Plans for new Margate RNLI lifeboat station delayed
The RNLI has announced it has withdrawn the current planning application for permission to build a new lifeboat station in Margate.
The proposed build is needed to house a Shannon class lifeboat, the latest class in the RNLI fleet, one of which has been allocated for Margate.
The RNLI has engaged in years of negotiations with various interested parties – including Thanet District Council and Kent County Council – and in the past all parties had indicated they would support a new station on that site.
However, following more recent discussion, it became apparent that the beach site is no longer supported by various parties, which led to a recommendation from the council’s Planning Officer to its Planning Committee that the application be refused.
Chris Refoy, Chief Engineer for the RNLI, said: ‘The RNLI has decided to withdraw the current planning application for a replacement lifeboat station in Margate and will now work on a second application that will be submitted as soon as possible.
‘As a result of thorough site investigations of the Kent coastline, we considered Margate Sands the best and preferred site for a replacement lifeboat station, and over the last four years we have been working closely with Thanet District Council and Kent County Council, who indicated strong support for our plans throughout.
‘However, since submitting our planning application it has become apparent that the beach site is no longer supported by various parties, which led to a recommendation from the council’s Planning Officer to its Planning Committee that the application be refused. We have however received positive encouragement from the Planning Officer’s report, and this combined with a report produced by the council’s preferred design advisers, will be useful in informing the next stage of our work to build the new lifeboat station in Margate.
‘A number of fatalities around the UK coastline over the summer highlight a clear need for the RNLI’s lifesaving operations, and we remain committed to building a new lifeboat station to facilitate launch and recovery of a new Shannon class lifeboat, and to house the accompanying inshore lifeboat and our beach lifeguard service.
‘We would like to thank Thanet District Council for their input to date, and look forward to working with TDC and other stakeholders as we progress our new plans.’
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Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland