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Video: Revamp plans show tide is turning in Margate

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George Chandler talks through the plans for
Margate

by Martin Jefferies
mjefferies@thekmgroup.co.uk

This is what Margate will look like after a planned
multi-million pound revamp breathes new life into its seafront.

The proposed facelift will make the holiday
hotspot more pedestrian friendly and create large new public
spaces at either end of Marine Terrace.

Major changes to the road network are also planned in a bid
to make the town more attractive to people visiting Turner
Contemporary, which is due to open next April.

Roundabouts near the Nayland Rock shelter and the clock tower
could be replaced with traffic lights, while new crossings would be
installed and pavements widened along Marine Terrace and Marine
Parade, improving access to the beach.

Drawings show a number of new seafront bars and cafes, many with
outside seating.

Margate seafront before planned revamp
Margate seafront before planned revamp

Before: What the area
looks like now

Plans for Margate seafront
Plans for Margate seafront

After: How developers
hope to transform the area

Thomas Darcy, principal landscape architect at Jacobs, the
company appointed by Kent County Council (KCC) to develop the
scheme, said: "In our consultations with local residents, people
told us they really liked the cafes culture that has developed
around the piazza and the Old Town.

"However, they also wanted to maintain the traditional seaside
frontage of buildings along the seafront, so we've come up with a
scheme that we think incorporates both elements."

The project could cost up to £8.2 million, although council
officials admit there is currently no budget for the scheme.

They could ask developers behind plans for Dreamland and
Arlington House, where a new Tesco superstore could be built, to
provide some of the money.

George Chandler, regeneration and projects manager at KCC, said:
"Even though there is no money set aside for the project, we need
to have a masterplan in place that fits around the major
regeneration projects at Turner Contemporary, Dreamland and
Arlington House, otherwise we'll get nothing at all."

The works would create a new grassed area near the train
station, while the junction of Marine Drive and Marine Parade could
be moved to between the clock tower and Marine Gardens, creating a
second public space on the promenade.

What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below
What do you think? Join the debate by adding your comments below

Other
improvements include a boardwalk similar to the one at Viking Bay,
Broadstairs, which would run along the length of the beach, as well
as a new visitor information centre, which would include toilets
and showers and replace the old public conveniences.

Brian White, head of planning at Thanet council, said that if
the scheme were to be given the go ahead, work would be carried out
in "carefully thought out phases" to minimise traffic
disruption.

He added: "We'll continue to look at what can be done to tidy up
and declutter the seafront in the meantime."

Members of Thanet Joint Transportation Board are to meet in
Margate to discuss the proposals tonight.

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