Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19


2.45 Broadstairs is an attractive town with a thriving town centre and is a popular location for visitors and residents who enjoy its heritage, Dickensian past, beaches, local events and picturesque waterfront. Broadstairs has a strong commercial and visitor economy and has been resilient during the economic downturn. It is important to maintain and enhance the town's attractive character and economic base.

2.46 Broadstairs is a popular shopping destination characterised by small independently owned shops. The town has many independent shops interspersed with cafes, restaurants and drinking establishments that have enabled the town to buck the trend of high vacancy rates. The town has a particular demand for retail premises selling high street style goods (comparison goods).

2.47 There is a need for 4,954 square metres of additional retail floorspace to the end of the plan period. The prime focus for retail is centered around the High Street but with supporting town centre uses along Albion Street and the upper end of High Street towards the railway station. The town centre is largely linear in character and there is little scope for physical expansion and development. In order to accommodate retail need in the future it will be necessary to be flexible and allow some development on the edge of the town centre as close as possible to the High Street.

2.48 Broadstairs promenade and beach front is an important part of the town and is an attraction in itself, drawing families to the area. It contains a mix of cafes, restaurants and drinking establishments as well as residential uses and areas of open space. It is important that existing commercial premises are retained in order to maintain the commercial function of this area as a link between the beach and the High Street. Development in this area should contribute to and support the vibrancy of the town centre but also respect its peaceful and unique character.

2.49 The town is linear in style with separate beachfront and town centre areas and the town would benefit from improved pedestrian connectivity between these two areas.

Policy SP10 - Broadstairs

The Council will seek to support proposals that maintain and enhance the role and character of Broadstairs as a popular attractive small seaside town in line with the following area based proposals, indicated on the Policies Map.

1) Broadstairs Town Centre*

The focus for retail will be the lower High Street and Albion Street with complementary town centre uses in the wider area, in accordance with the Primary and Secondary Frontages.

New retail development will be acceptable on the edge of Broadstairs town centre, subject to Policy E05. Proposals will be required to provide direct pedestrian links to the High Street, be well related to the retail core, centres of population and be accessible by a range of means of transport.

2) Broadstairs Promenade and Beach Front

Opportunities to enhance the use and attractiveness of the promenade, seafront and beach are welcomed, particularly where they achieve improved connectivity between the town centre and beach front. Within this area, small scale leisure and tourism uses will be permitted, including retail, where they do not harm the character and heritage interest of the surrounding area. Within Victoria Gardens, open space policies will prevail. Change of use of existing commercial premises in this area will be resisted.

Any development permitted by this policy must not adversely affect any designated nature conservation sites either directly or as a result of increased visitor pressure. All development must comply with policies relating to the Protection of International and European Designated Sites and associated Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Plan.

*As defined by the Primary and Secondary frontages.