Friday, 16 December 2011


Thanet District Council’s position on the proposed Arlington development along Margate seafront has been agreed, ahead of a public inquiry into the plans next year.

The council’s Planning Committee looked at the application on Wednesday night (15 December), which proposes a 7,565 square metre superstore being built on the existing car park, with improvements to Arlington House. Outline proposals would see the demolition of the existing retail units in Arlington Square, to be replaced with shops, offices, cafes, restaurants or bars, with a 60 room hotel above, overlooking the seafront.

The matter came back to the committee after the applicants appealed against the council’s failure to determine the original application. As a result, it will now go a public inquiry, where a Planning Inspector will decide whether to grant planning permission.

The committee were asked to consider whether the recent upgrading of the listed Scenic Railway from Grade II to Grade II* would have affected the decision that was taken by the committee in June 2011, when it said that it was minded to grant planning permission. Members decided that this would not have affected their decision from June.

Revising timings for the works to Arlington House were also considered by the Planning Committee, with the applicant asking for work on the proposed store to take place at the same time as external work to Arlington House. In the original report, considered by the committee in June, it was recommended that the work to Arlington House should be completed before work started on the store.

The applicant has since advised that this will take a year to complete, meaning that work on the store would be delayed, with the building works on site taking an additional six to 12 months. The committee decided that they would allow work on the store to begin before the works to Arlington House are completed. However, the store cannot open until the work on Arlington House is finished.

Chairman of the council’s Planning Committee, Cllr. Jack Cohen, said: “The decision taken by the Planning Committee now sets out the council’s established position for the Public Inquiry. The council can no longer decide this planning application, as that power has been taken away from us. The final decision will lie with the Planning Inspectorate, with the public having the opportunity to get further involved with the decision making process when the Public Inquiry takes place.”

The Public Inquiry is scheduled to take place in March 2012.  

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