Friday, 10 September 2010

Ramsgate harbour slipways demolition

This is a follow up to “Plans to demolish the slipways in Ramsgate Harbour” that I posted on Wednesday.

I thought this mornings comment about the matter from our mayor was important enough to warrant a new post, here is the comment:

“Cllr David Green said...
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 compatible 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.


Ed. The most interesting point here is that it would appear that the ownership of the slipways and ship repair business has already changed hands.


  1. It would appear that the Town Council are asking the right questions. One wonders what is the relationship between the new owners of the slipway and the developers seeking to build next door.It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the two are connected in some way.

  2. It surely would be immpossible to build a property so close to the clock tower and in keeping with it in design new modern archetecture simply does not fit in with old historic buildings it will just blot the landscape as the turner centre has done by all means demolish the ageing slipways before they need a lot of money spent to maintain them but not build just landscape the land in keeping with the harbour area where they are situated for all to enjoy at no cost

  3. I believe the recent history of this site is roughly as follows:

    - The slipway site was originally a single plot of land leased from TDC for 20 years from the year 2000. The leasehold interest originally being granted to A&P Chatham Limited - now (I believe) called E.A. Shipcare Limited. At some point (probably 2007) the land passed to Ramsgate Harbour Slipways Limited. Later on, possibly this summer, the land was divided into 2 parts of roughly equal size and the part containing slipways No. 2, 3 and 4 was removed from their leasehold title.

    - The land containing Slipway No.1 is still owned by Ramsgate Harbour Slipways Limited.

    - The land containing Slipways No. 2, 3 & 4 is now owned by the developers Neath Properties Limited (purchased this summer).

    Ramsgate Harbour Slipways Limited (and TDC as freeholder) are named on the planning application as (other) land owners under Certificate B - so I guess they were still be the owners of Slipway no.1 when the planning application was submitted.

  4. Gerald can you clarify here, do TDC still own the freehold to all of it, i.e. is it just the leasehold that has passed to Neath Properties Limited?

  5. Michael,

    Yes: as far as I'm aware, TDC still owns the freehold.

    My guess would be that 'Neath Properties Limited' simply bought the leasehold interest of about half of the site from 'Ramsgate Harbour Slipways Limited'.

    Realistically, the developers will need a far longer lease to make the development viable. If TDC grant them a long lease for the new build then I guess they might need to consider this as an 'asset disposal'.

  6. Why would tdc consent to the land being split when it was on a full repairing lease. It all sounds very fishy with deals being done behind closed doors. The lease could not have been split without the permission of tdc and a whole new lease being granted, i guess a look at the land registry will clear that one up.
    If the lease was sold or split without anything being publicised is this one for the councils scrutiny committee.

  7. To clarify, my earlier post should be read as follows:

    - The land containing Slipway No.1 is still owned (LEASEHOLD) by Ramsgate Harbour Slipways Limited.

    - The land containing Slipways No. 2, 3 & 4 is now owned (LEASEHOLD) by the developers Neath Properties Limited (purchased this summer).

    I guess they would have needed consent from TDC to any assignment - as TDC's leases tend to have a block on registering any interests arising from breaches of dealing prohibitions.

  8. Surely if the lease was transferred it should be mentioned in a cabinet report/ forward plan or some such thing or were tdc trying to hide it from the public domain.

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

  10. 23.43 I have said it before unsubstantiated anonymous naming councillors or council officers isn’t allowed here. Below your comment without the councillor’s name.

    You were evidently unable to stop spelling asset, something I will put down to the time of night. Please consider this if you add the rest of your comment, unless it was a sentence that was supposed to end in a comma.

    Yes, cabinet member ******** did the deal behind closed doors to keep the information away from the Assett management scrutiny committee,

  11. If the comment about a deal behind closed doors is correct surely this is a very serious matter, as it is essentially splitting a valuable asset in 2.
    Has the area now been separately assessed for business rates.
    Have the new owners got the same conditions as the initial lease ? How do we get the answers to these questions.
    A cabinet member can agree a deal but it has to be drawn up by council officers, would it be too much of a coimcidence if it was the planning department that is pushing this forward.

  12. does this surgest b---n e-------e
    some where along the line

  13. So to get this straight.
    Person C who is an ex planning officer was assisted in the submission of the planning permission by planning officer B ( all above board and quite normal)
    The harbourmaster who happens to be the head of planning and the ex boss of C and the current boss of B agreed that the existing lease could be sub divided and sold while 2 of his colleagues were working on the plan without telling the asset management group or the cabinet or the scrutiny committee, and everyone thinks this is normal and all above board.
    Do we here the rattle of handcuffs.

  14. Has anyone studied the plans closely as submitted to the Planning Dept?

    As a qualified marine surveyor with experiance of visiting many shipyards and repair facilities over my career, I was somewhat surprised to see that the new workshops proposed for the No.1 Slipway are greatly reduced in size when compared to what exists now.

    Call me cynical, but my belief is that the developer has no intention of allowing any of the slipways to survive in a working state longterm. The proposed facities for No.1 slip simply won't be big enough to provide the usual workshop space required for a yard of this size or the vessels it maintains.

    How would the new neighbours tolerate the continued noise and dust from the slipway alongside? The answer is they wouldn't and the proof can be seen in any coastal or riverside towns where long established boat repair yards and facilities have been pushed out by new 'tidy' developments.

    The suggestion of the 'heritage' slip with 'historic' wooden boats hauled out of the water and put on display sounds like a usual planning gain sweetener. Wooden boats don't like being out of the water long (see the condition of the one outside the Maritime Museum and the Sundowner scandal over the summer left high and dry) and in any case the proposals list the demolition and removal of boat cradles, winding houses and their machinery. What would the boat be pulled up with and what on?

    I believe this isnt just about an inapropriate development of the heart of historic Ramsgate, but is also about the slow strangulation of one of the last operational slipways in the South East.

    Its a disgrace.

    My view is that the management or owners of the Ramsgate Slipway are fully aware of this and are in full collusion with the developers.


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