Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ramsgate Slipways Development New Plans Submitted

As you see once again something that looks like a mock Victorian railway building, I think the architect must have spent a long time playing with trains when he was a child.

It never rains but it pours when blogging Ramsgate news, nothing for ages and then the Great Wall post and the slipways one on the same day.

The plans, such as they are, no mock up pictures this time, only very basic drawings are on the UK Planning website that TDC use, it is a dreadful site and I can’t link to the pages on it as the web addresses change after a few hours.

To view the plans you will need to copy the planning reference 13/0595 then go to the planning website at http://www.ukplanning.com/thanet and put it into the right search box there.

The application contains a new flood risk assessment which as it is adjacent has some interesting implications for The Royal Sands.    

I objected to the two previous applications on this site, mostly on the grounds that the flood risk assessment was flawed, working through this type of assessment takes ages and I don’t know that I will have time this time around. At the moment I don’t know if the assessment is ok, the key here with this development before was that part of it was in the form of a pier, so there was no wave dissipation and there was also the added complication of buoyant objects getting under it. Further to this is the fact that Ramsgate Harbour Wall is periodically breeched and partially demolished by the sea, this last happened about forty years ago and as the waves shift the 2.5 ton granite blocks that the wall is made of, it can be interesting.


My underlying concern is that once the slipways are compromised by the inclusion of a restaurant the viability of Ramsgate as a working harbour may be compromised.      

96 comments:

  1. about time something was done with the slipways hardly any boats go up anymore project can only attract tourist

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  2. plans 100 times better than the turner it can only be good for ramsgate

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  3. Was this the same chap who demolished the Grade 2 listed Granville Marina Restaurant?

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  4. Firstly I must declare an interest having been involved in many meetings to do with this proposal over the last couple of years. I wanted to say this first so that no one wastes column inches having a pop about me being 'in the pocket' of the developer.

    Michael, I am sure you will find the time to look at the Flood Risk Assessment. I know you love them :) I want to comment on a couple of specific points on your post as well as making a more general point but I would also suggest that your overall tone is unnecessarily negative.

    1) That "the harbour wall gets breached once every forty years or so". Are you really suggesting that this is a reason not to develop something on the two redundant slipways? The damage back then was out near the corner of the east pier and it was only a partial breach. There are plenty of pictures of the incident in cyberspace.

    2) "Putting a Restaurant there will compromise Ramsgate as a working harbour". The almost complete absence of boats wanting to use the slipways has done a better job of compromising Ramsgate as a working harbour. So many people seem happy to speculate that there must be LOADS of business out there but I don't see any of them signing on the dotted line to pick up the annual Rent, Rates and Insurance bills. The Wind-Farm projects were supposed to mean almost 24/7 operation for the slipways. It just didn't happen. Most of the Wind-Farm vessels are relatively new and in some cases contracted to be repaired in their home yards. The boat operators that did use the slipways regularly used their own crews to carry out the work required meaning that there was limited income for the slipway operators. Can I suggest Michael that you take the time to pop down to the Slipways and ask them what they think of the proposed development?

    For Ramsgate to thrive as a working harbour it needs to have facilities that leap-frog those available elsewhere. The Wind-Farm and Pilot vessels mainly travel to Essex and East Anglia where they can be lifted clear of the water and worked on in large boat-sheds so that all trades can work quickly to limit the amount of time a vessel is out of the water. Given the demise of Trans-Europa, perhaps it is time to look closely at developing the 'along-side' Quay in the Commercial Port and a state of the art boat maintenance facility with a suitably large boat hoist. This would be far more relevant and valuable to the harbour. It would also concentrate heavy commercial work in Port Ramsgate so that the Marina and its' environs can make the most of the wonderful setting.

    End of part 1……..

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  5. ………Part 2

    The proposed development will not be any higher than the existing buildings and its' footprint will be no larger. It will remove unsightly buildings from pier yard and open up the area as a far more attractive proposition for visitors. Furthermore this development is by local people with track record and if consent is granted it will go ahead quickly as it is not dependent upon outside funding. It will create 30 or 40 jobs in the long run and the construction will be undertaken by local contractors and tradesmen. Importantly, it will not just be yet another bar or pub! The only bar proposed is within the restaurant premises.

    A high quality restaurant would be a positive draw for the area (Rock-Salt in Folkestone comes to mind) and if you take the example of Whitstable (which is always mobbed at weekends) it is having 'something to do and somewhere to go' that brings people down. Day-Trippers become Weekenders, become Holiday-Home Owners become Residents. What Ramsgate needs is new disposable income being spent in its' shops, bars and restaurants. This is organic growth and in Ramsgate it isn't going to happen without private enterprise.

    The slipways will still operate and hopefully plenty of interesting historic boats can be attracted to use slipway 3 which will mean that they will be worked on between the new building and the Maritime museum. I would have thought it was a unique bonus being able to sit and have a meal or a coffee whilst watching people beavering away on a boat.

    An interesting aside is that a good few years ago the previous slipway operators wanted to erect a sliding 'concertina-style' cover over slipway 1. This idea fell at the first hurdle on conservation grounds. In effect it confirmed that the slipways could not evolve and compete in their current location.

    I look forward to reading balanced and informative posts on this subject and whilst I am a keen supporter of this particular development I am more interested in it in the context of seeing positive new developments in the town which will enhance the already beautiful Royal Harbour and create a 'buzz' to bring more people into the town.

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  6. Dear Anonymous 6:04pm

    I think if you did some research you would find out that TDC Ordered the demolition of the building (which had been neglected for more than thirty years by its' previous owners.) following their own site inspection.

    Would you rather it had fallen into a heap (which would still be there behind a hoarding no doubt) under the stewardship of a completely disinterested owner or do you not think that the building that stands at 1 Granville Marina now is a fitting replacement? Would you rather have the rusty roller-shutter and rotting woodwork back?

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  7. well said Ramsgate fan about time someone spoke up for the town and not margate

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  8. Well said Ramsgate fan. But you KNOW that sadly the usual suspects are rallying to object to this perfectly acceptable and exiting proposal already don't you.

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    1. John, I am regularly bewildered by the amount of negativity and bile directed not only at TDC (who to be fair have dropped the ball badly on several occasions) but also at developers who have the temerity to want to make some money. In the case of TDC, the treatment they get now has become counter-productive and makes them scared to do ANYTHING AT ALL and in the case of developers, they go and invest their money where it IS wanted which results in long-term dilapidation of the town.

      At least in this case someone is taking on a difficult task in a Landmark position and has stuck with it through thick and thin. What people really can't get their heads around is that this is not a really great money-spinner in the worldly scheme of things. It would be far easier to go and buy a lump of land and stick a few houses up to make much better money. However, having restored the Custom House and brought it back into use, the worst feature of it was, and still is, the view from the windows of the Council Chamber! This will remove a blot on the landscape.

      If all the negative people out there put as much energy into something positive even the weather would improve in the long term!

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    2. I absolutely couldn't agree more Ramsgate fan. Time change, and places aswell as people have to progress and change to keep up with an ever changing world, and the ever changing needs and wants of the glorious British public.

      I think if some of those serial protesters that dog every proposed development in Thanet were in actual real world business, they would still be building and trying to sell bathing machines, blaming their lack of business on Marks and Spencers temerity in selling bathing costumes that show ladies knees!

      Whatever your connection with this development, I offer you my support, good wishes and the hope that the inevitable planning objections from the usual suspects are quickly and totally dismissed with all speed.

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  9. The harbour/port does need additional uses. I can give 3.3 million reasons why.

    The council needs to embrace this and allow some arches to be transferred over to use as restaurants or bars. The most visited ones are currently a junk shop and a cafe. One chandler is all we need.

    Good luck om the new development. Hope it gets through

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  10. Ramsgate ResidentAugust 06, 2013 9:34 pm

    There can be little doubt that Ramsgate Harbour is the jewel in Ramsgate’s crown. Published figures show that Ramsgate receives in excess of 750,000 visitors annually. Presumably the majority of these will at some stage take in views of the harbour. Let’s say the restaurant could serve 50,000 of the visitors. This would be a good number of satisfied customers which would benefit the town.

    However, to achieve this over 700,000 visitors who do not use the restaurant would lose views of the harbour, which is probably what they came to see. Slipways are more in keeping with the scene than a pseudo industrial building poking out into the water. I’m not aware that restaurant viewing has any great following.

    Yes, the restaurant can be justified on business terms, but why not think of Ramsgate as a business? Should we deny 93% of visitors what they have come to see, to provide a local businessman with a healthy income, be it from operating the restaurant or from developing a prime site.

    I may well be wrong, but I can’t see allowing a restaurant to be built adjacent to a historic slipway, next to a listed building and in such a historic environment is in the best long term interest of Ramsgate.

    A restaurant can be built anywhere, it’s more difficult to create the harbour views that people come to see.

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    1. That must be the most laughable objection to a new development of a near derelict site I have yet to see anywhere, though I have to admit it's creative!! Your claim that 93% of visitors come to Ramsgate to look at the slipways actually gave me the best belly laugh I've had in a LONG time!

      Perhaps to address your concerns, it would be pertinent to ask how many people come to Ramsgate with the intention of looking at a mostly derelict slipway, and how many of those would throw up their hands in horror and goto Brighton if there were no slipways to look at!

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    2. Ramsgate Resident. Two things. A) A healthy chunk of income from this development will go in rent to TDC and they won't need to find a penny of the £1m + development cost. B) Do you honestly think that people flock to Ramsgate to drink in the view of the 1940's concrete, asbestos and tin sheds? The evolution of the Harbour will mean Leisure and pleasure around the Marina and heavier industrial uses on the central and western side. This is evolving naturally and the development will be a catalyst for other businesses to set up around the harbour thus increasing the footfall and commercial activity. This development will provide new views of the Harbour and Maritime Museum, especially now that the back of the museum is out of bounds to the public.

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    3. If the restaurant serves 50,000 of the visitors that is income to the restranteur, peanuts for the staff and the usual no effort business rates that may or may not apply after a year or 2 to the community pot. Assuming people are fed and watered at a premium price restaurant...where-else will they spend their money - indigestion tablets from Boots. It is the residents of Ramsgate and people of Thanet who keep the town going and many are families who cannot afford the luxury of a meal that may be the equivalent of their food money for a week.. Cafes and restaurants are fine, but basic shopping and well-kept amenities are all the tax payers need, and control of vandalism, crime, and taming disorderly behaviour day and especially at night. And posh food isn't the only succour people need. Cinema, theatre, art, clubs, groups and societies...and of course bookshops!

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    4. Anon 4:18 pm

      If the people of Ramsgate are so poor, as you paint them to be, then how do you expect them to be able to afford to go to the cinema, theatre, art clubs? Who do you suggest should build and fund these amenities? And what in your view is "posh food".

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    5. Anonymous 4:18 pm. In order for the trickle-down economy to work you have to have things at the higher end of the spectrum. I don't currently manage to eat out much due to the economy and the cost of living but I do not begrudge those that can afford it the choice.

      If we are going to have higher employment in the area generally we need to attract new EMPLOYERS and they may well appreciate a broad choice of restaurants and facilities in Ramsgate. There is an exodus of businesses from within the M25 due to rising commercial rents and Ramsgate is excellently placed to benefit from this trend. We need to show newcomers to the town that we are forward thinking and not stuck in a rut.

      Your post also seems to suggest that by a private company taking a commercial risk in order to provide a new facility that may or may not be of great use to the majority of the townsfolk that the townsfolk are deeply disadvantaged. They don't have a restaurant there at the moment and they don't need to visit a new restaurant that might be there in a year or so. What's the issue here?

      Just because not everyone might be able to use a facility does not mean it shouldn't exist. I don't get to Tate Modern or the National Gallery much but I'm glad they are there for those who do. I have never been to Heston Blumenthal's restaurant but do I feel envious of those who have? Do I feel belittled? No!

      Ramsgate already has all of the things you list in your last line, indeed we have some excellent Clubs, Groups and Societies as well as a Bookshop (Aladdin's Cave) Theatre and Cinema. How are these things compromised by a new building in the Harbour?

      I really don't get your point.

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    6. Ramsgate ResidentAugust 08, 2013 10:34 am

      John Hamilton 12:23 am .. I’m pleased my comments amused you, but I think you should read my post again. I take your point about the derelict slipway but I suggest next time you’re in the vicinity you tilt your head back a few degrees and you’ll see views of the country’s only Royal Harbour, a flourishing commercial port, fishing boats, leisure craft and activities of all kinds. Whilst I don’t necessarily support keeping the slipways in their present form, they are more in keeping with the area than a tacky restaurant building.

      Ramsgate Fan 9:31 am … I agree with your comments about the way facilities are evolving, but I don’t agree with the way you judge everything in financial terms. There is such a thing as well being, which TDC actively promote (according to their literature). No, I don’t think people will come to view concrete and asbestos sheds any more than I think they will come to view a mock building that has no harmony with the harbour.

      It’s important to understand that it is Ramsgate people come to see and business rides on the back of that, not the other way round. Ramsgate should be in the business of attracting footfall and creating the environment in which businesses can flourish. I can’t see that housing Jack’s Diner in a tacky shack that detracts from and blocks magnificent views of the harbour is going to attract any great numbers of visitors.

      I suggest the desire to build over the slipways only reinforces my argument that it’s the views that are important. Why should these views be restricted to a privileged few to the detriment of the vast majority, purely on grounds of a perceived financial gain? I maintain that the vast majority of visitors who won’t use the restaurant will have a greater financial impact on the area, and it’s these people we should be accommodating by preserving the ambience of the Harbour.

      If this development goes ahead it will be akin to selling the family silver to obtain a short term financial gain.

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    7. Ramsgate Resident 10:34am... I think we are going to have to agree to differ on this.

      If you want to keep the slipways in their current form as something to look at (it beggars belief as to why you would) then ask TDC to waive all the rent and rates.

      It is an ugly truth that in order for things to happen there usually needs to be a financial raison d'etre for it. The last two Planning Applications have been mired with disinformation and people with absolutely no clue whatsoever pontificating about how vital the slipways are for the harbour's future. Put your money where your mouth is and get together with all the other people who want to see the town set in Amber, form a company, raise the money and run the slipways yourself. What was it Henry Ford said? "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." Once again it seems that some people seem to want to settle for "what we've always got". I personally want to look further than that for the sake of my kids. I would be interested to know what age group you occupy as it is highly relevant to issues such as this.

      Finally, your unnecessary jibe about 'Jack's shack' (I assume you were referring to Jack Baker of Neath Properties) smacks of personal resentment for some reason and do you really think the Planners or English Heritage will tolerate a 'Tacky Shack'. Are you actually aware that the Planners have insisted that the height and footprint should be in line with the existing buildings? It's not going to block any views of the Harbour. In fact it will provide new places to enjoy them and make existing ones better.

      Check the facts before you make pronouncements like that.

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    8. Ramsgate ResidentAugust 08, 2013 2:17 pm

      First, I’m not advocating retaining the current slipways. I’m merely pointing out that slipways are more in keeping with harbour views than a glitzy new pseudo something building. They are an integral working part of the harbour, a restaurant is not.

      You go on to deride the people who dare to have an opinion different to yours. I don’t think I need to comment about that, it speaks volumes for itself. What I will say is that I’m commenting about my town as a resident. I’m fully entitled to do this and I believe the people of Ramsgate are just waking up to people power. Lets hope we get more balanced opinion than at present.

      With regard to me and Jack Baker, I have never met the man. About all I know of him is that I believe he has been responsible for two excellent restoration projects in the Custom House and Granville Marina. On the other hand, you are vehemently supporting Jack’s plans and know a great deal of detail. Perhaps it’s you who has a personal involvement. Sorry about the Jack’s shack comment, it’s the way we speak in Ramsgate. I trust you’re from Ramsgate yourself?

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    9. Yes I am from Ramsgate (been in Thanet since 1978 and Ramsgate since 1988).

      I am vehemently supporting the development as I believe what will be gained will far outweigh that which will be lost. I also vehemently defend your right to your own opinion and also free speech.

      I know a lot of detail due to personal involvement in many meetings with interested parties and vested interests. These have included TDC, Harbour users, the Harbour Master, Port Consultants' Groups, Windfarm operators and contractors etc.

      I never intended to deride anyone else's opinion. I suppose that impression is a natural result of opposing viewpoints.

      Anyway, you and I disagreeing is not moving the debate anywhere. Let's agree to differ.

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    11. Anon if you are not interested in this very important issue for Ramsgate that is fine by me, however spamming it up with your own issues is not fine.

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    12. What detail do you know Ramsgate Fan? There seems not a lot to know. Tacky building plans rejected and reissued. Listed slipway etc? Awful Pleasurama hotel and apartments and awful Beach Parade apartments at Neros.

      All of these we already have and many of them are empty. The slipways are unique and make Ramsgate unique as a working harbour.

      I do think we need some sort of control on plans being rejected and then reissued again and again and possibly slipping through when noone is looking. No more than 3 sets of plans from the same/similar developer and site?

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    13. I would be very interested to know how the statistics on the numbers of visitors are generated, 1 million plus to the turner centre, 750,000 for Ramsgate harbour. I know when I have been to the turner there doesn't seem to have been any sort of checking, or is it footfall and by the time you have gone for tea then come back again your party of 8 counts as 16 visitors ?

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    14. And what about all the people who just go in to use the toilets when the nearby ones on the seafront are closed for the winter?

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  11. Ramsgate Resident. Have you actually looked at what is there at the moment and contrasted it with these plans? Ramshackle sheds versus a nice new building with what looks like plenty of architectural merit. Subject to the colour of brick and other details it looks like a no-brainer to me. Let's try to get at least one regeneration project going in Ramsgate shall we? We should be grateful that anyone wants to build anything here given the total lack of any encouragement from our local bloggers, Council Officers and politicians. It's bad enough trying to build an extension let alone something like this.

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    1. You underestimate the draw and aesthetic value of sheds et al in a working harbour. The life has been sanitised out of many a working environment by tasteful buildings only appreciable by the few. Property development and another bit of tenuous service economy and will obliterate the openness and genuinely public aspect to this part of the harbour. You may not have noticed but our existing restaurants of high merit are struggling at present. Flogging of prime sites in Ramsgate by TDC is quick fix and short termism of the worst kind. I'd pay £3.4 million to keep the slip way!!!

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    2. Write the cheque then, or stop critising those who really do have the ability to do something worthwhile in Ramsgate!

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    3. Is Whitstable Harbour sanitised by all the pop-up shops and Restaurants? Whitstable is a hugely successful destination due to the change in emphasis around its' harbour. We need to follow that lead and we are lucky that our Harbour has the scale to pull off the trick of different uses in different areas. Ramsgate could knock Whitstable out of the park aesthetically. Redevelop the slipways and pedestrianise Harbour Parade on summer weekends and 'bingo' you have a tourist trap.

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    4. I agree Whitstable is a success on many levels, and it's still a neat commute to London and the first point of the north coast by the sea. It is however, suffering from it's success. People milling about en masse, buying less, having problems parking...looking for a less choked seaside experience. So a great place to visit and STAY and live in should be Ramsgate's objective...the last thing we want to be is literally a tourist trap! The summer months are short too. How have the new quoatas improved the lot of our local fishing fleet? And can this be expanded? I'd like to hear from someone like Tony Thatcher...?

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    5. Good points Anonymous 1:11pm. I think Whitstable gets choked because of its' layout. I agree that Ramsgate should be looking to be seen as a destination to stay and possibly relocate to.

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    6. So it would seem a scheme to build 100 or so attractive apartments and a hotel on the seafront, with amazing seaviews could be a way forward anon 1:11, now I wonder where they could be built, i bet they would get solid local support...

      ...oh hang on, it's a development in Thanet that isn't a "heritage" centre so clearly anything like that must be vehemently opposed...

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    7. Ramsgate ResidentAugust 08, 2013 10:40 am

      Anonymous 10:45 pm ... I'm certainly not against development in Ramsgate, just not this one in this place. I know it can be justified on financial grounds, but so could a Travelodge adjacent to Stone Henge!

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    8. John you continue to argue that the reason no building has occurred at Pleasurama is because of "Vehement local opposition". Do you really believe blog comments carry that amount of clout ?

      May I humbly suggest you measure the profundity of blog comment by your own achievements in this regard ?

      What Hamilton achievements ? Nil. QED.

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  12. Dear Ramsgate fan - 6.49 pm. Who in TDC "ordered" the demolition of the Granville Marina?

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    1. If my memory serves me right TDC's Building Control Department sought advice from a Structural Engineer who made the decision that it should be taken down on safety grounds. Check it out yourself. Who knows you may find fuel for a new Witch Hunt to keep you busy. I am actually starting to feel sorry for certain members and employees of TDC, they get it from all angles. I'm so glad I never applied for a job they advertised earlier this year!

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    2. I couldn't agree more Ramsgate Fan. It seems that Granville Marina Cafe has been pretty much rebuilt as it was when it was demolished, but bought upto date.

      I have to admit I thought when it was bulldosed, I thought it would never be replaced properly, but in that case TDC did a great job of ensuring it was.

      Some people are never satisfied Ramsgate fan and will as a matter of course object to any and all development of any kind, on the most spurious grounds, Pleasurama and the Richborough chimneys being 2 of the most obvious examples.

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    3. Pleasurama gained planning consent how many years ago ? The fact that no building has ensued is absolutely NOTHING to do with "Objectors".

      The history shows that Michael's questions re Pleasurama plans were vindicated. Height, Flood Risk, access load bearing, cliff face footings, precipice loading.

      You have a history of parroting on calling for "Proof". The law of imposed statutory duties does not define duties to report by "Proof". It defines circumstances in which bodies like TDC are under a duty to report knowledge or suspicion. If the fact is TDC failed in that duty it would be a measure of their lack of due diligence but it could also be criminal depending on the facts.

      I was brought up in a market town. The pub at the market had special hours. You could cop a breakfast in there at 5 AM if you wanted. It is possible to mix a commercial operation and a pub/restaurant. Impressive comments from Ramsgate Fan.

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  13. I fully support the development. Ramsgate Fan has made all the relevant points so I won't repeat them. This development has the potential to work wonders for Ramsgate and set the standards of what will follow

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    1. A terrible development Ian: awful architecture, the wrong place and just random. Not needed.

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    2. So what would you do with the site given that there is not enough business to sustain the slipways. Do you not think the current 1940's temporary buildings would be improved upon by this development?

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  14. Ramsgate Fan has me convinced. I wish the project well.

    Anyway, it must be a good idea bearing in mind that the usual risible professional and amateur protesters don't like it.

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  15. I think it's ironic that we have plenty of people who jump up and down and make a noise when something doesn't happen and yet a lot of the same people seem hell-bent on making sure perfectly decent plans are also shouted down.

    I was originally extremely dubious about the recent development at the end of Liverpool Lawn but have to admit that the finished article looks extremely nice. The homes are a little small for my taste but aesthetically they are pleasing. I wouldn't want to live in one myself but I think the builders did a good job and I am glad they bothered.

    Local people should get behind other local people, especially those risking their own money to improve a street-scene.

    Shouldn't we get these people and the Slipways people together and get them to do the Royal Sands? At least it might actually happen!

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    1. There has been some excellent recent development in Ramsgate that matches and blends well with its neighbouring Georgian architecture.

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  16. This slipway development is as awful as at the first attempt when it was rejected. Ramsgate is a working harbour and port not some developer's plaything for a quick buck. There are plenty of restaurant sites and empty shops available.

    And again a piecemeal approach as with the rather duff Beachfront building further along at the Nero's site. Awful.

    The Duffers are stale pensioners who have failed us. They are not the future nor are the plans they attract.

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    1. 9:42 You are so stale, as with your arguments, that the stench of mould even permeates from a blogsite. Hardly think you are in any shape to call others stale pensioners.

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    2. Anonymous 9:42..... Ramsgate is a working harbour that is patently NOT WORKING. The slipways do not attract enough business to be sustainable in their current form. The two slipways in the middle have been redundant for years thanks in the main to the boat hoist bought by TDC. Do you think TDC reduced rent or rates to the slipways when they stole this chunk of business? I will not comment of the building down by Neros save to say that it was apparently loved by many of the usual complainers. There really is no rhyme nor reason sometimes. As I have said elsewhere, we need to bite the bullet and put the heavier industrial work to the west-side of the Harbour with new state-of-the-art facilities and concentrate on the Fishing, Leisure and Tourism industries on the Eastern side and around Military Road.

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    3. No Ramsgate Fan: the harbour has had little investment/effort that's all. The Nero building is typical of the slop TDC throw up after letting the area decline. As was the first slipway design.

      Why go to the effort of moving the industrial facilities if the harbour is not working? Nor why we need a new restaurant/whatever with empty shops instead of the slipway?

      You make no sense. RTC need to review the harbour and port and seafront - clearly though their efforts at a town plan after 4 years or so have achieved little.

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  17. There are also plans for a fire station at the old swimming pool: deisgns, costs etc etc. Despite the pool land only to be used for recreation. Apparently the plans wouldn't be revealed to the public until early 2014. Shameful.

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  18. Sorry I haven’t commented about this one, I will get there but am very busy at the moment and haven’t had time to study the plans properly, I will try to do a comprehensive post latter.

    A couple of points at this stage though I think for the most part Whitstable is successful because the harbour layout brings the fish processing right into to the middle the area where the café’s are. this means there is considerable activity there.

    Ramsgate on the other hand is already a bit sanitised, most of the inner basin is now parking spaces for expensive boats that move only very occasionally. Such nautical activity that does occur in the vicinity of most of the bars and restaurants is almost exclusively related to the slipways and the slipways are – particularly the buildings - looking fairly tatty and neglected.

    Probable expansion in this area, pavillion, ground floor of whatever happens to Pleasurama, amusement arcade, are mostly likely to go down the bar and restaurant road.

    At the moment the existing food and drink capacity doesn’t seem to be running full, but this is the area where the most profit is, however if there isn’t that much to look at or do between eating and drinking, I don’t see that the demand for food and drink can expand significantly without something else to do and something happening to look at.

    As far as I can see the new plans would leave us with only slipway No1 really viable and without sufficient workshop space for ship plating activities. I know the slipways are not much of a golden goose, but I have reservations about slaughtering it.

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    1. Talk to the guy who runs the slipways Michael. It would benefit the blog to find out what he thinks and it really isn't fair for others to speculate on someone else's business needs and opportunities.

      The rationale behind shopping centres is similar to restaurants. The more you have in one place the more people go there due to the choice available. There is usually a brief time where capacity is excessive but to be frank it is the developers and landlords who are at the most risk. The people I have spoken to with catering establishments around the harbour are in favour of this scheme and would also like to see the Harbour Parade area partially pedestrianized and Military Road's businesses broadened in scope.

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    2. RF I have discussed it with him, several of the people who work there and the developer, on and off since September 2010, understand the whole business of the lease transfer the amount of money involved and so on.

      With the two previous plans there were faults in the fra, taking mean high water mhw to mean maximum high water is an example of these faults.

      Fundamentally though the project was/is to build a small pier with a development on it, in tidal water that at times has a significant wave height. Treating it for flood risk purposes as a development build on a solid quay because no one involved has any experience of pier construction may be problematic.

      As I said last time my objection was made mainly of fra grounds, this time around I doubt I will have time to go into that side of it.

      With the collective collapse of the Pleasurama development and port Ramsgate, changes to the pavillion lease and added to this your suggestion about the possible pedestrianisation of Harbour Parade I guess the whole Ramsgate Waterfront issue is in the balance at the moment.

      However things go there, there can be no doubt that businesses reliant on the maritime aspects of the harbour are not as profitable as those selling prepared food and drink, we all know how much it costs to make a cuppa at home and how much one costs out.

      In all of this my guess is that there has to be some way of protecting the overheads of maritime businesses, otherwise we wind up with a park for very expensive boats and naught else, which may be a limited tourist draw.

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

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    1. Chuck anonymous derogatory comments about real people are not allowed here, not are any forms of cyber bullying, I recommend you get your own blog.

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  20. TDC should concentrate on getting the drains rodded and cleared and litter picking and recycling rather than fancy building projects. they're too stupid and too corrupt to make a succes of it.

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    1. In this instance TDC are both the freeholder and the planning authority, so they have no alternative but to get involved. It is TDC’s tenant who has submitted the application to TDC as the planning authority.

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    2. Fair point Michael - so the tenant rents the slipway from TDC but now wants to convert it (again) to a restaurant/whatever?

      Why would TDC even consider such a thing, or renew his tenancy if he's not interested in running a slipway?

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    3. OK and very roughly, the boat repair world is no as profitable as it was, TDC have installed a lifting cradle which is a direct competitor to the slipways, modern boats tend to be under guarantee and the supplies workers repair them, many of the boatyards on the European coast opposite Ramsgate have better facilities.

      The slipway operator was to a lesser or greater degree struggling financially when a friendly chap came along and offered, I think it was £80,000 for part of the lease.

      The lease stipulates maritime boat repair use only.

      The friendly chap then put in plans, this is the third lot, for another bar and restaurant setup, the profit on beer and food is much greater than the profit on boat repairs.

      The council have to consider the plans properly and provide valid objections or an appeal to the planning inspector will see them go through anyway.

      Once there is planning consent then the leaseholder stands a good chance in litigation for change of use in terms of the lease.

      Of course the new leaseholder could repair the buildings and No3 slipway that was condemned, in fact it could be an attractive little boatyard and a good tourist draw.

      I hope anon that you now understand roughly how the situation is.

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    4. Phew thank goodness this scandal has been exposed. So the new building (again) is a bit of a jolly jape to fiddle with the lease to prevent it being used for boat repairs?

      TDC will no doubt be glad to reject these plans and Mr Baker will no doubt be delighted that his series of mistakes, in drawing up plans for restaurants when it's a boatyard, won't have to continue.

      What about the £80k though? Used for repairs to the slipway? Could anything burn down by accident?

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    5. Maybe the slipway operator will return the £80k with interest. He must have known it was a slipway lease not a part-restaurant lease? I doubt half of it or more could be used to pay off the council planners.

      A 4th set of designs required perhaps? A restaurant-slipway-spaceport? I'd travel to see that. Certainly better than a derelict Port or burned-down Trainstation-dancehall or derelict Dreamland or closed railway tunnels or closed swimmingpool-firestation.

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    6. I don't know: a £5M fire station would be worth visiting for a laugh. Not just an office but a garage as well. Cheap at twice the price. Who checks the Fire Brigade's rates requests?

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    7. Mcgonigal? Hahaha!

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    8. There is no scandal here. The boat repairing business is just not sustainable and hasn't been for some time. The Boat Hoist killed the smaller work and, as mentioned before, the previous owners of the slipways were unable to make the changes necessary for them to compete properly on a site sandwiched between two listed buildings. Catch 22 unless we can find a ton of public money to do a British Leyland job on it!

      Things change. Town Centres will soon have far more residential use than they did previously because the retail world is changing thanks to online shopping. If a shop owner wants to change the use to a home should we INSIST that they keep a struggling business open just because we like the fact that it is there, even if we have never been in to buy anything?

      We shouldn't just say that just because something has always been something it must always be the same thing in perpetuity. Westcliff Hall anyone? Great Idea to bring it into the 21st Century. Why isn't everyone insisting on it being a 'Music Hall' again?

      Perhaps a Thanet 'Turd-Polishing' Club would be popular? All the NIMBYS and NEGATIVITY brigade can sit around making sure that nothing ugly and obsolete ever gets turned into something useful.

      Why don't people point their anger at things like the disaster that is the old Adscene building in Ramsgate High Street? that IS a scandal!

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    9. 5:33 and 5:55. Your planet or planets (if you are different people) and their inhabitants are what keep this Town from being the success it could be. You sit back and knock people and are seemingly oblivious that it isn't the 1890's or 1943 any more. I can smell the resentment from a mile off. Are you net contributors to the life of the Town or are you steering it towards an appointment at Dignitas?

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    10. Ramsgate Fan you dissemble. You seem very very very very keen on this development for some reason. The issue of the £80k part-payment is unusual. The site is specified (as you'd expect in a Grade 1 harbour) for the slipways etc.

      Any new building can be built anywhere else if it's supposedly an attraction in itself which it isn't. As the 2 previous designs were not. The point made earlier on over-gentrifying the harbour is valid although the new designs aren't of that calibre.

      Of course things change. But not everything. And some things don't. And some things change for the worse like the plan for the slipways. Agree that the old Adscene building should be redone and so should the Loggia but comparing different sites to the slipways is fairly irrelevant.

      While 3 designs and counting is polishing a turd. And the town centres have been destroyed in Thanet specifically because of the toilet of planning that is WC.

      Dave B's point is random whining. The towns have been destroyed by awful planning like this and corrupt councils, largely accepted by the public.

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    11. All of which, 7:45, adds up to nothing or just another whine.

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    12. Anonymous 7:45.

      I think you are guilty of judging by your own standards. I do not dissemble.

      If you had read my initial posts I declared an interest at the outset having been engaged in many meetings with many different parties regarding this proposal over a couple of years. I believe in and am in favour of this development for many reasons, all of which have been extremely well informed by my personal experience of listening to MANY different views and observations with an extremely open mind.

      I am in my Forties with teenage kids who I don't want to see move away simply because they feel they have to when they need a job. I know a new Restaurant in itself will not offer a decent career for them but it will be part of a wider injection of change for the better for the town in my view.

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  21. Anons I don’t think going down the road of suggesting that anyone has acted improperly – which they haven’t – is helpful.

    Ramsgate Fan, obviously to maximise the return on the town’s real estate the greatest profit comes from residential accommodation, often with the public purse picking up the tab, especially with accommodation on the ground floor in the town centres and the supply of alcohol and takeaway food with the public purse paying for the policing and clearing up the mess.

    Of course this taken to its conclusion leads to an environment where no one actually wants to live or visit.

    For the café culture to succeed you have to have some aspects that are not cafes, take your ides to their logical conclusion and you concrete over the harbour and build bars and cafes all over it.

    So a line has to be drawn somewhere and I guess the only place you can draw that line is taking the publicly owned land and ensuring that is used, either for entertainment or something interesting to look at.

    There is also the problem of the harbour as a whole, if we take ourselves to the point where we can’t offer maintenance facilities for the vessels in it, they may well go elsewhere.

    We have just had a tug up No1 slipway for about two weeks with the windfarm cats using No2, which raises the problem of what would have happened were the development in place.

    Yes the boatyard may not be profitable but I gather the income for the council for mooring fees is considerable.

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  22. Michael,

    The windfarm boat was on Slipway 3. The numbering is odd. 1, 4, 2 & 3.

    I do agree with you on the potential for unpleasant homogeneous development BUT TDC are in no position to gift land or invest in their assets.

    I think the harbour can stand some change. Would people be against this development if the building was going to be an art gallery?

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    1. RF you are quite right about the slipway numbering 2 is the one the council condemned the cradle on.

      Not so sure you are right about the council’s financial aspect here, as the amount they take in mooring fees runs into six figures and a fair old chunk of this comes from the windfarm cats which are too wide for the cradle.

      I would certainly have reservations about putting an art gallery on the slipways and doubt it would possible to get insurance for major works of art without a fra done by Wallingfords as was the case with the TC.

      I guess the key question remains; are the slipways essential to maintaining the harbour income?

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    2. TDC's income from the site comes from the ground and not the slipway operation. They would prefer a secure rent I would imagine. The two slipways used for the last ten years are to be retained so there will be no change to capacity. The vast majority of the windfarm boats are maintained elsewhere for reasons I have already gone into elsewhere on this blog.

      I am told by boat owners that Ramsgate is an expensive place to moor a pleasure boat but it seems quite full.

      The economics of the Harbour are no doubt a complex conundrum. My fear is that without taking bold steps now and then we foster the status quo. Too many people are simply resistant to any change. What next, a petition to bring back Nick's Nosh Bar?

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    3. Bold steps RF are not building Jack's Shack on the slipway. Most people want a working harbour and the diversity of businesses. There are plenty of empty buildings in Thanet - rather we need better control of the construction industry using public land or funds.

      This development - again - is awful and as with Pleasurama let's hope the council soundly reject it.

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  23. wake up you people in Ramsgate before its to late don't look a gift horse in the mouth Iwish someone would invest in my town

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  24. I truly believe that our town of Ramsgate would benefit from this beautifully designed development.
    Not only will the local people enjoy, but also visitors.

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  25. well said could not have put it better

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  26. Why would this building not be empty like the others on Ramsgate seafront? Without a working harbour why would visitors visit?

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  27. It seems quite obvious to me that the developer's "friends" are using this blog to mount a campaign in favour of this development. As usual, the answer lies in democracy. Let the people decide. The handful in favour would then be exposed as the pitiful minority they are.

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    1. Good point 7:38. Sounds about right. We had this with Manston and the fireworkers there. And Pleasurama and ChinaGate with just the councillors(!). And developers.

      Have the 800 WC houses/4th Town Centre cropped up again?

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    2. Presumably you're one of the developer's "enemies" 7:38...

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  28. Anonymous 7:38

    As you so rightly say, the due process will decide. My challenge to you and your 'ilk', and believe me, you are an 'ilk'; is to actually come up with some POSITIVE ideas, put your own money behind them, or find people who will and then MAKE THEM HAPPEN!!!

    We have a 'Grey Army' in Thanet who seem ready to kill ANY IDEA for something new without adding properly to the debate about what actually SHOULD happen and taking any positive steps to bring anything to fruition! The notable exception being the Ramsgate Society and their efforts with the shelters.

    The perception from the outside world is that we, as an area, are CLOSED FOR BUSINESS! We cannot expect Central or Local Government to drive growth. It is totally in the hands of the private sector.

    All I see between the lines of many of the 'anti' posts is destructive criticism. Let's have some ideas and some business plans instead!

    This proposal is, in my opinion, far less controversial than the Terraforming of Westwood and the wholesale destruction of Grade A Farming Land to make way for Solar Farms.

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  29. How wrong you are i think the design is very good and can only benefit Ramsgate for locals and tourist alike. Re:7.38

    Best of luck Jane

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  30. are the slipways closed down does anybody know

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    1. No they aren't, I saw a bloke there last Thursday and was chatting to him. There's just not that much business around for them which is why this partial redevelopment idea was proposed in the first place a few years ago. Apparently the costs associated with the business are well into six figures annually which surprised me. The chap told me that the development would be a shot in the arm for the two remaining slipways which they were looking to update and improve.

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  31. There is a lot of argument here, but no-one seems to recognise that one working slipway is enough to put off any adjacent restaurant & its customers simply by the fact that industrial processes take part on it. Fumes, noise, airbourne particles, floodlights are just part of the problem. Then you've got the stench of drying nets and pots on the old hoverpad. The social and working elements do not mix side by side, not even if you were to say slipway by day and diner at night. Again the same old lure of money has raised its head tempting a change from tradition without proper exploration or assessment. Let alone some forward inventive thinking.

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    1. Anon 11:17,

      I take your point about tradition and the lure of money. But surely the slipways were built in order to repair ships for profit, and there is no fault in that. Do the slipways today make money; and if not who should finance them; surely not the taxpayer?

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    2. well put john I was just about to make the same pouint

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    3. Anonymous 11:17pm

      People don't seem to mind sitting outside at Rock Salt in Folkestone when the tide is out and the mud is whiffing a bit.

      I know your argument comes from a good place BUT if a business cannot expand and improve itself in order to compete (as is the situation with the slipways in their current form) something has to change.

      As I have said elsewhere on this blog, research and discussions with many vested interests have shown that a 21st Century solution is what is required. Would you rather keep the slipways but have them covered by a forty foot high crinkly tin shed? The facilities required by modern customers cannot be provided on that site. In my opinion, Ramsgate needs a selection of different facilities with a brand new large-scale hoist and a massive 24/7 boat shed on the Commercial Port. Slipways 1 & 3 can then cater for historic and specialist craft which would be more of a draw for tourism and would hopefully protect some specialist trades in the area.

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    4. You took the words out of my mouth there John. If they can't survive as is the tax payer will end up susidising them.

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    5. Good point 11:17 a working slipway next to the new building would be disturbing. Looks like random planning again or the stale belief that a new building will change everything for the better.

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  32. walked down to the slipways last night to see the board put up outside looked very good to both of us sounds seems a very nice scheme

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  33. we walked down to the slipways last night to see the board that as been put up looks and sounds very nice cant understand why some people moan about a good thing the place seemed very run down

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