertise needed to maintain business on Slipway 1.

    2. That the District Council heritage officers report on the relationship between the proposed new building/s and the clock house to ensure that they complement each other.

    3. That the District Council looks at the location of the new building in relation to the old public toilet block and consider a section 106 agreement to facilitate the removal of the public toilet block and incorporating it within the new building/s.

    Substantive motion and amendment adopted.



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