Thursday, 8 August 2013

What is needed is a PLAN!

                                            National Maritime Museum, Falmouth, Cornwall.

It could be a Local Plan, it could be a Neighbourhood Plan but, most definitely, it must be a comprehensive plan. There is one consensus of opinion in the town of Ramsgate, that the Eastern under-cliff resembles a derelict bomb-site rather than a seaside resort or holiday destination. However the proposed solutions vary from a skateboard park to a restaurant on heritage slipways and other dubious, small minded drops in the ocean.

Ramsgate has the best maritime frontage in the country, King George IV proclaimed it so when he designated it “Royal” and no other seaside town in the UK can boast that title. It is about time Ramsgate started thinking Royal and not fourth division. We are saddled with a council that believes the sun rises and sets over Margate and anything other than CT9 must be trashed in case it competes with the new utopia.

Thanet, as a whole, could be a world class resort for London day trippers and short stay visitors. Instead they turn their backs on the East and head South or West to Brighton or the West Country. Thanet has as much to offer, if it could shake off its “Eastenders” image, stop shafting everyone and end up shafting itself.

The Pleasurama site should be re-designed as flats, by a reputable developer, supported by a Flood Risk Assessment and the numbers reduced to 80-90 units so they do not appear above the cliff top. These high end residences will be in demand and bring many economic benefits to Harbour Parade and the Town Centre. Wetherspoons or another reputable national company (not an offshore company) should be welcomed into the Royal Victoria Pavilion to spent £2-3 million on its restoration. The Maritime Museum and Ramsgate Slipways should be combined into a new Ramsgate Maritime Heritage site with a development to rival the National Maritime Museum at Falmouth in Cornwall and complement the Turner Contemporary and Dreamland.

Add to this The Ramsgate Tunnels which are progressing towards opening as a new tourist attraction and a suitable leisure / residential development on the marina swimming pool car park. All this would revive Ramsgate Waterfront to an extent that would attract visitors rather than repel them, provide tourist income rather than be a burden to the taxpayer. Thanet District Council is responsible for the whole of Thanet and Ramgate residents have a right to demand similar attention to that lavished on Margate Waterfront. (A tub or two of flowers would be nice!) It is YOUR TAX they are spending whether it originates from TDC, KCC or Central Government.

“Wouldn’t we just love it if a PLAN comes together !”