A month ago today I made an official request to the council to try and find out what is going on with this development, as the council are supposed to answer these requests within 20 working days, this equates to one month.
Here is what I asked in red.
1 Please send me any addition information about this development that I haven’t requested below, because I am unaware of its existence.
It would appear that some work has occurred on the site during the last month, but obviously this work doesn’t relate to the development agreement schedules and conditions of the various leases contained in it.
2 Does this mean that the leases are now invalid and the development agreement is to be determined?
3 Or does it mean that there has been an updated agreement with new schedules?
If the development is going ahead, either to a new schedule or is being allowed under some other flexible arrangement:
4 Can you please supply me with a revised building schedule?
5 Can you please tell me which of the approved plans the development is to be built to and if these plans are published on the council’s planning website?
6 Can you please send me details of the public information sessions that were promised once work started on the site?
7 Can you please send me any updated information on the cliff safety issue? Details and dates of the promised cliff top weight limit, correspondence between the council, the HSE, the developer, cliff survey and maintenance schedule, any cliff survey reports, any agreements for cliff maintenance between the council and the developer.
8 Can you please send me details of any flood, storm or emergency escapes incorporated in the development as a result of the EA recommendations 8th Feb 2008.
9 If the artists impressions, details of roof material and other building materials for the building to be built, are different to those described on the councils planning website, due to the various different plans and in consequence plans being used that no longer relate to the ancillary details, can you please send me the details of these changes?
10 If the plans that are to be used no longer relate to all of the planning and design statement, can you please send me revisions to the planning and design statement?
Here is the council’s reply in blue.
Thank you for your communication received on 24/02/2011 09:00:09 where you requested information about the Pleasurama or Royal Sands deevelopment.
In response to your questions I can comment as follows:There has been some early slippage in terms of works undertaken to comply with the terms of the development agreement. The construction works are however now starting to claw back time lost earlier in the construction programme and progress is now being made on site. There is no amended agreement with the developers and no action is presently anticipated in relation to determine the development agreement, neither has there been a request for a revised build schedule. I will request a revised programme from the developer who has indicated that he will be aiming to adhere to the programme.
I will also request that the developer establishes a public information programme.No recent amendments have been proposed to the design of the building and no alterations have been made in response to the Environment Agencies correspondence with the developer in 2008. Any amendments would need to be considered through the planning process.
In 2008 and 2009 we received plans to comply with conditions of the planning permission that were approved in January 2009. These proposals did not result in material alterations to the approved building and I recall providing you with those drawings following receipt. I can confirm that no subsequent amendments have been proposed to the building since that time.
In terms of the planning and design statement I consider the scheme still complies with the principles of the original submission.I can confirm that the HSE have considered the cliff survey. In an email to the Council they have confirmed they do not intend to pursue this matter. They have requested that the Council draws up a programme and regime for the future maintenance of the cliff face. This matter is in hand.
The idea here is that the council leases the land to the developer under the condition that he builds the development according to a time schedule laid down by the council.
Back in October 2006 the council and the developer signed this agreement that had been drawn up by the council’s solicitors, here it is http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/pda/id5.htm
This agreement says when each part of the development should have started and when it should have finished.
Obviously this all has to be agreed with the council and is discussed at cabinet and then full council if the cabinet approve the development.
Anyway the developer didn’t fulfil the obligations of the development agreement, didn’t start and finish the various bits of the agreement when they should have done and didn’t come up with the money to protect the council if anything went wrong, the performance bond.
So the council officers put the issue before the cabinet again in 2009, with a recommendation from the head of finance that they should terminate the agreement.
Anyway the cabinet decided that the development should go ahead with a reduced financial guarantee and the council’s solicitors drew up a deed of variation from the terms of the original agreement with a new set of schedules, here it is http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/pda/id17.htm
This says on page 10 that the foundations should have been finished by August last year and that the first bit, the hotel (section A) should have its structural frame going up now.
This means that they should be putting up the framework at the end of the site where the Pavilion and the lift are. When I put in this request nothing had happened in terms of any foundations or construction on the site and between putting in the request and getting the answer today 6 foundations and six building support pillars have been put at the other end of the site.
There have been several newspaper articles about the site
are a couple of examples, over the years they have been signs that there is about to be more council activity and more delays. So last weeks Gazette article saying that the foundations had actually been laid when they obviously haven’t has put me on my guard.