Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Pleasurama more on the new plans

Although my main concern over this development is one of safety, other aspects of the design are very bad.

I have the 2 senior TDC planning officers who are involved coming round to see me and discuss the new plans fairly soon, so I have been studying the plans in some detail.

Because of the safety concerns I raised about the development considerable changes have been made to the building design, including 20mm glass shop fronts and built in shutters.

One of the most curious aspects of the new plans is the road that has been added between the rear of the building and the base of the cliff, which I have suggested on numerous occasions, should be one way.

As you can see from the pictures click here to view, it’s only wide enough to be one way, god alone knows how emergency vehicles could cope in this confined space with two way traffic, or what they would do if a lorry caught fire down there.

All those cars parked down there sooner or later one of them is bound to catch fire.

What happens when they have to do maintenance work on the cliff façade?

The problem here has always been that this is a very demanding site, on the foreshore between the cliff and the sea, at the confluence of two tidal systems and prone to tidal surge storms. The architects approach seems to be to make every endeavour to ignore the limitations of the site.

The building is obviously too close to the cliff one broken down lorry closes the road, it either needs to have a ground floor ceiling high enough for lorries and fire engines, or it needs to be far enough from the cliff for them to pass, both of these options mean making the building smaller.

As of course any consultees won’t be on the planning website, I have to write to the council one again and ask if the fire service have been consulted on these changes


  1. I am sure the planners know how to do their jobs... They consult all the relevant people and at the end of the day if someone wants to building in an area that may get a bit wet, and people want to buy the buildings, then it is their problems ?

  2. Oh Michael, you're such a hero. Those stupid people at the Council, the Developers, the Financiers etc., all of whom have something to loose, really should listen to your expertise.

    What our senior planning officers are doing consulting a book keeper I really don't know, but it seems to me you're just wasting tax payer's money.

  3. 21.25. Without Michael's intervention, a planning application which was approved by the council, put in by the developers, signed off by the financiers, happened to poke above teh clifftop, therefore blocking out the view for 250 year old houses and the east cliff promenade.

    Our senior planning officer would be better handing over the ropes to Michael and takling the first plane out of Manston (taking off some time in May)

  4. Was this decision not taken within the constraints of a legal framework arrived at by a democratic process? If not, that's the problem!

  5. 21.25: I think "restricting" the view would be a more appropriate expression than "blocking". This happens to someone just about every time a new building is erected anywhere. No doubt the planning department considered the creation of the new dwellings with views plus the other amenities when making their decision.

    Just for the record, I'm not a great fan of the development, but I do think there is a lot of negative hot air being blown about.

    P.S. If you had your way the senior planning officer wouldn't be able to take a plane out of Manston!

  6. 21.25 I expect they are wishing they had £500,000 pounds could have been saved on the cliff façade alone if the developer had been responsible for it. Now it looks like KCC have adopted the new access road built without an FRA against the EAs advice.

    21.25 at its highest point it was 3m above the cliff top, the problem here is that there is only room for a 4 story building between the flood line and the cliff top, the architects impossible remit to design a 5 story one that fits in the space have involved some unusual plans. I have one set where his efforts to reduce the height left people drawn with their heads embedded in the ceiling, another where the building is shown as being 2m taller on the inside than it is on the outside.

    The most fundamental problem though is that the EA say the building must have emergency escapes to the cliff top and it hasn’t, which makes it best likened to the Titanic without sufficient lifeboats, a death trap.

  7. I think we must be looking at different plans as the approved 5 storey ones I've just looked at don't have dimensions and don't appear to protrude 3 meters above the cliff top.

    Don't the emergency escapes come under building control rather than planning?

  8. Hmm, still not convinced either way. Some stock sketches dragged into a computer program don't prove anything. Without dimensions it's all a bit "pie in the sky". The planning department must have considered this, if not heads should role. As for the flood risk, they seem to survive OK in Deal which definitely isn't 7.5 meters above sea level.

  9. 15.58 I have on to TDC for ages about how ridiculous it is to publish plans on the web without a liner scale printed on them on them, I short you can see the lift it’s already there so gives a fair idea.

    We are talking opposite a grade one listed building here too, anyway don’t take my word for, it the plans are on the government planning website.

    Planning ref F/TH/03/1200 planning website

    The difference with Deal it there isn’t a cliff behind them preventing the people inside from escaping.

  10. No, just more low lying flood prone land


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