Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Turn Your Garage Into Three Bedsits!

Ramsgate reader Mick writes:

ECR - given your current interest in grubby little erections I wondered if you had noticed that a garage in Bellevue Road, Ramsgate has been demolished and a three storey wood frame building containing three bedsits is being put up in its place?

I have enclosed photos of the plans from UK Planning and a photo from Google street view which was clearly taken before the garage was demolished. The character of the new building is totally out of kilter with the nearby Regency buildings in this conservation area in my view.

What idiot at TDC granted this planning permission?
[My guess? Ken Gregory - Ed] Why do we need more crappy bedsits in this area? There are already enough run down converted houses attracting unsavoury types. What we really need are more decent families and family housing. Keep up the good work, Mick.

From this:

To this:

Is as easy as TDC!


Gerald said...

TDC *turned down* the planning application for 3 flats (F/TH/07/0415) on this site. Their decision was overturned on appeal to the planning inspectorate.

There was however a previous application (F/TH/05/1044) for a "detached 3 storey dwelling" on this site, of similar size and external appearence that TDC *did* approve.

The planning inspector noted that the owners would probably build the single dwelling if they didn't get the new permission for flats.

I guess the main problem here was the approval of the three storey house in 2006. Once it was accepted that a building of this size and appearance could be built, the arguements against the three flats could only really be about the *use* the building is put to. This is more difficult to argue as a main issues is then whether or not the flats would make suitable dwellings.

The planning inspector noted that the flats were 'compact' - but noted that they "would provide adequate living conditions for future occupiers".

Richard Eastcliff said...

Compact? I've looked at the plans and I've seen hamster runs that are roomier!

Ken Gregory said...

Richard, my usage on Blogger has been 'hacked' but must make the point, this approval was nowt to do with me or TDC

Anonymous said...


Hacked, or did you hack someone off?

Gerald said...

I'd estimate the floor area as being about 36 m2.

TDC has its own planning guidelines of 40 m2 as a minimum size for 1 bedroom flats and 30 m2 as a minimum size for bedsits.

According to the planning inspector, TDC referred to their "supplementary planning guidance on conversion to flats" - but did not provide the inspector with a copy or "any information as to the extent of consultation prior to its adoption". So this was given "limited weight".

The internal frontage is 5.465m which is quite wide compared to many of the houses in Ramsgate. I guess the estate agents will probably market the flats as being "deceptively spacious" :-).

Gerald said...

Oops: that should have read: "The internal frontage is 5.475m" ...

Anonymous said...

Ken, I think the point is made. Tdc approval on a previous house of the same size allowed the structure, planning inspectorate allowed the change of use.

When allowing any application through, you just know the angles developers come from?

This helps prove what we've known all along. Tdc are incapable of doing the job properly. You allow the marina to be part demolished and not compulsary purchased. Pleasurama saga. Dreamland roller coaster still burning embers. The endless multiple occupancy dwellings all over Thanet. You look as far as the end of your nose and don't think about future consequences.

Tired old men and women with little or no
imagination. Very dangerous to allow you any responsibility whatsoever.

evision said...
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Richard Eastcliff said...

One of the problems with running one of the world's most influential blogs is that it now attracts some of the world's most inconsequential spam (hence my nixing of that previous comment).

I'm reluctant to institute comment verification, but at this rate I might have to.

To return to the topic, I take your point Ken, but TDC did, it seems, set the precedent that a garage could be turned into a three storey residence. This area is already blighted by grotty HMOs, a little foresight, local knowledge and a decent set of testicles could have prevented what everyone else knew was coming.

What a shame that a listed Regency terrace should now have to look out on this blot, and suffer the inevitable consequences of what will no doubt be another crack den in a year or two's time!

Anonymous said...

This planning inspectorate needs blowing up. What is the point of having decisions made locally if developers can just appeal to someone else and get the decision overturned? It's a fiddle.

Anonymous said...

Three years on they still cant make the owner of certain properties on Cliftonville seafront put right the areas he blatantly ignored re his planning permission. Hence the lack of rubbish areas means prime seafront is continually filled with rubbish and discarded furniture. The pavement not only has dog muck but nappies galore to contend with.

Landlords with money and influence versus the ordinary person who has to live in the vicinity of all these Social Housing Bedsits unfortunately not even worth asking the question.

I only have to be confronted by the "people" and the mess in there when out with the dogs or if I venture along to the monthly market and the road is cleaner to walk in than the pavement. I pity those who have to live either side.

Anonymous said...

That area is prime DHSS dumping ground , more slums of tomorrow being built by cynical developers.

WE need more family housing and less high density bedsits and flats of which there are too many.

The three little tower blocks down the road have scum bags hanging around outside the whole time and make this area a horrible bit of Ramsgate . The Georgian eye candy is great but is blighted by that estate . Do something useful and blow those towers up. They should have not been built in the first place

malaprop said...

And where are the occupants for these lovely family houses you want built? I assume we will just see the same crack riddled hooligans clubbing together and renting the houses on a joint and several basis. Fact is developers supply the property in demand and not what the local population think would be in keeping with the area.

Maybe if the police had some power to keep the area a little less populated with scumbags, more families would move into the area. As it is I want to move out and so do most of the families we know.

Last time I got into an argument with a local teenager, he showed me his tag with great pride and told me there was nothing I or anyone else could do to him and his friends. All the while this was being filmed by locals looking to try and supply evidence to the Police who in turn cant do anything about it anyway.

Gerald said...

Decisions by public bodies in the UK are typically subject to legal challenge. The planning inspectorate, like other tribunals, gives an affective way to appeal. Without the planning inspectorate, wealthy developers would be likely to challenge planning decisions in court - which would probably cost the local authorities far more money.

Its my impression that the planning inspectorate make very carefully thought out decisions. Their decisions are based on evidence gathered from the interested parties and the various national planning policies and legislation. (You never hear about the cases that go to appeal and which TDC wins.)

The decisions may not be what local people wanted - but that doesn't necessarily make the decision wrong. A particular issue is that people often object to planning applications on grounds that are not relevant under planning legislation (such as: the effect on house prices, the existance of an ancient land covenant or maybe even the implied 'social class' of who might live there) and these are not grounds that the planning inspector will give any weight to, no matter how many people object.

A problem that planning departments have to consider is what would happen if they turn down a planning application and the person appeals. If they think that the applicant would be likely to win on appeal, then is it wise to refuse the application? Rejecting such an application 'on principle' may cost the local authority money to fight through the planning tribunal - and may run the risk of costs being awarded against them if the planning inspector believes the rejection was 'unreasonable'.


Anonymous said...

The problem with the so called minimum size guidance, is that depending on who is speaking, it applies to 'only' Cliftonville. This is a a 'corker'

East Cliffer said...

malaprop - you calling me a scumbag are you?


malaprop said...

If the hoodie fits....

louis vuitton spring summer 2010 collection said...
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Anonymous said...

Well what about this one .... includes 42 ONE bed flats in Margate .... does it get any worse?

Anonymous said...
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Fifi said...

A future crack den with a back gate that leads directly into my back garden, through which, if we look at the ludicrous drawings, they are going to take their rubbish and bicycles etc....

Any new building erected in a conservation area should be of architectural merit....hollow laughter....I think of it as Nick Dermott's legacy. As TDC conservation officer at the time of the initial application he sat in the meeting and raised no objection to this money-grubbing, low-spec construction.

Now that it is being constructed, next time you take a stroll down Bellevue Road compare the height of the current two floors to the height of the building in the planning application drawing. If you look at the neighbouring roof lines in the drawing (which after all has to be to scale) it now looks like the finished building will be a lot taller.

Anonymous said...

Overcome with remorse, I find myself unable to sleep having discovered this afternoon that we have judged Mr Harris, the developer, too harshly.

Far from being a money-grubbing philistine constructing future slums without thought for the living space in the resultant crack dens, he is in fact a philanthropist!

Overwhelmed by fear that the future tenants would not have room to swing a cat, baby, or baseball bat, he has taken the plunge and has decided to extend the building further into the tiny space behind it, making it considerably more spacious than the plans for which he was given permission indicate.

It will be interesting to see how TDC respond to this exuberant act of altruism as it is not too late to make him conform to the plans. Mr Harris is clearly of the opinion that this will not happen.

Whatever could have given him this impression?

Fifi said...

I know that this particular issue has dropped out of view, but there is another question here which is relevant to all current and future planning applications.

It appears that TDC planning have approved several amendments to the plans since they were granted planning permission at Appeal.

My question is: can TDC approve amendments to plans that only got through at appeal without readvertising them so that local residents have a chance to comment or appeal?

It certainly seems to make a mockery of the planning process!