Published: 00:01, 20 April 2019
A former nursing home described as the jewel in Wellington Parade’s crown is at risk of being demolished to make way for six flats.
Newlands – within a stone’s throw of Grade II listed Walmer Castle – has been left to wrack and ruin after it was closed down after a damning CQC report in July 2016.
However, while its graffiti, shattered glass windows and boarded doors have attracted criticism, one resident says he would rather it stay as it is than see it converted.
Almost 40 objections have been made against the application and James Ross told KentOnline's sister paper the East Kent Mercury: “I would prefer to live here as it is than have the flats because of all the traffic going past.”
The owner, whose name is not included on the application to Dover District Council (DDC), is seeking to demolish the historic building and build six self contained flats as well as a two-bedroom house, along with new access and parking.
Mr Ross said: “Having six flats is completely out of keeping for this road.
“Six flats may result in 12 cars. That’s going to increase traffic which is a problem for residents but also for all the hundreds and thousands of dog walkers and runners who come along here, with children.
“It would be the only purpose built flats in the road and construction may take at least two years causing damage to the road.
“Everyone can see its potential. It should be restored to its former glory.”
“It’s an iconic building, the jewel in Wellington Parade’s crown..." Hugh Mitchell
Hugh Mitchell and his wife Norma, who have lived in the road for 24 years, are also against the proposal which they say would destroy an “iconic” building.
Mr Mitchell said: “The owner seems quite content to let the place fall to nothing so he can build something else.
“It’s an iconic building, the jewel in Wellington Parade’s crown. I believe it should be restored. The character of the building must be retained.”
A total of 39 objections have so far been filed to DDC with none in support.
Among them is Walmer Parish Council whose reasons for objection include the site’s close proximity to the castle.
They’ve written: “The quieter, less densely developed character of the townscape around Walmer Castle and along the seafront should be protected and respected.”
Keith Rawlings said: “The main house is of historical and architectural interest, even importance.
“Is it not in the style of, or designed by, Lutyens? Whatever, it is far too lovely to be demolished and replaced by a block of flats. The horrible extensions added during it’s time as a nursing home should be removed, and the building restored.”
Clemmie Whiting said: “Newlands is a special building, known to thousands of people who know and love the walk between Kingsdown and Deal. It is a landmark.
“It’s is in a prominent position and to lose it would be a loss of our heritage.
“Furthermore, flats would be totally inappropriate for Wellington Parade. There are plenty of other places in the area that could be developed if housing is a concern.”
Marianne Mcnicholas is concerned over the design but also the demolition and construction which she says will effect the shingle parade.
She writes: “Of the 48 properties on Wellington Parade none are converted into flats. The traffic flow will be increased heavily.”
The owner has declined to comment.