Friday, 7 October 2016

Some more old coloured postcards of Ramsgate, Bygone Kent Magazine back issues and I have a moan at the council.

I think these are in the 1915 to 1920 ball park

We have had a fairly large batch of Bygone Kent Magazine come into the bookshop, see

Oh yes and here my moan to the council:-

 Re: council's development in King Street Ramsgate

Hi Bob, I’m not happy about this one so please send it for further review.

Obviously trying to have some sort of dialogue with the council when the previous emails are removed by the officer replying to you isn’t particularly productive when communicating with me, so can you please not do this and reply to emails in the ordinary way without deleting the previous correspondence. 

So for clarity I will reiterate the main points.

Firstly I first pointed this out over two years ago in my planning objection.

The main issue, which is building a decent housing block and then arranging the ground floor in such a way that the flats there are to all intents and purposes uninhabitable, will only result in bad ground floor tenants and souring the whole block, ultimately giving the council time consuming and expensive problems.

I assume that either you or someone you can discuss this with has been to the pub, followed by the club and wound up at the takeaway in the early hours of the morning.

I have lived and traded in this part of King Street since 1987, in that time more than twenty broken shop windows, regular drunken brawls outside, I am not suggesting that this problem is peculiar to Thanet or Ramsgate. From experience having had numerous shops in various towns, the combination of taking an area in the town centre, removing from the town centre policing zone and licensing the takeaways there until 4 am will produce this situation pretty much anywhere. It is a fact of life that the very drunk will head for the takeaway in the early hours and if the area where the takeaways are is inadequately policed, there will be a considerable amount of nighttime noise at best, with fights broken windows and serious antisocial behaviour at worse.  

As the developer has boarded up all of the completed ground floor windows they are obviously also aware of the problem too.

What the council has done here is to build living accommodation with bedrooms that have conventional pvc windows that have sills at about knee height facing onto a street in the part of a town that is very lively at night.

I don’t see how anyone holding down an ordinary job, or how any child engaged in normal education could attempt to sleep in one of these bedrooms and also function in any useful or meaningful way.

Obviously going down the road of housing normal families there, them discovering that the layout of their flats makes them uninhabitable and eventually the council putting in tenants who will accept any accommodation, will then result in the whole block being soured.

I have discussed this verbally with various council officers, all of whom have both understood my points and verbally promised to address them, subsequent emails in councilspeak are neither constructive nor are the helpful.

The situation prior to the council purchasing the property was shop which had steel mesh window grills at night, although it was in a fully let shopping parade opposite the town’s main shopping car park (most women who do most of the shopping won’t use the multi-storey, which smells of urine) this shop appears to have been subject to a land banking operation, I know it sold at auction about ten years ago for around £75k and I guess the council paid a lot more for it.

Solutions could be returning the ground floor frontage to retail, armoured glazing with decorative grills combined with moving the bedrooms away from the front, offices, some sort of local amenity.

Attached photo of the building in 1903, not long after it was built, you seem to be suggesting that there was an element of conforming to the original ground floor frontage when designing the current ground floor, so I did wonder if you had actually seen it.  
This was in reply to 

14 September 2016
Dear Mr Child
Thank you for your recent communication which was received on 13/09/2016 concerning the council's development in King Street Ramsgate.
In your complaint you raise the question of the level of windows of the ground floor flats and their relationship to the footpath.
The council acquired the previously disused retail premises with the intention of converting it to affordable rented residential accommodation. The site was previously disused and derelict and had a significantly negative impact on the area.
The project will provide both much needed new homes and contribute to the regeneration of the area. This is one of a number of sites that the council is working on in King Street, and together we are confident that these will have a positive impact ont he appearance and amenity of the area.
The council was necessarily constrained in design by the previous buildings on the site, which have been retained wherever possible. The specific designs, including window heights were considered as part of the planning process and approved as now constructed. It is not possible to change the design of the elevations and windows at this stage in the development.
Although I understand the concerns that you raise about the impact of local take away establishments, it is anticipated that the introduction of more residential accommodation in the area will help to improve the surveillance and management of the area and reduce any incidents of anti-social behaviour. The new homes will remain in council ownership and be managed by East Kent Housing. We will investigate any complaints from residents about anti-social behaviour, and if necessary work with local food outlets to help resolve any problems that may occur int he future.
We hope that this resolves the matter to your satisfaction.
If you are not happy with our response, you may write to us with your reasons within the next ten working days, requesting a further and final review. 
Please quote the above reference number and address your communication to Lynda Howard at - Customer Feedback Co-ordinator, Community Services.
Yours sincerely
Bob Porter
Head of Housing

Oh and Wetherspoons have announced that The Royal Victoria Pavilion will be called The Royal Victoria Pavilion, you could have knocked me down with a feather…

The English heritage listing says:- “Originally built as a Concert Hall and Assembly Rooms in 1903. Designed by Stanley Davenport. Adshead and built by F.G. Minter of Putney. Ostensibly in the style of a Robert Adam orangery and based on the Little Theatre at Versailles; the whole was aimed as an exercise in the Adam style. Designed in 1 week, to be built in 6 weeks in time for the 1903 season.”

So assumed they were going to call it The Marie Antoinette, it’s looking like there will be no guillotine on the Pleasurama site then 

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