Is demolition taking place at Arlington?

In today’s Thanet Gazette, Thanet Council state there’s no demolition underway at Arlington. The landlords, Freshwater state demolition is taking place. This is confusing!  We need answers!

Thanet Council:

“The authority this week said it was aware of the “soft-strip asbestos removal” at the former shopping arcade, but no permissions were needed for it to be carried out.”

Margate Central Ward Councillor, Iris Johnston said:

“A resident from Arlington House contacted me regarding demolition works on Saturday so I immediately contacted officers and planning at Thanet council. I was informed that asbestos was being removed and there are no more plans for further works at the present moment.”

Freshwater, the Landlords said:

“The land owner is seeking occupiers to enable a viable regeneration of the site but is not yet in a position to promote new plans for redevelopment.

“In the meantime, some small scale demolition of a number of the shop units away from the sea front is taking place which will help to bring forward future regeneration.”

We presume Freshwater’s spokesperson intended to say they as landlords were seeking occupiers, not the land owner. The land is owned by Thanet District Council, that’s the public.

We reiterate, that Arlington shops should be opened and made available to rent and the 500 public coach and car park open to the public as per the terms of Freshwater’s lease with Thanet District Council.  [This is a separate deck than the Arlington House residents parking deck].

We’re urgently seeking urgent clarification from Thanet District Council: If demolition takes place, as described by Freshwater in this article, is this deemed a commencement of works on the approved planning application for the 82,000 sq ft Tesco superstore and outline planning for a hotel?

Why does this matter?

Examples of where a commencement of works has gone ahead in Thanet and then stalled through a lack of developer are Pleasurama on Ramsgate’s seafront and Hoser’s Corner in Cliftonville.


Pleasurama image: Thanet Gazette


Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 18.09.03

Hoser’s Corner, Cliftonville: Google Images

Both blighting communities for years. Arlington can be opened and regenerated and playing a positive role for Margate seafront.

Please continue to write to Councillor Chris Wells, Leader of Thanet Council.
And your ward Councillors


Demolition crew move on to Arlington site



Demolition workers from Morden based company Sloan Demolition have moved onto Arlington and have started work on stripping out shops in preparation for demolition.

Leaseholder, Freshwater’s 2010 planning permission for an 82,000 sq ft Tesco superstore and outline planning for a hotel facing the main sands expires on June 6th. If works are deemed to have been started (and that’s a formal process) then the permission stands in perpetuity. I.e. works could be started, such as demolition, and then stop unfinished for years. Tesco pulled out of the deal in October 2014. Since then, no known supermarket or hotel partner has emerged as interested in building the approved superstore or hotel.

Freshwater lease Arlington (the residential tower with over 100 apartments, the 500 space car park and the commercial areas on a full repairing lease agreement from Thanet Council at the cost of just £7,500 per year (seven thousand five hundred pounds).


Demolition requires approval from freeholders Thanet District Council. To date, there are no published permissions from Thanet Council allowing demolition work to commence. The timing of these works appear to be a ploy to constitute a start on site under The Town & Country Planning Act 1990.

Before demolition may commence, leaseholders, Freshwater are required to obtain two further permissions from freeholders Thanet District Council:

  1. Method Statement approval
    This is required by Conditions 20 and 26 of the Planning Approval relating to demolition. Basically, they should set out how the demolition process will be carried out. E.g. how they will remove waste.
  2. Landlord’s Consent
    The Leaseholder is not permitted to commence demolition without first  acquiring Landlord’s (Thanet District Council) Consent to structural alterations to buildings in accordance with clause 3.(xii) of the Head Lease.

What can you do?

Write to Thanet Council (  and, if you’re a resident of Thanet, your Ward Councillors  to demand they do not grant Freshwater these permissions; because there is no evidence of a supermarket or hotel partner to implement the approved scheme. Instead demand the shops and car park be open to the public, maintained and lit as per the terms of the lease.

Freshwater are an immensely rich company with directors now officially billionaires.

Thanet Council, as the freeholder should be enforcing the Arlington lease on behalf of the people of Thanet, thus ensuring the best value and the best outcome for this prime seafront location on Margate sands. It can once again contain small businesses and provide valuable and badly needed parking.

Since the planning consent was applied for in 2010, Margate has moved on. Turner Contemporary is open. Dreamland is now open and needs car parking. The Arlington car park can take 500 vehicles and is built to take coaches. There are many people who would rent a shop at Arlington if the shops were reopened.

Margate seafront now has footfall – The council must not give permission for demolition.

Demolition would result in a boarded-up  wasteland at the entrance to Margate with no plan.

The car park is a condition of the lease and essential to the traffic strategy. Parking at the entrance to the town avoids the need for visitors to Turner, the beach, Dreamland and the Old Town driving along Marine terrace, preventing the aspirations for a pedestrian friendly seafront.

Write to:
Councillor Chris Wells, The Leader of Thanet Council
Thanet Residents: Find and write to your ward councillor


Back to the future!

back to the futureFollowing Tesco’s decision that a large superstore is unviable at Arlington, Margate now has the opportunity to look at viable options.

1. Freshwater can now open the 500 space car park and arcade of shops.
2. Kent County Council and Thanet District Council can now get back on track working on the pedestrian friendly seafront scheme (PDF) from the railway station to Turner Contemporary.

We have moved a new Facebook Page. We’ll no longer be updating the No To Tesco Page. We’ve also got a new twitter id: @ArlingtonMar

The future is looking bright!

High Court Judgment

We are disappointed with the today’s judgment at the High Court. This is particularly so when the Judge, Lord Justice Moses was clear that the environmental effects of both Arlington and Dreamland should have been considered as a whole – and our understanding from the Secretary of State and the Public Inquiry was that clearly was not the case.

It is also of concern that the Secretary of State has now stated publicly that there must be an end to out of town/edge of town development being proposed by Tesco.

We will be considering the judgment carefully and then deciding what to do.

In the meantime, a huge thanks to everyone who has supported the campaign. We all know Margate is regenerating. The improvements to the seafront are bearing fruit.  New hotels, restaurants, shops, the new sea defence steps. Dreamland on the horizon and even more planned hotels.

Join in the Arlington Margate Events

Since our last news update, we’re pleased to report that we’ve managed to raise almost £3000 from our target of £5000 to cover our legal fees for the upcoming Public Inquiry!
The Inquiry starts November 6th. We need to ensure that evidence supporting a sustainable Margate seafront is put before the Planning Inspector. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated. No matter how small, every single donation has really helped.

Arlington Exhibition

The Arlington Margate exhibition at Streets Ahead Margate community hub space at 60 High Street is open. We’re currently open from 12pm – 3.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. If we can get more volunteers to man the shop we can be open even more. The exhibition features the Village in the Sky by photographer Duncan Smith.
Featured alongside we have the 1960s original East Kent Times 16 page Arlington special feature containing pictures and information celebrating the construction of Margate’s infamous icon. Ever wanted to know how many cups of tea were drunk during Arlington’s construction? We have the answer.

Arlington Margate Film Night

We really love the Hydropathe film club on Mondays at the bijou Tom Thumb Theatre, Cliftonville. So, we’re very proud that on Monday October 22nd there is an Arlington Margate special film night. We can’t tell you what film it will be, but it is an Arlington Margate special. Please come along and show some love for Arlington and Margate or even both! There is a bar, there’s popcorn and the theatre is beautiful.

Doors open at 6.30 for music and drinks, the films start at 7.30pm. £2.50 to join.
2A Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville, Margate, CT9 2LB

Arlington Auction
Looking for something special for Christmas and to give to a good cause?
What can we say, Margate residents and businesses have generously donated a range of amazing gifts to the Arlington Auction. We’ve raised £676 in bids in the first 48 hours! Thank you everyone! Ranging from limited edition artworks and prints, meals in restaurants, courses of yoga, to an over night stay at a 5 Star B&B, offers of work, courses.  Margate really has a talented bunch of people as well as having supporters from further afield. Bidding runs until Sunday October 28th at 9pm. You’re still in time to donate an item or service to the auction. Just pop us an email to
All these wonderful lots are listed on our website: 

Support Us
Donations are gratefully received, no matter how small and can be given by Paypal, BACs or cheque.

Public Inquiry for Arlington Margate Tesco Postponed

The Planning Inspectorate have advised us that following consideration of our latest legal letter from Richard Buxton issued 27th February, that the Public Inquiry set to start tomorrow on Tuesday 13th March is being postponed. We had raised serious concerns regarding the legality of the status of the Environmental Impact Analysis statement.

The campaign still continues. We will carry on fighting for a sustainable and positive development at Arlington. One that complements our seaside town heritage and not one that crushes it. It is likely to be at least a month, if not more, before anything happens.

More news to follow. For now take a deep breath, Margate. We just won another round!

English Heritage announce they assessing Arlington House and Site for Listing

News came through today that English Heritage are offically assessing the whole of the Arlington House site for listing. This includes the shops and carpark. We haven’t yet had full confirmation from Thanet District Council but they have managed to say that they received a letter from English Heritage. But we have spoken directly to English Heritage who confirmed the news. Hopefully, this information will be made available to the Planning Committee before this evening, who one would imagine now, shouldn’t be making any rash decisions that will have to be reconsulted. That would be highly unorthodox, given the circumstances.