Green Party Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate for Thanet South, Ian Driver, has warned that talks between Thanet Council and the O’Regan Group about the location of a concrete block manufacturing and waste wood processing plant at the Port of Ramsgate are “in advanced stages”. Driver’s comment follows a response to an enquiry he lodged with the council three weeks ago which stated that there have been 5 meetings between TDC, the O’Regan Group and its agents on 25 June, 10 July, 12 September, 18 October and 12 December 2014. The response also confirms that TDCs Corporate Management Team and the Labour controlled Cabinet have also discussed the O’Regan Group plans and that the Council has received a planning pre-application document from the O’Regan Group. Driver's request to see notes of the meetings with the O’Regan Group and any other related documents were rejected on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. Said Driver “I am very disappointed that discussions with the O’Regan Group have reached this advanced stage. There are some extremely serious questions about their suitability to operate at Ramsgate Port, especially their involvement in pollution related court cases in Ireland. I find it hard to believe that senior Labour Councillors such as Mike Harrison, who is responsible for the Port, write letters to the press implicitly supporting the O’Regan Group plan after a public meeting attended by almost 300 Ramsgate residents was unanimously opposed to it. I will be joining local people in a campaign to oppose any move to permit the O’Regan Group tooperate from the port. Their plans are simply too risky and their track record inspires no confidence in me”. Driver said that a Green Party controlled Thanet Council would immediately launch a root and branch review into the future of Ramsgate Port with a focus on leisure use.
Dear Cllr Driver
Thank you for this request and I apologise for the delay in replying.
I had to seek instructions before responding and I am told the answers to you request are as follows:I would be grateful if you could tell me how many meetings Council has had with the O'Regan Group over the past 18 months. I believe there were fiveCould you let me have the dates of these meetings and the names of those who attended including agents acting on behalf of the O'Regan Group.
25 June 2014- Ian Faupel (O’Regan Group’s consultant) Robert Brown10 July 2014 - Brett Aggregates, Ian Faupel, Louis O’Regan, Robert Brown, John Davison. 12 September 2014 – site visit; Ian Faupel, Lois O’Regan, Colin Browne. 18 October 2014 – Ian Faupel, Louis O’Regan; Chris O’Brien, Nikki Morris, Robert Brown. 12 December 2014 – JWDB Planning, Robert Brown, John Davison, Mike Humber. Could you also provide me with copies of minutes/ notes of these meetings and copies of any documents discussed at these meetings.These are not being released as they are presently commercially sensitive.I would be grateful if you could tell me if the Cabinet and/ or the senior management team have discussed the O'Regan proposals.Discussed as part of a wider update at CMT.The Action Points on the agenda for the following CMT on 18th November make no reference to O’Regan or their proposals as the discussion did not lead to any specifically identified action.Proposal discussed at Cabinet agenda meeting 5th January. This was in relation to a pre-application sent in by O’Regan’s agent.If so when and could you please let me have copies of any reports, notes, emails etc pertaining to such discussions. Copies will be released in the future subject to commercial issues. I would also be grateful if you could tell me whether there have been any discussions about rentals and costs which might have to be paid by the O'Regan Group for use of council land at the Port or elsewhere.I don’t have any details of these
Could you also let me know if the council has adopted a view as to whether planning permission will be required for the O'Regan group to implement its proposals. As far as I am aware Iain Livingstone is still awaiting further information on the proposal before this can be determined.
Finally as the Green Party PPC for Thanet South and as a Ramsgate Councillor I would be grateful if you could keep me up to date with any ongoing discussions with the O'Regan Group or its agents about their plans for the port. I would also like to be notified as soon as the Council receives any planning application from the O'Regan Group regarding its proposals for the Port.
Cllrs get updated about applications received I understand
I trust this is of assistance. Many thanks.Steven Boyle