Sunday, February 03, 2008

Redevelopment Ramsgate Style

I say! The developers are making swift work of 'restoring' that tatty old Marina Restaurant on the front. Here's how it looked last week:

And here's how it looked this morning:

To be fair, they do admit they encountered some, er, unexpected problems, and we've been reassured that this listed building will be put back to its former glory. I have every confidence that our splendid Planning Department, which was fined in 2006 after only discovering the same developer had squeezed an extra floor onto a new block of flats in Dorman's Yard once it had been completed, will be on their case. As they say around here, all it needs is a bit of TDC!

By the way, if you want to see more photos of how the Marina Restaurant looked last year, both inside and out, you can find them on the excellent Broken Britain site. Although in this case 'broken' might now be a bit of an understatement.

And click here to see Michael Child's photos of the, er, conservation work in progress.

Update: Our campaigning, car-crushing, caff-crushing (although not in this case) councillor Dave Green has now put a full history of how this sorry state of affairs came about here. To me it sounds like another greedy developer getting his own way. Rotters!

35 comments:

Vince R said...

I almost choked on my fish & chips yesterday as I walked down the seafront to get some photos of this fantastic old building, only to see a JCB in the process of ripping it to bits... I thought "surely they can't do that... its listed!" oh well....

Michael Child said...

Richard do feel free to use the pictures of the conservation work in progress at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/cafe/index.htm

Eastcliff Richard said...

Thanks for the link Michael. A great blow-by-blow photographic account of how we're cherishing our heritage here in Ramsgate!

Anonymous said...

How do they get away with it ? Oh silly me this is TDC we are talking about I forgot.stupid me

RadioactiveKiddie said...

Me too!! Had a blast along the front yesterday on me Lambretta as I often do and couldn't believe what I saw!! Looks a little "too far gone" for restoration?? More history gone....Criminal!! Also, what's happening further up, the area around the old tunnel railway portal?? Is that to do with the Pleasurama development??? One more question.... anyone know what will become of the last clown hanging on the cliff face?? The scaffolding is almost on it!! Hope it won't just end up in a skip??!!
PS. Look good on the side of me garage.....He,he

RadioactiveKiddie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Child said...

I think I may have worked out what happened when they drew the map of the conservation area the boundary line goes round the Royal Victoria Pavilion and snakes back in to enclose the lift and then goes along the cliff top to allow for the building of the hideous Pleasurama development and the new non-heritage railings; the poor old café must have been sticking over the line.

I suppose someone thought we can’t have a listed building poking out of the conservation area, silly me and I just thought Goody went bananas.

Michael Child said...

Radioactivekid the car park is all swallowed up by the Pleasurama development which has behind and beneath it a private car park one space for each apartment one space for each hotel room and 12 spaces for staff visitors people using the conference centre people using the shops and restaurants that will be part of the new development. The council tell me that this is to encourage people to use public transport.

The work on the road is being done before the council receive the environment agencies report on high is should be above sea level, I believe this is because it will be only half a meter above the flood line, meaning that waves higher than half a meter will wash the cars about in the car park and they will bang into the supports for the building causing it to colapse. The really big question is with the sea in front and the cliff behind how do the 1,500 or so people inside escape.

RadioactiveKiddie said...

Thanks for that Michael, I thought as much!!
What the clown illumination?? Anyone staked a claim to it yet??

Michael Child said...

Radioactivekid a bit more detail here including the plans.

Anonymous said...

Hands off Radioactivekiddie! I've got my eyes on that clown!

What kind of Lambo you got? SX, GP?

Michael Child said...

I have to own up here my last bike was a Norton 500 88 wideline Dominator so we should really be fighting amongst ourselves instead of nipping out at night and purloining the clown but I recon it’s the skip else.

Anonymous said...

Quite a sight! I stood gawping for a few mins avoiding the dust clouds and god knows what, and was quite surprised to see it's almost total demolition. Is it EH listed? Jeez - hope they do it right and it comes out for the best.

ECR - use your showbiz connections and get Kevin McLeod on the case. :)

Adem said...

That is absolutely disgusting. I can't believe (well I can believe) that they could do something like that.

I have lots of swearwords spinning around my head right now!!

Anonymous said...

I am always suspicious when work like this is done over a week-end; it is normally to create a 'fait accompli'. There should be a planning application on TDC site if it is a legit job.

Anonymous said...

Have they re-sited the Turnip centre without telling us??

Anonymous said...

What excellent pictures, Michael!
I am at a loss here because Cllr Green said on his site on Fri:

"Message from TDC PlanningThe building is subject to a Repairs Notice. It is listed. The owner started work on site this Monday; problems with the structure were reported yesterday. We have had a Building Control Officer and Chartered Surveyor [working for TDC] on site most of the day. This to make sure that the structure is safe, and that a fresh schedule of what the owner must do to repair is issued. There is no demolition project; this is restoration- and the owner is being left with no misunderstanding. For safety reasons some of the structure had to comedown. But I assure you it goes back as before."

I am not an expert in this field but when a piece of equipment with
'Goody Demolition' is chewing a building to pieces this can hardly be described as making structurally safe a Listed building. It seems to me that what has happened here is no different to a fire on Margate's Marine Terrace a few years ago. Godden's Gap appeared in a Georgian listed frontage and is still there and a useful piece of level ground has now appeared here.
Dickie, old chap, have you let those nice people at Broken Britain know about this yet?

Millicent said...

Well they certainly can't claim it fell down by accident or that it was storm damage!Who was the dear little black dog who appears in some of Michael's photos.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Broken Britain have discovered for themselves Millicent. You can see that if you click on my link to them and scroll down to the bottom.

Eastcliff Richard said...

And I can now reveal English Heritage will know when they switch on their computers in the morning, as one of my architect readers has copied me in on a rather stiff email he's sent them.

Bleak Mouse said...

Now where are the wicked witches gonna live?

Paul & Jane said...

This is cultural vandalism at its worse. We're so angry - we have not yet moved to the east cliff - Beautiful architecture (and that building was wonderful) is our reason to move there. Where's Ramsgate's sense of heritage? Apart from corrupt developers, who wants these modern developments? We naively thought that being part of the terrace it would be safe; what do the people who live in the adjacent houses think about this? Have you got any addresses of people we can irritate with letters - those responsible need to know they have done wrong.

Paul & Jane

jolyon said...

I am the nephew of GH Barker (deceased) and know the family story of this building from 1976 forwards first hand. Between the ages of 8 and 16 I spent my entire summers in this building and have many happy memories of Ramsgate. I did not realise that in those years I was witnessing the death throes of a British Seaside town. I am, of course, deeply saddened on a personal level by these pictures. I visited the building one last time last year and took a few keepsake items, prior to sale.

But I am also saddened greatly (and with more objectivity) at the complete lack of respect that we show for our town an city heritage in this country - unless the architecture is in a 'tourist' location. Surely, what has happened here must be illegal. I'll be following this story with interest and am trying to work out the difference between my emotions and my indignation that this can happen to such a beautiful building.

Of course, it was a travesty that it had already fallen into such a state. In a way it reminded me of everything 'lost' about Ramsgate as a seaside town; former glory, now empty and forlorn, forgotten - awaiting the future.

And this is the future, I suppose.

Jolyon.

Ramsgate fan said...

It's now Monday morning and i'm off to the clifftop to see for myself!! Thanks Jolyon for adding your memories to this sad tale

Anonymous said...

SuZy que of 'Broken Britain' wrote on Friday:
"We know, I was watching it and taking pics, had a word with the demo guy on site and he said, that there were large cracks in the turrets after the wind we had, and it was deemed unsafe so had to come down, it is a listed building and will be rebuilt as it was,.........."

How convenient! Michael's pics do not show massive cracks or any cracks so a listed building is demolished because of some cracks on the turrets? Could these not have been taken down then? A bit drastic to knock the whole thing down to 'make it safe'. Sorry, I don't believe that at all! This has all the hall-marks of a cynical demolition; despite what Cllr Green and 'work-men' may say, we have seen the end of the Marina cafe building courtesy of Michael.

Anonymous said...

The place was in a terrible state, and beyond it's obvious architectural qualities was an eyesore awating rebirth, so in one way I'm pleased to see something finally happening. It's quite possible that some parts were beyond economical repair for a private concern and some demolition required, but I caveat that with the hope that the rebuild is true to the original building and that TDC ensure it.

RadioactiveKiddie said...

Ok Anonymous, the clown's yours!! If the other one had been left alone we could have one each!! But I don't wanna see it on E-Bay in 6 months time ok!! You no longer want, I'll have..... Fair enough??
My Lambretta's are GP200, Jet200 & LI150 Special. You ride Lammies??

Anonymous said...

"A considerable crack opened up in the South West corner"


Hahahahahhahhhahhhaaaaaaaa!

Anonymous said...

Radioactivekiddie - used to have a GP200 years ago sold it for £80. Sounds like you have quite a collection must be worth millions these days. Would love to own a Lambretta again but cannot afford the mortgage.

If I get the clown will go halves if you like on a time share.

steve said...

I am sure the marina cafe will be put back in place at the same warp speed the pleasurama site has moved at.

just think, 2017, you might start to see somehting happen

Lucy Mail said...

>>despite what Cllr Green and 'work-men' may say, we have seen the end of the Marina cafe building courtesy of Michael.<<

While this is all very sad, I'm not sure that anyone should be blaming Michael.
Not just yet, anyhow.

Anonymous said...

RadioactiveKiddie
I think I might have been at school with you-Ellington if I am not mistaken or did you bat for the other team at Hereson?

Little Weed said...

Looking at Michaels photos I can see how careful they have been at retaining original parts of the building to rebuild it true to character. The roof tiles in particular will be in very good condition!!!

Anonymous said...

mhdjhdshidah

RadioactiveKiddie said...

Anonymous - £80....... I'd have given you at least double that!! Probably worth around £5k today in original condition!!
As for school...... I doubt you did unless you spent many years in such classy establishments as Rimpton Court, borstal etc....??