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Western Undercliff lift and former cafe in Ramsgate to go up at auction


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A historic seafront lift is going up at auction for just £20,000.

The former Western Undercliff lift in Ramsgate, which is Grade II-listed, has not been used for many years but the shaft and engine house remain.

The former Western Undercliff lift in Ramsgate is up at auction. Picture: Clive Emson Auctioneers
The former Western Undercliff lift in Ramsgate is up at auction. Picture: Clive Emson Auctioneers

It is based between the Westcliff promenade, opposite the Look Out Café and the roundabout with the Royal Harbour approach and Military Road.

Auctioneer Kevin Gilbert said: "The lift is thought to have been designed by Sir John Burnet and partners in 1926.

"The shaft comprises a central panel infilled with coloured glass and the sale includes the engine house with the old machinery.

"In its day the lift could carry 20 passengers and is certainly a building that makes a statement.

"It’ll be interesting to see who bids and what their plans might be for this structure."

The distinctive art deco lift is among 125 lots listed for sale by Clive Emson, the land and property auctioneers, ahead of its next sale.

The freehold guide price for the lift is £20,000-plus.

A CGI of how the Western Undercliff cafe development could look. Picture: MBW Architects/Western Undercliff Ltd
A CGI of how the Western Undercliff cafe development could look. Picture: MBW Architects/Western Undercliff Ltd

Meanwhile, the former Western Undercliff Cafe and toilets are also up for grabs - after plans were granted permission for redevelopment.

The scheme includes a new café and toilets, eight flats with balconies and sea views as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant.

The flats would be a mix of two- and three- bedroom apartments and the design harks back slightly to the area’s art deco heyday.

Auction appraiser Jon Rimmer said: "This is a proposed development that will bring much needed accommodation as well as a café and restaurant/bar.

"The present building is empty and covered in graffiti so this building will be a major upgrade to the ever-improving Thanet coastline."

How the development could look at Western Undercliff in Ramsgate. Picture: Hume Planning/Western Undercliff Ltd
How the development could look at Western Undercliff in Ramsgate. Picture: Hume Planning/Western Undercliff Ltd

Ambitious plans for the beachfront flats and a cliff-top restaurant were abandoned due to a row between the developer and the council.

Western Undercliff Ltd was given permission in December to construct a "landmark" five-storey building in Ramsgate, including a café and public amenities.

But Tim Burt, a partner for the firm, claimed earlier this year Thanet District Council refused permission for an over-sail on the building - which would hang over an authority-owned pavement - on financial grounds.

In a petition document set up by Mr Burt, he said the council insisted on further contributions, but turned down an offer from the developer totalling more than £70,000.

He claimed Western Undercliff Ltd has "no choice" but to abandon plans due to the authority "blocking" the scheme.

However, Thanet District Council denied this, stating it wants it to proceed and that they are trying to resolve a "complex set of issues".

The freehold guide price for the lot is £500,000 to 550,000.

Both sales will be held on Wednesday, December 15 and visit here for more details.

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