Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Margate Football Club, Hartsdown Park, Hotel Plans.

As far as I can see Margate Football Club have announced they are going to start building a hotel next month that they haven’t got planning permission for, see

Simon Moores said on his blog that they have got permission to build an 80-bed hotel and this was granted in 2006, what worries me is that I can’t find the permission on the councils planning website. The reason that I am worried is that if there is one application that I can’t find there may be others.

I have been caught this way before, because the council sometimes changes the address it uses for the same building and if you don’t have the planning application reference you can only look things up by address.

Here in Ramsgate a building in Marina Esplanade, became one in Granville Marina, so there may be more than one address for Margate Football Ground and a whole host of plans that I don’t know exist.

I don’t know if this is down to TDC incompetence or a deliberate effort to deceive. The words of the Floyd song come to mind: Mother, should I trust the government? After the business with the leadership consultation my answer in the first instance is no.

What Simon seems to be saying is that football club have permission to build an 80 bed hotel and if they want to build a 68 bed hotel then they will have to get permission, what worries me is that as I can’t find the permission to build the 80 bed hotel they may have some other application, either filed or passed somewhere, that no one can object to or support because they can’t find it.

I should point out here that this is a Margate issue and not really something that I understand properly, I know that a lot of people support the club expanding and that a lot of people have concerns about the effects on the park.

My main concern here is that once again that council don’t really seem to have explained this issue, that is very important to a great many people, in fact the important documentation that the council have published on the internet seems to have the same prominence as applications for double glazing and garden sheds, don't help either.

As I couldn’t find the plans for any hotel I have used an old illustration of a model used to promote the redevelopment of Margate town centre, courtesy Margate Museum.

Update some comment about this issue is appearing on Thanet Life at you have to go fairly far down the comments to find it as the post started about Margate Caves.


  1. Can they legally build hotels on our parks?

  2. Thanks Simon very helpful, if I am following this correctly the planning permission expires 19/07/2011 and it seems the football club either can’t afford the granted development or for some other reason wants a smaller hotel.

    I am afraid I missed the application because it wasn’t listed under Margate Football Club like the others are and it was dated 2005 so I assumed it wasn’t worth looking at as it would have expired.

    16.00 I think that there may be a problem here in the way the council views anything gifted to local people as something that belongs not to local people, but as something belonging to the council.

  3. The answer is "probably not" anon 16:00. The ground is apparently owned by Margate FC, but as the park existed before the football club then they must've got the land (for free or otherwise) from a past council, despite it being designated for public use.

  4. You ask if they can just build on parks. Well, the answer is no. The can't build on recreational land unless they give an equivalent amount back in the same vicinity. The question to ask here would be where is the additional recreational land which has been made available to compensate for this development?

    The most recent analogy I can think of was the Jackey Bakers saga, where they wanted to take a piece from the top end of Jackey Bakers to build the new road to nowhere, sorry, Westwood. They ended up taking two football pitches. What did they give back? A piece of scrubby ground full of thorny bushes at the other end of the site. Of course, it was all a con because the scrubby ground and the thorny bushes were there before and they were there after. Nothing had changed other than the Council had given some recreational land to a developer and we obtained nothing in exchange. I wonder why the Council did that?

    To cap it all, they now have plans to cram houses in on the bit of scrubby land, using the justification that it is no good for football pitches.

    Is there a worse Council in the country?

  5. Anon 16:00
    In answer toi your question the answer most definately is NO. Let me tell you why Hartsdown Park is different.
    You have to go right back to the early 1920's when the entire "Hartsdown Farm" and lands were owned by the Hatfeild family, one of Englands finest and most socially active, having Lords, Ladies and gentry as well as THREE former Prime Ministers including Winston Churchill staying at the family home of Hartsdown House for months on end.
    On the death of Cpt Hatfeild, the last remaining in the bloodline, Maude Hatfield, who incidentally was the first female Mayor of Margate, was wrongly advised by her solicitors as to the extent of death duties payable, forcing the sale of large parts of the 800 acre eastate.
    Hartsdown Park was transferred to the then Margate Corporation under legal covenant (protection) for the exclusive pleasure of the people of Margate.
    Due to the fact that at that time there were no legal requirements to keep a central register of Title, the council set about in the coming yearsd only registering the transferred land and not the legal covenants that were in force.
    The upshot of this action was to effectively strip the land of any protection which was afforded it originally.
    So over the years the council have done what they will with all this amazing parkland and now they seem hell bent on finally getting rid of all of it, for what... a concrete bunker housing a plastic pitch that no one will use.

    Great, what kind of person does it take to do this not only to the people of Margate to who'm the p[ark really belongs to,but all of the missed opportunities that children will no longer have due to a very poor decision made now.

    It's no more than a bllody scandal.

  6. Dr Moores has gone very quite.

  7. hotel-60 people at £50 per night or turner at 20 people per day with free entry,what do you prefer?.

  8. All the other Margate hotels either closed (or burnt) down or were converted into flats. So what makes you think this one will be such a roaring success, when it won't even have the sea views that others can boast?

  9. Anon 23:09
    In answer to your question the answer is NEITHER OF THEM as they are both terrible ideas in the first place.
    Turner centre was unanimously objected to all the way through the consultation phase and widely accepted as the wrong way to spend £18 Million pounds. 18Million pounds, have you any idea what could have been achieved if this was spent on THANET and not a metal shed with a few pictures hanging on a wall!

    Hotel: yet another zany idea from cuckoo land, location is an absolute disaster as it takes away an area of outstanding beauty in Thanet and something that should be rinfenced and protected at all costs. If we lose Hartsdown Park there will be even greater reprocussions for the hundreds of people who use this assett on a daily,weekly and monthly basis.
    There are numerous sites in Thanet laying empty that could easily be bought back to life,why is there a need to destroy something that is totally unspoilt and such a valuable assett.

  10. Valuable Asset I like that one. Hartsdown Park is stillgoing to be a big open space that will remain underused even after the football club gets redeveloped.Plus a hotel is sorely needed and will generate jobs and rates which willl benefit the council and in turn us the rte payers. Hartsdown park is and always has been underused and now people are up in arms about it. Why not support our marvelous footbal club and let the TOWN TEAM have the benefit. Most off the objections are nimby's. the people who are objecting dont want any form of change and most definatly dont want anything that wiill help Thanet

  11. Yes Don, let's just concrete over all our parks & farmland in the name of growth & jobs. Thanet will then be far more successful, though not a nice place to actually live in...

  12. Don
    Why is a hotel sorely needed? If that were the case then the ones we have wouldn't be being turned into HMOs.

  13. Don,
    Yours is the opinion that I am glad to say is so much the minority. You clearly have no appreciation for whats around you and are wholly ignorant of the quality of the people around you.
    Hartsdown park is not underused, you only have to walk through at anytime of the day to see people from all walks of life using and getting pleasure out of this assett.
    The mere fact that you cannot appreciate this parkland leads me to think that you would like to live in a concrete utopia, well Don, you are very much alone on that one as the rest of us fully understand the importance and need for this park to remain just as it is.

  14. "Most off the objections are nimby's"

    I, for one, am getting a bit tired of hearing this rubbish in Thanet. Essentially, anybody who doesn't agree with the ruling elite about anything is immediately accused of being a NIMBY.

    Unfortunately, the history of Thanet is littered with cr*p developments which have blighted the area. Many of these cr*p ideas were opposed by the so-called Nimby's. Unfortunately, because Thanet is run by people like Don, who don't listen to the objections, they were allowed to go ahead.

    My own view is that Thanet has many people who share an alternative view of the area. They value its heritage and they value its other assets, such as the great weather, fanatastic coastline and access to nature. The last thing they want is to see the area turned into a cheap copy of Southend.

    These people deserve to have a voice on the Council and deserve to have their opinions listened to carefully. After all, the prevailing view on the Council, that Thanet should be converted into some metal-bashing, hell-hole of a transport hub has failed time and again over the last 30 years. Perhaps it's time for some fresh ideas.

  15. DON 11:06

    What an idiot you must be and for what its worth a nieve one at that.
    You honestly think that any extra rates collected are fed back into this area by the council, well that just goes to show your intelligence level is lower than a snails belly. ALL revenue collected by TDC for rates is fed directly back to central government, do not pass go and do not collect £200 !!!

    Central Government then, once a year, set their budgets accordingly and year by year give less and less, so how does your argument stack up now..... I'll tell you , it don't.
    So until you have something constructive and more importantly accurate to say, you know where your remote is, enjoy watching Jeremy Kyle !!

  16. Way to go, Don!!

  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. 19.25 sorry you need to re write your comment so that it isn’t potentially libellous, you may also wish to consider that the internet is only relatively anonymous and I have been playing with IT since 1967 and even the venerable Doc reckons that I am mischievous.

  19. 10 February 2011 16:49 How stupid are you if more rates are collected and sent into central government the larger the pot from which central Governmennt can give out I to have an idea of how it works. And as for appreciate Parkland I do. The area we are talking about is is a fraction of the total and the numbers of visitors to Hartsdown for a Conference Match were far greater than the few dog walkers that I see using the park. As for Jeremy Kyle I will leave you to watch it whilst playing Monopoly which you seem is how business is run.

    10 February 2011 12:30
    How big is the park in comparison to the footprint of tthe new development I would hazard a guesss at it still being less than the area laid downn to allow parking around the lesuire centre and the football pitch do you think that will be concreete? Thanet has miless of coast line and coastal walks as well as many magnificent parks. Margate FC have a plan which will enable them to florish Margate needs decent up to date hotel beds. If you go away for a weekend do you not use travel lodges and the like, rather than B&B's fom the Victorian era.
    SEE ABOVE We need moden places to stay HMO come about becauuse of the properties could not be bought up to current expectations of holiday makers and people voted with their feet. When I was a rep I would stay in a modern clean hotel with ensuite over a dump with a toilet on the landing below.
    10 February 2011 16:44 Ruling elite I love that one. You dont know me and just because I am pro change you regard me as some sort of monster. The crap planning decisions are debated and approved by your RULING ELITE and half the stuff aproved by the RULING ELITE should have been put in the bin Thanet is littereed with badly built edifices aproved by your beloved Ruling Elite all the HMO's got planning and then the building inspectors failed to ensure work was carried out to suitable standards OVER LOOKED BY yep you guessed it your beloved Ruling Elite. As for A cheap copy of Southend YOU SAY My own view is that Thanet has many people who share an alternative view of the area. They value its heritage and they value its other assets, such as the great weather, fanatastic coastline and access to nature. The last thing they want is to see the area turned into a cheap copy of Southend. Southend has some Nice bits and it has a Football club supported by its locals. Margate is fantastic we have great beaches our history is great and our assets are fantastic. I am pro some changes in Margate and I dontt think the small increase in size of the football club site is a high price to pay for the benefits and as for the park being used I fail to see how the redevelopement will make it any different than it is now and in my opinion that is UNDER USED.

  20. So you DO want to turn it into a cheap copy of Southend?

  21. Don,
    As usual you are talking from your tailpipe.
    If you think that Hrtsdown is under used then you only need look at it TODAY. In excess of 300 people with children in tow all supporting a local event, this is what the open parkland is about and NOT for the benefit of Piper and his band to try and claim as their own for financial gain.
    The parkland belongs to the people of Margate and that is the top and bottom of the argument.
    Margate football club is dead in the water, bordering on bankruptcy with nowhere to go and no-one to support it. It's simply time to wake up and see what is really going on, a smoke and mirrors attempt to make money out of an almost derelict assett of a football club before they sell up and high tail off with a little pocket money, seen it all before with other well known captains of Thanet industry. Hopefully, this one will follow suit and decide to burn down the asset for some insurance scam, seems the most fitting end to a football club that never has or will achieve anything.

  22. Anon as usual 12 February 2011 13:32
    What were the 300 kids doing/ Week in and week out 52 weeks a year Margate runs football teams from 5 years old to 17 years old around 25 kids per age group = 25 x 12 = 300 and that is twice a week. My son went training once a week and played once a week now my grandson is taking an interest at 4 years old. I amm sorry if you think football is not for the community but I have a different experience. Do you support your local football team? I doubt it, Have you ever been to see Margate play? I doubt it. I do and I have and I support this whole scheme.

  23. Maybe they can knock down a few local churches & build hotels or supermarkets on the sites instead. After all Don, you don't mind change, & would surely prefer these to near-empty churches?

  24. This should not be allowed. There are so many run down areas that WOULD benefit from this scheme. The park is one of our remaining beauty spots. It is nothing to do with NIMBYs it is about protecting something that can never ever be recovered, for our children and grandchildren.HANDS OFF!!

  25. "Hopefully, this one will follow suit and decide to burn down the asset for some insurance scam, seems the most fitting end to a football club that never has or will achieve anything"

    Really Anonymous? Suggest you take a look at the Margate FC history website and who knows what can happen in the future? Look at recent examples set by Crawley Town FC, Stevenage, Barnet, Hereford, Morecambe and several others.

  26. Margate fc could bring 2000 people to the town on home games.They will spend money in the town and things would be on the up. its simple big club, fantastic town.

  27. The last thing Margate needs is 2000 drunk football hooligans.

  28. this is disgusting that they are going to build on the parks i i am one of the very many of people that walk my dogs there and i know off lots of people that take there children there to have a play about and all that is going to happen is its going to be full off teenage chavs and is going to get run down very fast plus i dont think anyone wants it to happen its not even like margate are a big team no one knows of them some one should start a pititon ! im sure it would all come to an end then!!!!!

  29. Why don't you start a "pititon"?