My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Pimp My Ramsgate Tiddely-Om-Prom-Prom

The licence for  the Ramsgate Pleasurama building site hoarding (otherwise known as the Great Wall of Ramsgate), is granted by Kent County Council Highways Department.  The hoarding is perhaps half a mile in length and encloses thousands of square yards of public promenade. The licence allowing for this enclosure of  large swathes of public land is granted on the basis that development work is taking place on the site, which quite clearly it hasn’t done from almost 3 years.

Yesterday, I raised this matter with Kent County Council Highways. They told me that they were reviewing the hoarding licence and had just received an e-mail from the building firm  Cardy who are the Pleasurama site Developers (SFP Ventures UK Ltd) contractors and who hold the hoarding licence.

Apparently, Cardy’s stated in their e-mail to the Highways people that work will be beginning on site in the summer of 2014 and that they need to retain the hoarding licence. This struck  me as being strange because the Pleasurama Development Agreement signed by the Council and SFP requires the project to be substantially completed by 28  February 2014 – that’s in about 5 weeks time. No significant development work would be expected to be taking place on the site after this date, so there would be no need for a hoarding taking up thousands of square yards of public promenade.

For any significant development work to commence on site in the summer of 2014 Thanet Council would have to extend its agreement with SFP, or do a new deal with someone else. To the best of knowledge the agreement has not been extended by the Council, nor am I  aware of any new development agreements in the offing. In fact the Council’s Scrutiny Panel will shortly be considering legal advice about whether or not the Pleasurama Development Agreement with SFP can be terminated. Something which could and should have been done in 2009 when Council officers advised Councillors that SFP was not an ideal development partner.

I have now alerted Kent County Council Highways to the fact that it is unlikely that development work will be taking place on the Pleasurama site in the summer and that the information they have received from the contractors is possibly based on, shall we charitably say,  a “misunderstanding”. I have also sought the assurances of senior council officers that in their dealings with SFP, they have not taken  any actions which may  have created misleading expectations about the development                   
agreement. It is for councillors to decide the future of this agreement not officers.

Unless the Council's political bosses secretly stitch up a last minute  dodgy deal with SFP, behind the backs of the people of Ramsgate, who have been forced to endure a decade of blight and dereliction on this  otherwise beautiful stretch of seafront,  I can no longer the see the need for a building site hoarding which encroaches on this stretch  public land.
Kent Highways should, in my opinion,  terminate the hoarding licence as the earliest opportunity, ordering  that it be moved back to the edge of the Pleasurama site and that any damage (and there is lots) to the promenade be reinstated at no cost to the public purse. Anything less would be surrender to a company who have blighted Ramsgate for a decade. SFP,  Cardy and salesman/ spokesperson Terence Painter if you have any dignity, hand back the keys and walk away now. Your not wanted here. It’s time for a change

   

11 comments:

  1. That barricade should be completely removed the site bull dozed and tidied up so it can be used this summer for free parking and fairground attractions until such times the future fate of the site is deceided.
    Stargazer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree 2 and if TDC don't do it the public should break the padlocks on the gates and tear the wall down themselves. No more delays.

      The slipways and Beach resort site and Albion House hotel should be cancelled too.

      And why are KCC issuing permits for hoardings in Thanet - what are we paying TDC and RTC to do?

      Delete
  2. Encore agree. Do hope Cardy's don't have advance information that this fiasco is going to continue.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This honey pot is too tempting, Ian ring the alarm bell at the first glimpse of anything/anybody who might be making a move on it, please. We are not prepared to go through all of this saga again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. oh dear. After the development agreement expires in February what changes ? Am I right that SFP will continue to own the site ? Unless and until TDC take legal action to restore the property to their own freeholder ownership ? Something that has interested me all the while (years) that Michael Child has been highlighting the cliff face hazard, if I was about to build on a site would I do much beyond footings if the council hasn't safeguarded the boundary to my satisfaction ?

    This next year should be interesting. Will SFP quietly walk away ? Or will TDC find themselves in the bear pit of a litigation battle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I was thinking is that SFP could counter TDC by attacking their cliff safety measures record. If this were to be the case then your most recent thread re Mr Painter would have a further serious aspect.

      Delete
  5. Don't enjoy sick jokes, if Cardy's are trying to wind the people of Ramsgate up then they'll not get work from me in the future.
    They should not be putting any reputation left at risk. The only pheonix to rise from this is going to be one for the community not profits or a quick buck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You're not wanted is a huge understatement. I think I might yet to have see a less wanted project anywhere on the isle.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am wondering whether the hoarding needs to stay a bit longer in place so that the piles and all the rest of this ruin can be removed safely by using the £1 deposit. This is at least what the deposit agreement (part of the variation deed of 2009) is prescribing as the last applicable clause should the development not get completed. I guess Cardy would be the ideal partner to remove the piles, and hopefully end of May we can finally remove see the hoarding removed to an open publicly accessible space between the beach and the real great wall!

    ReplyDelete
  8. About time this project got going and changes the Ramsgate landscape, we need to look forwards, not back

    ReplyDelete