I will start with the information about the lease, at the moment these are verbal assurances from a senior council officer, in view of the time the comments on the demolition application have to be submitted by 1st October, it is unlikely that I would get anything in writing before that time.
These comments relate to the lease for the part of the site comprising slipways 2,3 and 4, which is where the proposed development would be built.
The demolition application would, if successful, mean that these slipways cease to be usable.
This leasehold interest was bought from the boatyard operator by the developer for £90,000.
The conditions of the lease stipulate that the site can only be used as a ship repair facility.
The council have no intention of changing the terms of the lease at the moment and I have been assured that such a change would only be considered after a proper consultation process.
The current lease expires in ten years and the council assure me that, no lease longer than 25 years could be granted by the council, without going through the full asset disposal process.
This of course leaves us to consider what would happen if the developer fails to get change of usage for the site that he holds the lease on. I would conclude that he is unlikely to operate it as a ship repair facility.
Obviously I am not party to the agreement between the developer and the ship repair business owners, so there may be some part of the agreement that says the leasehold returns to them if the developer fails to get change of use or planning consent.
On the other hand we may be going into a situation where that part of the yard just falls into decay, I suppose much of this would depend on the will of the council to implement the terms of the lease.
I now come to the planning applications. The first application is the one to demolish the slipways workshops winding houses etc L/TH/10/0736
Now a new set of plans have appeared on the council’s planning website, planning ref F/TH/10/0737 the council’s planning website can be found at http://www.ukplanning.com/thanet
These are the plans to erect the development and the main difference that I can see is that these include a flood risk assessment.
This flood risk assessment doesn’t make sense to me.
In this country we use two different sea levels, the base level is called “datum”.
One is chart datum, this one appears on navigational charts, tide tables and is marked up next to the lock gate in the harbour.
The other is ordinance datum, this one appears on Ordinance Survey maps and architectural drawings.
Ordinance datum is 2.58 metres (about eight foot six inches) higher than chart datum.
Drawing no 206/05 (I have put it on the internet for convenience, the little numbers are the levels above ordinance datum) http://www.thanetonline.com/slipways/id3.htm shows an internal corridor, which is 3.6 metres above ordinance datum or 6.18 metres above chart datum.
The flood risk assessment’s highest predicted static tide 6.3 metres above chart datum, in fact ordinary high tides in Ramsgate are about 5 metres see http://easytide.ukho.gov.uk/EasyTide/EasyTide/ShowPrediction.aspx?PortID=0102&PredictionLength=7 for this weeks tides.
A spring tide or a tidal surge would push this figure up by about a meter and if the two occur together then we start to get into the realms of exceptionally high tides.
On top of this you get the effects of any wave action, I think highest waves in the harbour would be in the order of about 3 metres.
This corridor looks like it would be the only safe dry escape for the Seascouts.
It is a time capsule of preserved and working engineering from the Second World War.
I am assuming that they are the material that is to be used in the construction of the new development as this is also supposed to change colour depending on where it is viewed from.
I suppose that it was this aspect of the new development that interested me the most, rather in the way the glass coating or the new Turner Contemporary interests me.
At this point someone who is very much for the new development turned up, and I told him what I thought they were, so there we were two grown men wandering up and down looking a the colours change.
Back in 1972 I had a summer job on a travelling fun fair and I had a pair of trousers that were made out of a fabric that did this, I am afraid the word that springs to mind here is tacky.
This video was taken adjacent to the eastern side of where the new development is supposed to be going. I do wonder if the architect has considered this effect.
Now it seems that the new development hasn’t been thought out properly, so we are being asked to support something that doesn’t appear to have been designed with existing sea levels in mind.