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Seafront hotel next to Dreamland in Margate approved overturning officers recommendation to reject

A new seafront hotel is going to be built after councillors took the dramatic step to overturn a recommendation to reject the plans.

The Sea View Hotel in Margate is part of a £50 million redevelopment of Dreamland and the town's seafront by the amusement park's parent company, Margate Estates.

The developers said the decision sent a "powerful message" to secure the town's "revival".

What the hotel could look like (4441868)
What the hotel could look like (4441868)

Planning officers at Thanet District Council (TDC) said the 124-bed hotel and rooftop bar should be turned down because it is "obtrusive" to the listed Dreamland Cinema building.

But councillors unanimously voted to give the plans the go-ahead at TDC's planning committee meeting last night.

Committee vice-chair Cllr Carol Messenger, who chaired the meeting, said councillors felt the benefits of the scheme outweighed the harm to views of the historic cinema building.

She said: "They felt the impact of the public opinion and economic growth potential outweighed the concerns of the impact of views to the building.

"It's going to bring a number of jobs to the area and have a knock on effect on the area."

Developers say the decision is "an important step" to keep the regeneration of Margate on track.

Aidan de Brunner, from Margate Estates, said: "The new seafront hotel will create over 200 local jobs and help turn Margate from a day-tripping market to multi-night stay.

"We can now build on recent improvements and continue working on a long-term plan to turn Margate into an all-year round destination. Putting bed-stock of sufficient quality and size back in to the town is an absolutely vital building block.

"We’d like to thank the 400 local residents that supported our scheme – this decision shows that getting involved can make a difference.

"Much remains to be done of course but councillors have sent a powerful message that they want to maintain momentum and secure Margate’s revival.

"Exciting things are happening and we look forward to taking this next step together."

Plans include a rooftop bar (4441870)
Plans include a rooftop bar (4441870)

Cllr Messenger added the meeting was told about a case last year when 800 people working with a film crew at Dreamland struggled to find enough accommodation.

She said although the new hotel would not take that many guests, it will go "some way" towards providing the rooms the district needs.

Dreamland chief executive Eddie Kemsley said: “We are delighted that these plans have been approved with the unanimous support of councillors on the planning committee.

“The new hotel will provide much needed extra accommodation for Dreamland guests, and the town; we look forward to welcoming more guests, more overnight visitors, and more Dreamland 'dreamers' to Margate with open arms."

Planning officers at Thanet District Council said the size of the building would be “unduly prominent and obtrusive”.

The plans for Sea View Hotel include a six-storey hotel boasting a rooftop bar for 250 people with views across Margate and Dreamland, restaurants, gym, meeting rooms and shops.

The building will replace two buildings on Marine Terrace which will be knocked down to make way for the new hotel.

Planners said the proposal’s “height, scale, depth and roof design” would harm the conservation area the development falls within.

Dreamland chief executive Eddie Kemsley said the plans were good for the amusement park to welcome overnight guests
Dreamland chief executive Eddie Kemsley said the plans were good for the amusement park to welcome overnight guests

Their report highlighted concerns with competing and disrupting views of the listed Dreamland Cinema building.

Planners also raise concerns about demolishing numbers 48 and 49 Marine Terrace, which are described as being of “historic significance”.

Cllr Messenger added: "The committee felt the two buildings being removed are not of any particular interest and didn't feel there's a loss. It was touched on but nobody had real concern."

The officer's report noted the plans would provide “highly needed good quality accommodation” to support tourism in Margate.

But the report added: “Unfortunately, whilst a number of economic, social and environmental benefits are offered by the scheme, the proposal,will block significant multiple long distance views of the landmark Grade II-Listed Dreamland building.

“[It is] a development that appears obtrusive and unrelated to the height and scale of development within the historic seafront terrace.”

“It is therefore recommended that members refuse the application on the grounds that the proposed development will result in severe harm to the significance of the historic environment, and the lack of a legal agreement securing the necessary mitigation to the Special Protection Area.”

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