Building declared ‘ugliest in Dover’ by readers but local residents disagree

Flats in Dover have been named and shamed as the town’s ugliest building, according to readers.

Looking out across the Channel on the town’s seafront, The Gateway flats cannot be ignored.

The huge building stretches out along Marine Parade and it’s weathered façade can be seen from all angles along the seafront,

Dating back to the 1950’s, the flats may not be so popular now and many onlookers see it as an eyesore.

But for the people who do live here it’s a different story.

Talking about the wonderful views, Alan Setterfield, 71, who lives in one of the 221 flats with his wife said: “Well from my point of view that’s why we live here.

“Other than that, I don’t find anything unattractive about it. You get people who don’t like anything high-rise.

“When it was built in the 50’s I suppose it was in keeping with the buildings they put up at the time.”

Alan, who owns one of the lower flats without a balcony said it took a bit of getting used to the noise of the traffic coming from the lorries making their way to the port along the busy A20 route, but added: “You soon get used to it.”

At the Gateway, Alan said it’s a peaceful life where its occupants usually keep themselves to themselves.

Many of the residents are older, he says, and own their properties-although Alan believes there could still be a few council-owned flats left.

And he says there are not a lot of children about so it’s nice and quiet.

One resident who couldn’t disagree more with the damning verdict is Peter Mercer, 79, who has only lived at his property for a year.

He said: “No I don’t think it’s ugly at all. I was told it was a great example of the architecture of the time when it was finished after the Second World War.

“I think there is far more uglier stuff about.

“The flats have got fantastic views and do not obscure the view of the castle.”

The flats were completed in 1959 at a cost of around £1 million after several years of planning disputes.

An architectural competition in 1953 was held to find a winning design for the project.

At the other end of the flats are David and Gillian Roberts who are just on their way down to the sea, a mere few yards away, for a spot of paddle boarding.

When Gillian heard that The Gateway was named as Dover’s most-hated building by Kentlive readers, David swung round from his board with a knowing-grin, and said: “I think that’s rude!”

He said: “That’s the thing, we don’t see it. We are looking out the building.”

Then David cast his arm to the right and said: “The ugliest building in Dover is the building over there that used to have the Banksy on it.

“It needs pulling down.”