Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Midweek ramble

Blogger problems

One of the things I do on blogger is to put up the various press releases and recent council document on the press releases blog mostly this just means copying and pasting and up until recently it only took a moment out of my day.

Then blogger changed something so you either got no spaces like this using the old blog editor or mega spaces like this using the new one.

What this meant was that I found I was spending ages fiddling around trying to make the posts look OK, if you have been having these problems i.e. copying something pasting it into blogger and then when you publish it, it looks different. The solution is to use the new post editor, found on the settings tab of your blogger dashboard and to use the Google Chrome browser to do your publishing.

The only one I had extra problems with was the Thanet District Council planning website where I had paste the planning result into MS Word and copy it from there before it looked OK.

All a bit boring if you don’t have a blog but possibly useful information if you do.

Thanet District Council planning

When I went to put up the new planning applications from the council site on Monday I got no planning applications for the period from 18/03/2011 to 28/03/2011, the council’s planning website is about the crankiest website I use, so I emailed the council assuming that it had gone wrong, here’s the email.

“Subject: council’s planning website
Date: 28/03/2011 09:50:46 GMT Daylight Time
Reply To: 

Please note that the search by date facility on the council’s planning website has stopped working i.e. this is the second consecutive weekend the site has failed to work properly and means that I am unable to discover what new planning applications became available for inspections online last week.

Please appreciate that as I work full time and have young children which means that I have early evening commitments this prevents from viewing new planning applications altogether.  

Please can you tell when the new improved council hosted planning website will be up and running?

Please can you tell me the council gets any refund from UK Planning frot the large amount of time the doesn’t work properly?  

Best regards Michael”

I didn’t get any reply from the council, they have ten days to reply in and often don’t until the last day. Anyway some applications appeared dated yesterday, which I have put up, see I am not sure if the gap between 17/03/2011 and 29/03.2011 is significant of anything.

This comes back once again to not trusting the council, in other words, are they trying to cover up some horrendous planning application by concealing it? It seems unlikely that there were no planning applications for twelve days as there is no glut with yesterdays date.
Pleasurama, Royal Sands Development

I still haven’t found out why they are using shallow foundations instead of piles, so have been looking at what was on the site before and am pretty much certain that there is no solid chalk until you get down to the low tide level.

I asked the council to look into this and got the following reply:

“The adequacy of any foundation design is subject to control under the Building Regulations. In this case the developer has chosen to use an Approved Inspector for the Building Control function and not this Authority. As a result I do not have detailed foundation designs or loadings, but adequacy will be determined by the Approved Inspector.”

I think a problem here could be if the Approved Inspector hadn’t read the EAs report, see

However on a much brighter note the council is now going to do something about weight limit on the cliff top, this is what they have to say:

“I will firstly respond to the new numbered items. As you have indicated, we have discussed the imposition of a weight limit and the provision of suitable removable bollards to the cliff top. The Council's District Engineer is working to establish details of a suitable scheme with colleagues from the Conservation section and it is expected that work will commence shortly. Similarly, the blocked gulley is a known issue as we have discussed. The area has been investigated and we are satisfied that due to to the falls of the surface, any over run is not affecting the cliff structure. Further investigation following clearance will commence as soon as possible.”

Although you as you see they are still a bit vague about the blocked drainage.

It’s the old trouble with this site the council are keen to get money out of the development and have pushed it from the beginning as a normal site, without the problems of the cliff on one side and the sea on the other. What I think the situation is that the council have told the developer that neither the cliff nor the sea present any safety issues and I think that the latest contractor having started well by investigating the cliff stability, see have now decided to take the council at its word and to get on with the job.

Kent International Airport

It’s a bit difficult to judge where we are going with the airport, you may remember the Airport Working Party meeting in January see

As I understand it the airport is running at a loss and from the outside various strategies have come along recently to try and rectify this problem. The night flying proposals when viewed in terms of look like an attempt to try and create an airport with much laxer regulations than its competitors. That is now looking increasingly likely to fail and now they seem to be looking to cut staff operating costs.

Last year passengers going through Manston averaged out at a bit over 100 per day and freight a bit under 5 tons a day, so having 100 staff seems to be quite a bit.  

Thanet District Council and Dinah McNicol and Vicky Hamilton memorial service, see


  1. I'm not sure why you are now questioning the foundations of the development. When I originally raised this matter on your blog you said that with your "engineers hat on" you could assure me that the foundations were good enough. Has something changed, orhave you just had time to think about it?

  2. 16.47 at that time I assumed that the council were acting as building control for the site and as the council had received the report from the EA saying that the site was at risk of serious tidal storm flooding they would have taken this into account when specifying the foundations.

    I am assuming that you have read the EA report and appreciate the difference between a development supported on piles driven into chalk below sea level and one sitting on loose ground above sea level, in the event of a serious storm.

    So my concern here is that the engineer regulating the type of foundation is aware of the EA report.

    It is a case of as the foundations progress they make less and less sense to me, so I asked the council for an explanation and didn’t get one.

  3. Regarding copying-and-pasting things into blogger, I alwass paste it into Notepad (NOT Word) first, as it's then completely unformatted & presents no publishing problems (of course it can be reformatted once pasted into blogger). Hope this helps.

  4. Peter just tried that on the post above and it doesn’t work with IE8, you still get mega spacing with the new editor.

  5. I haven't used IE for a long time (Firefox for me!).


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