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Planning application for Newgate Gap shelter removed

Thanet council has withdrawn a planning application to remove the roof of an Edwardian shelter.

The authority submitted the plans on July 21 saying the roof at Newgate Gap was irreparable due to years of neglect and vandalism.

But the move provoked an angry backlash from scores of campaigners who argued its removal would impact on the integrity of the surrounding architecture.

Kate Harrison and Jennifet Oyston-Chapman at a former protest (3973451)
Kate Harrison and Jennifet Oyston-Chapman at a former protest (3973451)

Newgate Gap, in Ethelbert Crescent is located within a conservation area.

Objecting to the plans on the authority's planning portal, Adam Bolton wrote: "This shelter forms an integral part of the historical architectural fabric

of Margate and is a tangible link to its Edwardian heyday.

"Margate is finally 'on the up' after decades of neglect and it is incumbent on the council to support the ongoing regeneration of the town and it's unique and historical architectural gems.

"I urge the council to reconsider its plan and instead seek additional funding to refurbish this shelter and bring it back to its former glory."

The application proposed the installation of ornate, metal flower hangers on the existing columns.

In 2017 officers and councillors met with residents' group, A Better Cliftonville (ABC) to discuss options for the shelter's future. A community proposal and planning application was put together which included:

  • Keeping the entire cast Iron structure and level the concrete to form a flat area;
  • For the area used for planting hanging baskets and adding Solar Powered Lighting;
  • Possible mobile concession space
  • For the area to be used by community groups for outside performances and theatre shows.

ABC put forward funding bids to raise the cash to restore the shelter to its former glory but at the time the authority would not transfer the land due to ongoing negotiations with commercial buyers for the surrounding land.

Now the council has announced it will explore further options, including "transferring the shelter to the local community."

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