The Cliftonville Development Plan Document - is it 'sound'?

Cliftonville DPD - Proposed Submission Document - Online

County/Local Policies and Strategies

2.9 The Kent and Medway Structure Plan was adopted in 2006. Policy TH1 seeks to address the long standing social and economic problems of the area and to promote regeneration of the central parts of Margate, and Policies SS5 and SS6, promote measures to improve the quality of urban and suburban areas. Policy QL2 encourages improvements in the appearance, design, safety and ambience of the Public Realm.

2.10 The Thanet Local Plan was adopted in June 2006 and the overall strategy is to regenerate the district so that deprivation is no longer an issue. The plan acknowledges the importance of issues of quality of life - the availability of an attractive environment and opportunities for good quality housing to help develop a society that makes for an attractive place to live, work and to invest. Policy H10 - Areas in Need of Special Action - addresses the potentially significant roles of housing and community development in stimulating pride amongst residents and confidence in those seeking to invest money, time or energy in the area. The Cliftonville DPD does not replace any of the policies in the Local Plan, but has evolved from Policy H10 which identifies Cliftonville West as an Area in Need of Special Action. The lifespan of this DPD will echo that of the emerging Core Strategy and will be a planning policy document for the Cliftonville West Renewal Area from the date of its adoption until 2026. The Cliftonville DPD is being prepared in advance of the Core Strategy as urgent action is needed to revive the area and make it the vibrant place desired by local people. It is considered that the quickest way to achieve this would be a set of development control policies within a Development Plan Document.

2.11 The need for settled family housing, as opposed to the predominance of one-bedroom flats and bedsits/Houses of Multiple Occupation, has been identified as an urgent need by residents who took part in the consultations carried out regarding the declaration of the Renewal Area. Following further public involvement the Council adopted a policy as Supplementary Planning Guidance (December 2006) to restrict the further development of one-bedroom flats. This DPD formalises the one bedroom flat policy as being part of the Local Development Framework, and supports it with other policies in this document.

2.12 This DPD echoes the sentiments of the draft Sustainable Community Strategy (consultation draft, January 2009) which identifies the regeneration of East Kent's coastal towns as a priority, and states that a balanced housing supply which serves the needs of current and potential residents of East Kent is essential. The Strategy states that investment will be focussed in East Kent's coastal resorts to improve the quality of attractions, enhance the public realm and support the vision for coastal renaissance.

There are a number of other Council strategies and initiatives also of relevance:

2.13 A Renewal Area was declared for parts of Cliftonville West and Margate Central wards in 2005 - a map showing this area is in Appendix 1. The key objectives of the Renewal Area are to:

  • Work with property owners to encourage them to improve and maintain standards of their properties
  • Work with landlords and property owners to ensure that there is an improvement of housing standards in the private rented sector
  • Bring previously empty properties and derelict land back into use
  • Improve general amenities in the area, through social and environment improvements
  • Encourage all residents to participate and take pride in the area and towards their community
  • Encourage employment opportunities and economic prosperity

Further phases of the Councils Renewal Programme were formally declared on January 21 2008 (see map in Appendix 2) and now cover Margate Central (including Margate Town Centre and the Old Town), Grotto Hill, Poets Corner and an additional area of Cliftonville West (east of Wilderness Hill, up to and including Madeira Road). There is scope and potential for an Area Action Plan covering all of the designated Renewal Areas in the future.

2.14 The Department of Communities and Local Government has provided Thanet with the Safer Stronger Communities Fund to support the Council and its partners in their programme of neighbourhood renewal and aims to transform Cliftonville West ward, Margate Central ward and the green space of Dane Park into a Safer, Cleaner and Greener neighbourhood. The overall objective is to improve the quality of life for people who live in these areas by promoting a stronger sense of community, improving public spaces and better access to public services, and reducing crime. The funding was first available in March 2006. Funding could be applied for by the following for projects that could contribute towards the SSCF aim:

  • Individuals and residents who lived in the SSCF area
  • Community groups/clubs and charitable organisations that provided services/activities to those who lived in the SSCF area
  • Public and Private Sector organisations who supplied services to the area

Funding has again been allocated for 2008-10, but this time to fund a range of workers and projects, for example, a women's refuge, and youth and community workers.

2.15 Consultation on the Thanet Cultural Strategy showed that people think measures should be put in place to conserve and improve the existing buildings and environment in Thanet. They also wanted to see all existing buildings well maintained and felt it was important that Thanet's heritage and traditional seaside appeal were retained.

2.16 The Thanet Housing Strategy identifies key strategic priorities including improving standards and fitness of Private Sector Housing, promoting housing activity in the Renewal Area, and improving choice and access to housing for all communities in the District.

2.17 Work has recently started on a significant, iconic art gallery proposed to aid, and act as a catalyst in the regeneration of Margate. The gallery will be known as the Turner Contemporary, and has already made a major impact on Margate's regeneration. A range of art galleries and niche shops have opened in Margate's emerging creative quarter in the Old Town and are helping to regenerate that part of the town.

The Margate Renewal Partnership has been set up to spearhead the regeneration of Margate.  It is made up of key stakeholders (including the South East of England Development Agency, English Heritage, the Government Office for the South East, English Partnerships, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council) who have an important role to play in the transformation of Margate.  The Partnership aims to create a vibrant town with a mix of traditional seaside attractions and modern and creative quarters. The Margate Renewal Partnerships Implementation Plan supports a high-quality public realm, public art, events and festivals that will restore a sense of place, identity and pride back into Margate.

2.18 There are a number of significant sites within Margate with potential for renewal, and planning guidance and development briefs are being drawn up for some of these sites.

To date, planning guidance has been developed by Thanet District Council in association with the Margate Renewal Partnership, suggesting a mixed-use scheme on a former amusement park known as Dreamland. Under the proposals, the majority of the site, including the listed Dreamland building and Scenic Railway, would be kept as part of an amusement based destination, along with an element of other development, including residential.

2.19 A Planning Brief has also been drafted for a 1960's tower block with associated retail use at ground floor (the retail uses are now mostly vacant) known as the Arlington site - another key development site, adjacent to the Dreamland site. The brief encourages development proposals for Arlington that recognise the need for a scheme that reverses the image of Arlington House in the minds of the public and provides a landmark entrance strongly related to Margate sands, Dreamland and a vibrant and creative town centre. It also encourages development that complements proposals within the Margate seafront area, raising sufficient funding to enable flagship improvements to the existing built form and public realm, and promotes a high quality residential, retail and commercial based mixed use scheme.

 

Margate Key devpt sites