Work has started this week (w/c 23 April) to the northern (sea) end of Dalby Square, Margate, to remove the car park and restore a communal garden for both local residents and the wider community to enjoy.
An extensive public consultation exercise took place in Autumn 2016 and survey responses revealed that 98% of people had an interest in the environment of Dalby Square; 88% wanted to improve the appearance of the north (car park) end and 70% said they would be happy if the car park were removed to re-create a garden.
The majority viewpoint was that the car park, installed in 1958, was an eyesore, poor use of space and made a relatively small contribution to the parking needs of the area. The site provides roughly 13% of parking spaces in the Square, and 9% of those including the whole of Dalby Road and Arthur Road.
The site had previously been an ornamental garden and tennis courts.
Based on feedback received, improvement works will include:
Reverting the former car park area to an expanse of lawn
Retaining and extending the current perimeter railings
Creating an ornamental area to the north, just inside the entrance
Forming a densely-planted area to the south to shelter the children’s playground and create a colourful entry
Planting a 1.2m high perimeter hedge of Escallonia ‘Red Dream’ and Rosa Rugosa ‘Hansa’ inside the railing
Planting perimeter trees to match those in the garden at the southern end of the Square
Retaining the bottle banks, with switched access so they can be emptied from the east (road side) rather than west (current car park)
Cllr Lesley Ann Game, Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods at Thanet District Council said:
“Dalby Square is at the historic heart of Cliftonville West and the car park has a negative effect on the townscape of the Square and Clifftop. The proposed communal garden will act as a focal point and contribute towards the wellbeing of the vibrant local community.
“From the mid-nineteenth century, the residents of Dalby Square have placed great value on the garden enclosure as an open green space and important social and recreational facility so it’s great to be restoring it to its original purpose.”
Dalby Square is one of only two surviving enclosed garden squares in Margate and this work in intended to enhance the Dalby Square Conservation Area and enrich community life.
Sam Causer, of Architects Studio Sam Causer said:
“We’re delighted that work has started on site this week to reconnect the gardens of Dalby Sq and the clifftop landscape of Margate Coastal Park. The consultation we led over several weeks revealed there’s a great love for Margate’s historic parks and gardens, which were designed and laid out over a century ago to foster health, well-being and strengthening of bonds between people and communities.”
Improvement works are funded by Thanet District Council and the Heritage Lottery fund.
Artist impressions of what it will look like
What it looks like now (as looking south)
Notes to editors: Dalby Square was made a conservation area in 2010, the first part of Cliftonville West Ward to be so designated.