Thursday, July 17, 2008

Plug Pulled On Royal Sea Bathing Hospital?

With the entire country deafened by the sound of credit being crunched, I wasn't entirely surprised to hear from a reliable source today that Paigle Properties, who've been tarting up Margate's Royal Sea Bathing Hospital for the past couple of years, have, er, gone down the gurgler. Although the news should strictly be filed under 'unconfirmed rumour', I have to say I heard it from somebody who really should be in the know.

It won't come as a surprise to Margatonians, who've reported little activity on the site for the past few months, although this was put down by some optimists to Paigle's pending planning application for yet more luxury apartments on the site. A while back the local papers told how the developer had locked its builders out in an apparent dispute. Last year Paigle's driving force, Jane Debliek, told the Times the work would cost £60m, and that everyone had said: ‘You’re mad, you’ll go bankrupt!’ I think the larger cry around Margate had always been: 'You're mad, it should be the Turner Centre!', but there you go.

The tide of Thanet developers in difficulties seems to be rising rapidly, and the fear must be that the island will be blighted for yet another decade by half-finished developments, much like parts of Spain and Turkey. It's a particular shame if the news about the Sea Bathing is true. To my way of thinking, Paigle had done a lovely job, and did at least appear to have some sympathy and passion for the place. What happens now, I wonder, to the Cliftonville Lido which Paigle also bought to redevelop, in line with our council's plans to 'book end' Margate front with swish new properties?

Click here to read interview with Jane Debliek in the Times
Click here to see Bignews Margate's recent tour of the site

Update: This story has now been confirmed. Paigle called in the receivers on 15 July. Click here to read more.

12 comments:

Peter Checksfield said...

I agree that so far they've done a wonderful job. The only other recent developement I can think of (in Thanet) that's amalgamated the old & new so well is the Prospect Inn site near Minster. I hope the Seabathing apartments get finished by someone.

Bodgeit and Scarpa Builders said...

A few weeks ago they had a problem with the gas supply and several occupants had to be rehoused.

So much for luxury development! I understand the gas heating had to be replaced

Still if you require a proper job you know where to come

Anonymous said...

Mentioning the Turnip Centre, interesting to see that the opening date appears to have fallen back even further, within the space of a week!

It was "2010" on 7 July here

http://www.kent.gov.uk/news/turner-contemporary-position.htm

A week later, the KCC Leader seems to have slipped in another delay?

http://kent.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/democracy-and-elections/cabinet/15-july.htm

Eastcliff Richard said...

Well spotted, 10.22!

Yes, it seems it's now official. According to that ruddy-faced man who leads Kent County Council, the Turnip will not now open in 2010, but in spring 2011. Not bad for an art gallery that was originally going to open in 2004!

Dick Rubin said...

A ruddy big erection on Margate seafront.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that work on the private housing at Meridian Village, where the allotments used to be in Manston Road, has stopped until the developers sell some of the houses. The workmen have been laid off from that scheme. The banks won't extend their finance although I understand the social housing element is ok as they have been paid for.

Anyone know if this is true?

Anonymous said...

Locally known as Rat Bathing Hospital. For obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

Although jane did have problems I thought it was full steam ahead now-when i went by the workmen were out in full force(D J Ellis)i think...

Eastcliff Richard said...

As I said, this has to be filed under 'unconfirmed rumour'. If it turns out to be untrue, I for one will be asking my source, who should know better, why they'd be spreading such rumours. Watch this space!

Anonymous said...

Since those nice TDC approved contractors DJ ELLIS took on where others left out, the Security Team by the site entrance were back in high profile. Went past this afternoon and not a Security bloke in sight or on site. Little office empty and gates wide open. Just a scurity blip or the fact that those discovering pay was not in packet had legged it?

Michael Child said...

The word on the street is that quite a few developers are in the process of making part finished developments secure and watertight so they can leave them for the duration of the recession.

Matt B said...

I always found the word on the street was "give way" but there you go...

Seriously though what does the sudden termination of house building mean for Thanet. I got the impression this is what people wanted but now we have it what shall we do?