Margate FC has submitted a new planning application for redevelopment of its Hartsdown Park Stadium including the East Stand, Coffin End (North Stand) and a 120 bed hotel.
The application, submitted to Thanet District Council, has been developed in conjunction with the club’s hotel partner IHG Hotels and the brand Holiday Inn Express.
Isthmian League Premier Division club Margate FC said the development reflects the increased demand for hotel rooms in Thanet and will provide not only a first-class facility for all the club’s teams but also a sporting hub for the community.
The application comprises two main elements including the East Stand and the North Stand. The East Block will comprise of a 120-bedroom hotel together with restaurant and bar facilities. The building will also include space for MFC club offices and a club shop together with the stadium control room. The stand will be all-seater and have a capacity of 650.
The North Stand will be a terrace with a capacity of 1,300 and behind this and integrated into it, there will also be space for first team home and away changing facilities, together with ancillary spaces associated with the first team.
Further on the ground floor, there will be several studio type spaces for various sports and associated activities. On the first floor, will be a café/bar facility which overlooks the pitch.
The car park will be extended to provide 104 parking spaces and will provide access to all of the East Block offices, shop and hotel. The North End turnstiles will be renewed and relocated into the site to allow access into the ground from the car park.
The application has been developed following pre-application meetings with Thanet District Council and Kent County Council. Club chairman Terry Painter said:
This is an exciting step forward in the evolution of our plans to secure a long term, sustainable and exciting future for Margate Football Club. Lots of hard-work has taken place to get us to this stage and I’m sure supporters and members of the local community will see these plans and be equally as excited as us.
We hope our supporters can play their part in this by sending a letter of support or an email to the planning department at Thanet District Council indicating both their support and the need for this facility to allow Hartsdown Park to develop and grow. We will ensure we keep our supporters, partners and the local community fully up to date as we head to planning committee.
The past few months have been extremely troubling and sad for many of us but hopefully this news will give everybody a bit of a boost.
Manager Jay Saunders added his full support for the plans by saying:
When I first spoke to the club about coming in as Manager, I was shown these plans and really impressed with the vision.
Having played for – and now managed – the club, I know how long this has been going on and I hope we can get across the line and the permission everyone at the club is hoping for.
I’m sure in these difficult times, it would give everyone at the club and our loyal supporters a massive lift and something to look forward to.
The club were hoping to have a presentation of the proposals for supporters and the local community prior to application, however due to the current ongoing Covid19 situation, this has not been possible but as soon as it is, we will endeavour to bring this forward.