by Martin Jefferies
Community buildings in Margate and swathes of land on Ramsgate seafront are among a dozen sites Thanet council wants to sell off next year.
The controversial list forms part of the authority’s sweeping asset management strategy, which has already led to the sale of several prominent buildings and acres of local land.
Among the sites earmarked for sale is land near Hartsdown Leisure Centre, Hartsdown Road, Margate - a lucrative plot that currently nets Thanet council around £17,500 per year.
The move would lead to the loss of several community buildings, including a scout hut, a meeting place for sea cadets and a fitness studio, as well as a barn and a stable block.
Other proposals include plans to scrap the car park on Marina Road, Eastern Esplanade, Ramsgate, which the council claims is under-used and a hotbed for illegal fly-tipping.
Significantly, there is no mention of parking spaces for visitors and residents being retained.
The car park at Staffordshire Street, Ramsgate, could also be sold to make way for “comprehensive town centre commercial redevelopment”, although any plans for the site would incorporate public car parking.
Another suggestion is to sell part of the Western Undercliff, Ramsgate, as well as the Grade II-listed Chine. Potential buyers would be offered planning consent, “possibly for residential or leisure development”.
Other sites listed include land at Nelson Place, Broadstairs; a surfaced site at Hopeville Avenue, St Peter’s; part of Palm Bay recreation ground, Cliftonville; the former lodge at St John’s Cemetery, Manston Road, Margate; the former toilet block adjacent to Seaview Terrace, Westbrook; land opposite the Tudor House, King Street, Margate; open space at Beech Grove, Cliffsend; and the former railway line behind Highfield Road, Ramsgate.
Thanet council cabinet members have been recommended to approve the proposals at a meeting on Thursday September 17.
All councillors would then be sent details of the plans and invited to give their feedback before a public consulation is implemented.