Published: 13:37, 07 March 2018
A call from the council for expressions of interest in developing Ramsgate’s West Cliff Hall has been met by dismay from Project MotorHouse’s Janet Fielding.
The charity has been looking to transform the site for a number of years, but has been unable to raise sufficient funding so far.
Ms Fielding says the building has limited prospects due to damage, and would be better in the hands of a community project.
She said: “We don’t think too many developers are going to be leaping up to grab the site.
“The steel frame is heavily corroded and needs replacing. It supports the main road to the harbour and the first 40 metres of the promenade so that would be a worry for any developer.
“There’s nowhere for disabled parking at the top of the cliff so you need to have a lift down to the port level.
“You’re really restricted on what you can do in that location. No housing for instance. And it overlooks the port not the harbour.
"It just isn’t a commercial site. We think that it’s only going to be a community group that could face the difficulties."
TDC say anyone applying to develop the site, which has stood vacant since 2005, will be expected to demonstrate that plans for use will provide public benefit and complement the historic environment.
The call for interest is to gain the attention of developers with the ability to restore the site and deliver a viable commercial proposition.
The council is giving preference to proposals for commercial use, ideally bringing long-term social and economic or environmental benefit to the town.
The building is of historical significance and sits within a conservation area, therefore any development proposals will need to accommodate support for the promenade and will be subject to planning permission.
The cabinet member for financial services and estate, Cllr John Townsend, said: “We hope to attract a developer with the vision to transform the property and bring it back to life.
“We are keen to drive further investment into Ramsgate and anticipate that the successful development would act as a draw for business, employment or tourism.”
The deadline for submitting expressions of interest is Monday, April 30.
Full details and information on how to apply are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org marked FAO Head of Asset Management.
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