Building Design Magazine have published an article on Arlington Margate and the prospect of it being listed by English Heritage:
“3DReid’s Tesco superstore plans threatened by English Heritage decision
English Heritage is considering plans to list Margate’s Arlington House – a Russell Diplock-designed 18-story brutalist apartment block in the town centre.
The building, which opened in 1964 as the first ‘park and buy’ shopping and residential centre in the UK, has retained many of its distinguishing features including a Carrara marble lobby. Up to 30 of the 142 apartments have retained their original 1960s interiors.
A decision by English Heritage to recommend listed status could scupper plans by Arlington’s tenant Freshwater for a Tesco superstore on the site.
3DReid has drawn up plans for a superstore on the site of the building’s four metre-high car park, which if built would raise the roofline to 12 metres. However if listing status is granted it is unlikely these plans would go ahead, as any application for development would have to maintain the original 1960s character.
Christina Malathouni, senior case worker at the 20th Century Society, criticised Tesco’s plans.
She said: “We feel that what has been proposed does not reflect Arlington’s character. The project was built to be architecturally significant, in particular the elevations are significant from the sea to Arlington House itself.”
And local conservation groups have also supported proposals to list the building, which they said was “an amazingly heroic way to enter the town”.
Louise Oldfield, chair of Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group, said: “The debate over Arlington House has galvanised the local population. People are now much more appreciative of the building and what it means to Margate than they were.”
“Arlington could be a beacon for a second wave of regeneration in Margate but there has never been any money spent on it,” Oldfield adds. “Perhaps it is time for a proper consultation or an architectural competition for an alternative vision for Arlington.”
Thanet Council planning committee members deferred the application until a full council meeting on December 8.