Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Ramsgate Slipways Plans, a comedy of errors.

The picture above looks like a nice development doesn’t it and it’s intended for families.
If anything the side elevation that Mr Wren proposed looks even better. I am also told that the people running it won’t be harassing legitimate protest groups.

But the question is would it be appropriate instead of the harbour slipways?
 As you can see what is being proposed there is an attractive looking development
and yes it also looks even better from the side.

Because of this it was my intention to comment on the plans in as positive way as I could, but had the underlying concern that the harbour may need the slipways in the future.

Last time there were proposals to develop this site, it was for a very modern building that didn’t fit in well with the surrounding architecture and I had no qualms whatsoever about objecting to it, here is the objection I sent to the council

This time my concerns fall into two main areas.

The first one is the economic one, Thanet District Council’s accounts are not something that I find easy to understand, so I may have this figured wrong, but the port and harbour seem to bring the council an income of about three million a year.

So I would say that before there is any consideration of redeveloping the slipways the council need a professional assessment of the harbours needs in terms of getting boats out of the water for repairs and maintenance.

The second concern was the flood risk assessment, as last time there were all sorts errors relating to this, (it confused mean high tide with maximum high tide, there had been a lack of communication between the flood risk assessor and the architect and so on) I was interested to see what they had come up with.

From an engineering point of view it is an interesting one, normally a flood risk assessment for a foreshore building produces two main figures, one being how high the sea defence needs to be and the other how far behind the front of the sea defence the development can be, to allow for wave dissipation. In this case the development is built on a short pier so there is no sea defence in front of it and no wave dissipation, there is also the added problem of anything floating underneath it.

There have been quite a few comments on my previous post about this, see so I had a thorough look at the plans and promised this post.

I was pretty much astonished to find that the previous flood risk assessment, the one with the errors in it had been used for this application. Why an architect would base a foreshore development on a flood risk assessment already proven to wrong and one of the reasons that the previous development was rejected defies any understanding whatsoever.

The basic maxim of  first discovering how high the water rises and then designing the development had obviously been ignored altogether.

I then phoned the council for some more information before lodging my objection, and asked them some questions.

Q Were their plans to demolish the slipways and if their were, why weren’t the on the council’s planning website?

A Plans were submitted but they weren’t submitted correctly, so they will be submitted again, after which the council will publish them.

Q Did they realise that the flood risk assessment was the same one that had been one of the grounds for the previous application being rejected?

A Yes they did and they were already aware that the Environment Agency would object to the new application because of the flood risk assessment.

Q If the application lacks the right flood risk assessment, lacks the demolition application and so on how can I express either support or objection in the next few days, before the time limit to comment runs out?

A The council will defer the objection date until after the missing documents are published on their planning website?

Q Is the viability of the harbour with reduced capacity to get larger vessels out of the water valid grounds for objection?

A Yes.

Well that was where I was last week, so I started asking some of the people I know if they had any idea about the application.

Yesterday, Monday the developer came to see me to ask why I wasn’t being supportive of the development.

I think his stance is that the council approved the transfer of the lease to him with the knowledge that he intended to develop the site and therefore he should be allowed by them to develop it.

I will continue with this if I get more time.  


  1. Section 46 Harbours

    £4million odd loss including £3.7m impairment !!!

  2. I can only say if they aree loosing moneythey aree doing something wrong the harbour is always full and I doubt it is cheap to have a yacht in there. And as for the slipway why get rid of it? I dont think the curreent tenant wants to go and the council are closing him because he is industry where they want lesuire and ignore the fact that harbours are predominatly industry and have beeen historicly. Unfortunatly TDC thinks industrry just survives on industrial estates and the harbour is not a place where boats can be repaired (question to TDC where do they think marine repairs should be undertaken)
    Michael is the slipway listed?

    £3.7 impairment seems steep TDC own this site why down value it at this time unless someone on the council wants to purchase at a knock down price or knows someone who does and the brown paper bag stuffed full of fiftys wants to get involved. To me the way TDC is behaving with the harbour is Mysterious and needs a close eye keeping on it devalueing an asset in such a way seems more than a little odd.

  3. I don't understand why a shopping mall has to be built on the slipway. Couldn't it just as well go in the old casino which is sitting there unused?

  4. 17.22 the income measured in millions has been coming in for years and very little has been done in terms of maintenance, so the money must have been going somewhere.

    Don I think you may have the wrong end of the stick here, I don’t think the council are actively trying to close the slipways.

    Slipway one is listed the others are not as far as know, however slipway one is mostly uses for replating coasters and the large workshops for plate bending and so on are not listed.

    Slipway one stays, however I don’t think the work done there during the last couple of years would be compatible with being adjacent to a bar and restaurant complex.

    17.48 the plans are for a bar and restaurant complex not a shopping mall.

  5. The plans are far better than the previous application, However, the slipways are a historic feature of the harbour. So there is no way I could ever support their demolition.

  6. The south west view looks like a railway building along the lines of the old goods shed at Canterbury West.

  7. "..the plans are for a bar and restaurant complex not a shopping mall."

    Pedantic or what? OK so, why can't the bar and restaurant go in the old casino?

  8. I thought the whole of the harbour was a grade 2a listed structure ?

  9. Where is the parking??. The parking is for port residence and only a few free spaces available. More cars driving up there and doing a full circle and heading out again, breath in the fumes al fresco dining voila


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.