Wednesday, 28 September 2011


An expert report, looking at the upgraded listing of the Scenic Railway, has concluded that it would not be harmed by the proposed Arlington development.

The Scenic Railway’s listed status was upgraded in July from Grade II to Grade II*, putting it into the top 6% most important listed buildings in the country. This came after the Planning Committee originally supported the Arlington application at their meeting in June.

Following this, the council confirmed that no decision note on the Arlington application would be issued until the question of the re-listing of the Scenic Railway had been taken into account. The council commissioned an independent report, looking at this issue, which has now been submitted.

The report says that, even though the listing was upgraded after the Planning Committee made its original decision, there was “a very sound understanding” of the importance of the Scenic Railway when the decision was first taken.

It states that English Heritage had considered the effect on the Scenic Railway throughout the consultation “irrespective of grade of listing”. The report then goes on to say that the proposed development “clearly does not diminish the rarity value of the asset” because much of the value is down to its history.

It concludes that the “particular significance which lead to the upgrading of this monument… is not harmed by the proposed development.”

A copy of the report has now been sent to English Heritage for their comments. The Planning Committee will be updated with details of the report at their October meeting, which is due to take place on Wednesday 19 October.

What is being proposed for Arlington?
The plans would see 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 unites in Arlington Square, to be replaced with shops, offices, cafes, restaurants or bars, with a 60 room hotel above, overlooking the seafront.

These plans were submitted to the government, because of the size of the development and because it is outside the existing town centre of Margate, but it was passed back to Thanet District Council. The application was supported by the council’s Planning Committee in June. Since then, officers have been working to put a Section 106 planning agreement in place for it. 

ScandalNights Autumn Season...

 ScandalNights is a monthly event at the gorgeous Tom Thumb Theatre featuring some of the UK's top professional performance storytellers. Prepare to be spellbound, moved, inspired and 'wowed' as you travel the world from the comfort of your seat.
We feature a new storyteller every month. These storytellers tour nationally and internationally. They perform at venues such as the Barbican and the Soho Theatre and at storytelling festivals across the world. They really are hot stuff.
We're also dedicated to showing off new talent and experimental work. You may experience dazzling collaborations between storytellers and musicians. You may hear words you didn't know existed. You may hear words that actually don't exist. You may even see someone take their clothes off, all in the name of storytelling of course. Anything could happen. One thing is certain. It's almost impossible to not have a great night! 

Friday 14th October
'Fairy Tales for Fearless Adults' told by
Nell Phoenix
Live acoustic music from Hot Feet

Friday 11th November
'Divine Divas' with storytellers Vayu Naidu, Ruby Sahota and Emily Parrish

Friday 9th December
'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' told by Sarah Rundle

Tom Thumb Theatre
2a Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville, Kent, CT9 2LB
ScandalNights start at 7:30pm 
(bar opens 7pm)
Tickets £6 (£5 concessions) Includes free tasty treats!
Advance booking/reservation recommended
Ticket Reservation: / 01843 221791

First up...

Friday 14th October

'Fairy Tales for Fearless Adults' told by Nell Phoenix
Tales of the romantic and the forlorn, the comic and the grave; these are the stories told of the 'other' folk who steal in and out of our world, and stamp small imprints in our heads and in our hearts. These are also the stories of the heroes and heroines, shy, sassy, sexy or bewildered, who take a risk and cross the threshold between the known and unknowable!
" Stories live in your blood and bones... and light candles on the darkest nights".
Nell's storytelling work this year includes commissions for the October Gallery, Arts for Human Rights, NTS Radio, WWF and Radley Handbags! Nell works as a full-time teller and is a passionate promoter of storytelling as a contemporary performance art. She is artistic director and host of StoryNight at Torriano and at The Emporium Pudding Club, N. London’s most vibrant storytelling clubs for adults. She also tells in hundreds of schools to thousands of children.
 "Nell tells with wit, humour, intelligence and theatrical skill“ Xanthe Gresham
"That storyteller is awesome” Lorena Munoz-Alonso, cool audience member
“the chilli-chocolate of the storytelling world” Debs Newbold, Globe Teller, EDFSS Creative Associate
“The storyteller is a dream!” Federica Bardelli, NTS Radio

Music from Hot Feet

Hailing from the long grass and hilly fields of Stroud in Gloucestershire, Marianne and Jack from Hot Feet draw together an eclectic mix of musical influences from Delta blues, to 60's folk, to Psychedelic, to Gypsy Jazz, creating a unique fusion that has been described as 'elegant and enchanting', 'beautifully haunting' and that they call 'Folk, Blues, Roots'n'Roll'.

Get a taste of some of Hot Feet's music here:

If you are interested in getting involved in ScandalNights, please contact Emily on 07890112574 or at
Copyright © *2011* *Scandalmongers*, All rights reserved.

Lion image by Marianne Parrish of Hot Feet
Scandalmongers logo design by Margot Bandola

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Mary Portas visits Margate

Retail expert Mary Portas visited Margate today (Tuesday 27 September)
as part of a major independent review of England’s High Streets.

The original seaside town is one of only a handful of areas to feature
in this high profile national review, which has been commissioned by the
Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister as part of a plan to halt the
decline of the High Street.

Mary Portas, who stars in the popular Mary Queen of Shops and Secret
Shopper, has been on a tour of the town and has spoken directly to high
street businesses, local shoppers and the council on her visit.  This
visit will examine how Margate is addressing changing retail habits
which have seen national town centre vacancy rates double over the last
two years.  The trip to Margate follows earlier visits by Ms Portas to
the towns of Rugby and Sparkbrook.

Mary Portas said: "We have had a fantastic response to the review so
far and received a huge number of ideas. I am actively encouraging
everyone who cares about the future of the high street to have their
say. I am working through all the ideas in the many contributions
received and listening to key stakeholders including big and small
retailers. Margate is a town that has had it tougher than any other high
street in the country but it is also a great example of one that is
fighting back and I want to draw on this spirit and the creativity of
those involved. With town centre vacancy rates in England doubling over
the last two years, the need to take action to save high streets like
Margate has never been starker.”

The review is being carried out for the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills, the aim being to identify what government, local
authorities and businesses can do to promote the development of more
prosperous and diverse High Streets.

Business Minister Edward Davey said: "The High Street should be at the
heart of every community, bringing people together, providing essential
services and creating jobs and investment. So I am delighted that Mary
Portas is visiting Margate in Kent today. Mary’s review will look into
many important areas including how we can adopt new business models for
the high street that fit the needs of the modern shopper and how we
increase the number of small and independent retailers doing business in
local town centres. I am looking forward to seeing Mary’s final

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “I’m
delighted that Mary has decided to visit Margate as part of this review.
Nationally the face of retail in our town centres is changing and we
need to do everything we can to address that. Here in Margate we have an
interesting story to tell. At a time when shop vacancy rates are
increasing, and our own high street has suffered, we’ve seen Margate
Old Town flourish with over 35 new businesses, all unique, setting up in
the last 18 months alone. Much of that is down to the Turner effect and
it’s something we’re keen to encourage, as unique boutique shopping
gives visitors one more reason to come to the town. We don’t want
Margate to just be another “clone town”. We’ve been talking to
Mary about how more can be done to encourage independent retailers and
what support we feel Margate needs. I look forward to seeing that being
taken forward at a national level.”

Mary Portas will present the review to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime
Minister and Edward Davey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for
the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), by autumn

Monday, 26 September 2011

New planning applications,

The TDC planning website is one of the most bizarre websites I have ever come across in as much as the web addresses of the pages on it change after a few hours so you can’t publish links to them. If you want to look at any of the applications you need to go to the site and enter the application reference in the search box, this link takes you to the site

Date Published*Application No.AddressStatus
26 Sep 2011A/TH/11/0763GRAND GARAGE 1-11 HAROLD ROAD MARGATE CT9 2HTcurrent
23 Sep 2011F/TH/11/072897 RAMSGATE ROAD, MARGATE, CT94BLcurrent
23 Sep 2011F/TH/11/073884 BOTANY ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103SEcurrent
23 Sep 2011F/TH/11/0760143 NORTHDOWN ROAD, MARGATE, CT92QYcurrent
23 Sep 2011NM/TH/11/068858 MAYNARD AVENUE MARGATE CT95PTunknown
22 Sep 2011F/TH/11/0725LAND AT ABY COURT MARGATEcurrent
22 Sep 2011F/TH/11/07541-2 WESTCLlFF WORKS, ADDINGTON PLACE, RAMSGATE, CT11 9JGcurrent
22 Sep 2011A/TH/11/0702LEWIS CARPETS 161 HIGH STREET RAMSGATE CT119TTcurrent
21 Sep 2011F/TH/11/071945 WALMSLEY ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT102BHcurrent
21 Sep 2011F/TH/11/072947 ST. PETERS ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT102APcurrent
21 Sep 2011F/TH/11/0752GOODS NEWS 108 KING STREET RAMSGATE CT118PAcurrent
21 Sep 2011OL/TH/11/07538T ANTHONY, 6 BERKELEY ROAD, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 9JNcurrent
21 Sep 2011F/TH/11/066941 CROSS ROAD, BIRCHINGTON, CT7 9HWcurrent
21 Sep 2011F/TH/11/07096 LAVENDER LANE RAMSGATE CT125LJcurrent
20 Sep 2011F/TH/11/071872 MONKTON STREET MONKTON RAMSGATE CT124JFcurrent
20 Sep 2011F/TH/11/073129 GRANGE ROAD BROADSTAIRS CT103EPcurrent
16 Sep 2011F/TH/11/070623A PARK LANE BIRCHINGTON KENT CT7 0ANcurrent
16 Sep 2011F/TH/11/072036 EPPLE BAY ROAD BIRCHINGTON CT79ENcurrent

New documents published by Thanet District Council,

Friday, 23 September 2011


An eyesore property along Margate seafront, and one of the few recognisable from Turner’s day, has been given the go-ahead as a hotel.

A planning application to change the use of the Fort Road Hotel from bedsits back to a hotel was agreed on Wednesday night (21 September) by the council’s Planning Committee.

Last night (Thursday 22 September), Cabinet Members also agreed that the council should continue to seek a developer that is both willing and able to deliver a high quality boutique hotel.

At present, the council is asking for expressions of interest in the historic site, which was compulsorily purchased by Thanet District Council in December 2010. The project is now being promoted by Margate Arts, Creativity, Heritage – a partnership between Thanet District Council, English Heritage and the Arts Council.

Over the last six months, the site has seen the installation of a neon artwork, Iconic Site, while architecture students from the University of Kent have looked at how the property could be refurbished. Through this work, and word of mouth, more than 20 enquiries have already been received about the site. This has included a good mix of enquiries from existing hotel owners, developers and architectural practices.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “It’s extremely encouraging to see the level of interest in this historic seafront site. The council has been keeping its options open on the Fort Road Hotel and we did look at demolition, but we’d much prefer to see it being brought back into use as a boutique hotel. Now, with planning approval given, that’s already one step closer to happening. The interest we’ve had to date appears to be serious and we hope to see that being translated into work on the site over the next few months.”

Adverts for expressions of interest in the site have already been published and questionnaires must be returned by Monday 3 October. They can be obtained by contacting Grant Burton on 01843 577612 or by e-mailing


Publication date: 7 October 2011 Full colour, 64 pages, £15
The Scenic Railway, Dreamland, Margate, and Wellington Crescent, Ramsgate (Photos: Paul Barker)
The rich architectural heritage of the north eastern tip of Kent is the focus of a new report by conservation group SAVE Britain’s Heritage. The report takes a fresh look at the Isle of Thanet, with its towns of Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs, assessing the state of the area’s historic buildings and identifying the challenges ahead.
With essays from leading historians and commentators, and stunning new photography from Paul Barker, Saving Thanet: The Architecture of Kent’s Forgotten Coast tells the story of area through its buildings - charting its rise from rural backwater to fashionable seaside destination, including its decline during the later 20th century and its recent revival - energised by a new high-speed rail link and the opening of the Turner Contemporary gallery.
The report includes a section on the successful Townscape Heritage Initiative programme in Margate and Ramsgate and ends with a selection of some of the many buildings still at risk in the area - including entertainment complexes, institutions, places of worship and private houses - reflecting the distinct phases of Thanet’s development.
William Palin, Secretary of SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: ‘Thanet brims with architectural delights - both splendid set pieces and curious one-offs. After decades in the shadows, this special stretch of Kentish coast is finding its
voice once more, but there are still dozens of buildings across the district in desperate need of care and attention. We hope that our report will inspire people to visit the area, appreciate its rich architecture and take action to protect it.’

Saving Thanet is sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is edited by Amicia de Moubray and includes articles by Clive Aslet, Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Stephen Davies, Nick Dermott, Stephen Fuller, Ruth Guilding, Peter Inch, Anya Matthews and Amicia de Moubray. It will be published on 7 October 2011 priced £15 (£13 to Friends of SAVE). Copies can be ordered on SAVE’s website or by telephone on 020 7253 3500

SAVE Britain’s Heritage has been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975 by a group of architects, journalists and planners. It is a strong, independent voice in conservation, free to respond rapidly to emergencies and to speak out loud for the historic built environment. It has published a Buildings at Risk Register for England and Wales since 1989.


Artistic Director  Bruce Jamson


Friday, October 7   7.30pm   St Mary’s Arts Centre, Strand Street, Sandwich
Pre-concert talk by John Irving   6.45pm   (Free to ticket-holders)

Piano Sonata in C major  K.330                          Mozart
Grande Sonate for Clarinet & Piano                            Mozart
Sonata in Bb for Viola & Piano                    Carl Stamitz
Trio for Clarinet, Viola & Piano  K.498              Mozart

JANE BOOTH (Classical Clarinets)
PETER COLLYER (Classical Viola)
JOHN IRVING (Fortepiano)

Come and hear Mozart played on instruments he would be familiar with.
The Fortepiano, the precursor of the modern piano, creates a completely different sound world. Fast passages, particularly, are quite brilliant. The instrument used in the concert is based on an original by the Viennese maker Gabriel Anton Walter, one of whose fortepianos Mozart owned. The Clarinet (a relatively novel instrument in Mozart’s time) will be a replica of an early clarinet and the Viola will be strung and bowed as it was during Mozart’s lifetime. The final work in the programme, the popular ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio, brings all these fascinating tone-qualities together.
This time the soloists are all leading professional musicians. John Irving (Fortepiano) specialises in historical performance practice as a fortepianist, clavichordist & harpsichordist. He is an internationally acclaimed Mozart scholar & has recently been appointed Professor & Head of Music & Performing Arts at Canterbury Christ Church University. Jane Booth (Clarinet) is much in demand as a chamber musician & concert soloist in the UK, North America, Japan, Australia & Europe. She is also Head of Historical Performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Peter Collyer (Viola) is Principal Viola with La Serenissima, The London Handel Orchestra & has performed with all the leading period instrument ensembles.

Tickets: £12, £10 (Friends of Kent Early Music) £6 Students & Children.
Includes complimentary glass of wine & concert programme.
From: Tourist Information Centre, Guildhall, Sandwich   01304 613565
Smoke on the Water, Market Street, Sandwich   01304 611600
The Sound House, 112 High Street, Deal   01304 381134

To become a Friend of Kent Early Music contact Bruce Jamson 07715 421101