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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 January, 2004, 13:26 GMT
'Too tall' seafront plan approved
The proposed development
The development will include a 60-bed hotel and 107 apartments
Plans for the major development of a prime seafront site have been approved by councillors despite opposition from residents.

The plans for the former Pleasurama amusement park site in Ramsgate, Kent, were approved on Wednesday night.

The proposal will see 107 apartments, a 60-bed hotel, a health and fitness centre, restaurants and cafes built on the site.

Residents had claimed the buildings were too tall and would spoil views.

'Just ridiculous'

English Heritage had voiced concerns at original plans submitted last year but made no formal objections to the latest proposals submitted by developers SFP Ventures Partners.

The hotel proposed for the site would have conference and function facilities and the developers said they hoped the inclusion of restaurants in the retail park would increase trade in the evenings.

The proposed development
The Pleasurama site has been unused for some time

But many locals had said they feared the new buildings would be so tall they would spoil the views of the sea.

Campaigner Jonathan Dunhill told the BBC: "Any visitors walking up and down here will no longer be able to see the beach - it's just ridiculous."

But the developers claimed the site had laid empty for several years and the new development would be an asset for the town.

Spokesman Terry Painter said: "This site has been sitting empty for some time, it doesn't add value or benefit to the local residents.

"I hope they will appreciate that this is a key area for the regeneration of Ramsgate waterfront."

Councillors in Thanet said they hoped the development would be the start of a wider improvement of the seafront and that other companies would come forward with further schemes.

They said the plans would help the town's economy, particularly as they would provide an extra hotel on the seafront.

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