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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 12:40 GMT
Abandoned gallery 'waste of 7m'
David Chipperfield
David Chipperfield's new design will be put on public display
Nearly 7m of taxpayer's money has been written off after plans to build an art gallery in the sea off Margate were abandoned.

The write-off for the Turner Contemporary was revealed in a written answer to Kent County Council (KCC) opposition councillor, Clive Hart.

"What we could have done with that 7m just breaks my heart," he said.

But KCC cabinet member Mike Hill said 4.3m had been carried forward to a new project to build the gallery on land.

"Auditors have agreed that 4.3m can be considered as a contribution to the project," he said.

'Well received'

Plans to build the Turner Contemporary off the coast were scrapped in February after estimated costs rose to nearly 50m.

Architect David Chipperfield was appointed in July after KCC promised the new scheme would not cost more than 15m.

"David Chipperfield came down to Margate a few weeks ago to show us his work and it was very well received by a large number of people," said Mr Hill.

He said the building would be completed by 2009 and opened in 2010.

"I am bitterly disappointed that we had to pull the plug on Turner Contemporary mark one but we have been talking about it for eight months and I would rather move on," he said.

Mr Hart said he was "100% behind" the project .

"But I am absolutely appalled at the waste of money." he said.



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