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My attempts learn about the Pleasurama project have lead me into a dialogue with Thanet District Council about their website and the way they pass on correspondence to councillors. Click on the links above to read the correspondence.

Seafront site ready for rejuvenation
Seafront site ready for rejuvenation

by Chris Denham


AFTER a complicated and controversial beginning contracts have been signed and work can begin on Ramsgate's derelict Pleasurama site.

The last business to be based on the site of the former railway station under the East Cliff was the Pleasurama funfair, previously Merrie England.

Now estate agents Terence Painter Properties and developers SFP Ventures have announced a development they say will assuage residents' fears, with a lower roof height than previous plans and a 180-space car park, and bring more people to the town.

The height of the buildings will be lower than the top of the cliff.

Called Royal Sands, the site will have 107 flats, a 60-bedroom hotel, play area, cafes, restaurants and a health and fitness centre. Building work will begin next year and is due for completion in 2010. It will cost from £20-25m.

Terence Painter said: "We have had expressions of interest on the restaurants and cafes from the word go and we have two or three companies who have expressed and interest in the hotel.

"We have been as full as we can with public consultation, although we can't please everyone, all of the time." He also said a firm had been looking at the convenience store planned for the site.

Council leader Cllr Sandy Ezekiel said: "It will enhance Ramsgate and I can't think of a better place to come and live than Royal Sands.

"It will extend the cafe culture and bring spending power to the area."

Developers SFP Ventures UK Ltd are based in Britain and are behind developments in Felixstowe and Ipswich, as well as a marina site in Lowestoft.

When plans for the site were revealed, residents of the East Cliff area expressed concern over the cliff face itself, which is crumbling.

The district council's head of development, Brian White, said: "The council has budgeted a sum of money [£450,000] necessary to repair the cliff wall.

"That work will take place at the same time as the building."

The design allows for a four-metre gap between the development and the cliff face, which will be enough to let the council keep the cliff face maintained.

The blocks will be built on the land above the level of the lower promenade, which runs almost all the way around Thanet.

This means that rising sea levels are not seen as an impediment to the work, despite its position just above sea level.
Chris Denham