Hey-ho! What more interesting way to spend a wet Thursday afternoon than putting together a round-up of some of the fantastic building developments going on here in the Cannes of Kent?
Pleasurama (aka Royal Sands, artist's impression above): Work about to start, we're told, on a vast complex of shops, hotels and luxury apartments. About time too, as the site has been a blot on the Ramsgate coastscape for the best part of a decade. Set to become 'the jewel in Ramsgate's crown' according to the estate agent. However, according to our local biblio-bloke Michael Child, who's seen the plans, it could be more a case of 'the concrete in somebody's head' as living space shrinks to avoid the flood plain at the bottom and the height restriction at the top.
Victoria Road (Dorman's Yard): Best not to mention this one as despite the fact that it's nearing completion, it could be about to be demolished due to a breach of planning.
Granville Court: Completed a few years ago, with Phase 2 waiting in the wings, the rumour is that only a few of the 40 or so apartments have sold. I thought I'd better double check this with Oakleigh Developments, but their website doesn't exist, and my email bounced back with an 'undeliverable' notice. I'm afraid at that point curiosity got the better of me, and a quick check at Companies House revealed that their accounts are listed as overdue. I also discovered a winding-up petition against them from last year, although I've been unable to discover the outcome. Perhaps it's no wonder their Phase 2 site is rapidly reverting to its previous bomb site status.
So, there you have it! From eyesore to luxury apartments and back to eyesore again in three easy steps!
Update: Reader Jean writes: I have been complaining to the council for months about the state of the fence at the rear of Granville Court, which blew down in February. Fly-tippers have been having a field day and the site, which contains deep excavations, is a hazard, especially to curious children. This week I sent them a rather stern email after they failed to respond to my latest official complaint within ten days - their own service level agreement - and threatened to go to the local papers. Lo and behold, today they are fixing the fence. We shouldn't have to resort to such extremes just to get simple problems resolved. The site is opposite a guest house, heavens knows what visitors to Ramsgate must think.