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Margate artist Tracey Emin submits plans to Thanet council to convert part of former Thanet Press site in Union Crescent

Artist Tracey Emin has submitted plans to Thanet District Council to convert part of a building into a studio and one bedroom flat in Margate.

The application outlines her wish to turn part of the former Thanet Press site in Union Crescent into an artist studio and accommodation.

The 54-year-old confirmed plans to move back to Kent from London last year.

Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin

Speaking at the Turner Contemporary last October - where her famous work My Bed is on display - she said she hoped to be based in Margate and working in her new studio by July.

The plans comprise part of the complex of buildings located on the southern side of Union Crescent to the east of the junction with Cecil Square and opposite the junction with Pump Lane.

If given the go-ahead, there will be a change of use of the former printworks to an artist's studio and residence together with external alterations, including a new roof.

Details of her conversion plans, available on Thanet council's website, are shown in documents submitted by planning consultant John Elvidge.

Tracey Emin at Dreamland
Tracey Emin at Dreamland

In them, it says: "The proposed change of use to incorporate artist’s studio and residential uses satisfies the above NPPF criteria, through the bringing back into beneficial use part of a vacant, commercial building, creating employment in a sustainable form when combined with residential accommodation, as well as contributing to the cultural diversity of the district, entirely appropriate to the site.

"The industrial character of the building enhances the streetscene, reinforces local distinctiveness and adds to the telling of the story of Margate.

"Industrial buildings are not well represented in this conservation area, and this is therefore a rare survival that tells its own important story about historic Margate that adds another layer to the town’s typical associations with elegant residential developments and seaside entertainments.

"This development represents sustainable development, in that it will positively contribute to the local economy, employment and the built environment, thereby fulfilling all three dimensions of the definition of sustainable development, namely the economic, social and environmental roles."

The artist is most famous for her My Bed piece
The artist is most famous for her My Bed piece

The application relates to part of the late 19th century, Union Crescent frontage, together with part of a 1950’s section of the former printworks complex, which lies at the rear of the site with frontage onto Prince’s Street.

Despite living and working in east London for many years, Emin - who was brought up in Margate - will be moving back to the county as she was unable to expand her art studio in Spitalfields.

The plans are awaiting approval from the council.

Speaking to KentOnline last year, she said: "I think Margate is changing.

"It's a place where young people want to come, young people want to live.

"We've got to get cheaper rail fares, that's what has got to happen. It's got to be subsidised. It has got to happen."


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