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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 09:41 GMT
Protesters fail in resort battle
Ramsgate protesters
Protesters outside Thanet Council's meeting failed to stop the sale
Residents fighting a housing, retail and leisure development in a Kent seaside town have lost their battle.

Despite strong opposition Thanet Council voted on Wednesday evening to sell the former Pleasurama site in Ramsgate to SFP Venture Partners.

Campaigners demonstrating outside the meeting in Margate said the development went against the local plan and the wishes of the people of Ramsgate.

The council said the new buildings would not rise above the cliff.

"The development that originally got planning permission did in places go above the cliff top and we asked the developers to change that," said deputy council leader Bob Bayford.

"It is legally binding."

Ramsgate site
The site of the retail, leisure and housing development at Ramsgate

"This is a keynote site and the council wanted to be sure it was making the right decision.

"The site will be a tremendous aid to regenerate the area."

Residents opposed to the plans say are very disappointed the sale was agreed.

Janet Woods, chair of Wellington Crescent Residents' Association, said the height restrictions were just a token gesture.

"This isn't the end for us - it is the beginning of the next stage of the fight," she said.

"We are meeting our MP at the site on Friday.

"We are going to look at the European Commission guidelines and we still believe we have a case to stop it going ahead."

Development of the 107 apartments, 60-bed hotel, restaurants, shops and children's area is expected to start within four months.

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