I think the most peculiar aspect of the whole thing is the lack of public information about it, particularly considering both the prominence of the site and size of the development.
I do periodically tackle the council about this, promises are made that we will have some drop in sessions where members of the public can get information about what it will be like. The last one we had was before all of the changes to the building and building materials, most especially the materials that will be used for the acre of roof adjacent to a the footpath in front of Wellington Crescent.
My ongoing questions about cliff safety and flood protection still for the most part remain unanswered, so I don’t really know if we are going to get a dangerous white elephant or a beneficial development.
With the cliff façade there is also the public money issue that Thanet District Council have spent about £1,000,000 on a repair that has to a lesser or greater extent been unsatisfactory and they don’t appear to have made any effort to recoup part of the money.
Ironically in terms of spectators, the view of the site from the cliff top means that it is easier to watch the construction work than at any other site I know of.
The only document we have describing the development is the planning and deign statement for the taller zinc gull winged roofed building envisaged in 2003.
Over the last few year I have concentrated on the safety implications of the development, now it is commencing and there is nothing much I can do about these anymore, I have questions about practical aspects of the building design.
Raising the ground level adjacent to the cliff because the cliff façade didn’t extend down far enough caused one factor that looks total impractical. This is the narrow two way access road between the back of the building and the face of the cliff, it isn’t wide enough for lorries to pass and there is nowhere other than on the road that they can stop to unload.
Here are the inevitable photographs from my wander about today http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/2111/id3.htm