We were appointed by Margate Estates to prepare a planning application for a 124-bed hotel on Margate’s seafront. The proposal involves the demolition of two existing buildings, and incorporates a site on the seafront that has been vacant for more than 15 years.
The application had been recommended for refusal by the Council’s planning officers, on the basis that the proposal would cause harm to the Margate Seafront Conservation Area and the setting of the Grade II* listed Dreamland Cinema building. However, the public benefits of the proposal, including the expected creation of 62 permanent jobs at the hotel, together with more than 200 construction jobs, were found by Councillors to outweigh any perceived harm to heritage assets. In addition to the employment opportunities, other public benefits include repairing the ‘gap’ in the seafront, the provision of desperately needed hotel accommodation to enable more economic activity all year round, a publically accessible rooftop bar meeting all modern accessibility requirements, and important highways improvements.
The economic benefits of the proposal were modelled using our in-house socio-economic capabilities, which proved to be a very important tool in illustrating the short, medium and long term benefits of this proposal.
We worked with political consultants to launch a positive campaign to the public and to Councillors prior to the Committee. The campaign resulted in more than 400 local residents supporting the scheme, and Councillors voted unanimously in support of the new Hotel. The proposed development will form an important catalyst for the creative and cultural regeneration of this Great British seaside town.