Saturday, July 03, 2010

Tesco’s does your opinion count, as Margate seafront becomes access road for superstore

NO to be honest, the debate over Tesco’s plans to develop the Arlington site, will effect nothing, Thanet Council will do what officers tell(advise) the council, they will be aided by unelected bodies such as Margate Renewal Partnership, Tesco’s and Freshwater (the land owner).

In recent years from memory, there have been several consultations, over Margate front, with the great public, various plans none of which seem to realistic, including the hideous Arlington given facelift, a hotel, traffic diverted from Marine Terrace, so that one can sup gin and tonics, or quaff latte’s sheltering under palm trees from the harsh midday sun.

Que sara sara,, what will be, will be, Tesco’s will no doubt bulldozer its way on to the sea front, possibly their final frontier, they’ve taken most key out of town sites and have been mopping up the last few independent traders in recent years with the “Metro”.

We’ll just have live what we’re about to receive, which could be worse, Tesco are the best supermarket, the Turner Contemporary (please god they have popular exhibits hopefully not tripe, like some unmade bed passed on from “our Tracy” to Charles Saachi) and of course if the money doesn’t get withdrawn a revitalised Dreamland Museum with prehistoric, knackered fairground rides, maintained by out of town anoraks.

Still whilst Thanet District Council planning are negotiating, maybe they could suggest to Tesco’s, planning could be made easier, if they bought the old Mark’s & Sparks building in town centre and bung in a Metro store there at least that would create some business where its needed. Some of you will remember the M&S building being purchased by TDC at well over the odds and as is the way of these things, no clear idea, what to do with it, a massive waste pointed out by me at the time and others.

Still what do the public know, leave it up the experts, what can go wrong!


  1. I think Tony this may be related to the massive funding being put into the adjacent Dreamland, perhaps it is also related to trying to finish off the town centre altogether,

    It certainly moves the trading centre away from the existing town centre, a very important factor here though is parking, the more control the big chains can get over our town centre and leisure parking the better for them.

    As a normal shopkeeper I would like them to have to use the existing town centres and associated parking, so I could compete on an equal footing.

    Certainly if Tesco moved into the existing M&S building it would do a lot to revitalise Margate, however I don’t think that revitalising Margate would be at all beneficial to Tesco.

    Even more bizarre is Tesco’s new store in Hereson Road Ramsgate, adjacent to a school with already very difficult parking problems, this is also one where there are suitable vacant shops within the town centre.

    I suspect though the council will be only too keen to hand the monkey the key to the banana plantation.

    I would say that Tesco now have a big problem, which is how do they get the business that is still going on in our town centres, while insuring that those town centres ultimately fail.

  2. I'm not sure where I'd prefer to see Tesco in Margate (because it's on my doorstep I'm probably biased towards Arlington House), but either way I still believe the pros far outweigh the cons. With Dreamland (hopefully) returning, & the Arcadian & Fort Hill hotels finally being forced to refurbish / demolish, Arlington House will remain the one big blot on Margate seafront (bookended by the unfinished Royal Seabathing development in Westbrook & the decaying Lido in Cliftonville), so something seriously needs to be done.

    As for M&S, we obviously need this to be somewhere that attracts large amounts of people (ie NOT an art gallery), it's a pity the college idea fell through a while back as that would've helped the High Street.

  3. For once I agree with Peter,spot on.

  4. The problem, Tony, is that everybody, including the Arlington House Residents Association, believes something must be done to improve the look of Arlington House, and its environs. The residents are locked in a negotiation with Freshwaters about what is improvement (landlord pays) and what is maintenance (leaseholder). In addition, the leaseholders want to retain car parking spaces for the flats, which is not catered for in the palnning permission; and have now taken against the idea of a Tesco store on the car park, for noise and traffic reasons.

    Trouble is, there is no other idea, or free approach that gets Margate a better looking Arlington House.

  5. Arlington house needs to go - move on, rehome the people inside knock it to the ground and take away the eyesore that so many people are so very sick of looking at day in day out.. Lets modernise our home town bring it up to date, i for one would prefer to see Tesco than a skanky old block of flats.
    They are ugly and so out date it's not true.
    We need things here to attract the tourists, not frighten them away.
    Get rid of the flats get rid of the yob element. Would you take a stroll down there at night ? no! neither would i ask yourselves why!
    Improve our town - knock the flats DOWN!!!

  6. 9 19 Knocking down Arlington is an unlikely option the best we can hope is that it gets tarted up a bit

  7. I think we're all missing a trick here... Tesco are lining themselves up to take over Thanet. Work will imminently start on the Tesco Express on the corner of Rancorn Road and Canterbury Road (the old Westbrook Cars site). One Stop in Northdown Road (Tesco-owned) is also due to be rebranded as an Express and this is IN ADDITION TO the proposals for Arlington Square. Other sites are already secure across Thanet (e.g. Busy Bees in Ramsgate) so watch & wait. There are also other Ramsgate High St plots which were at one time part of the Tesco land bank.