An aspect of the very prominent seafront buildings is that on the whole whether they are good bad appropriate or inappropriate they mostly seem to stay put for over 100 years.
Whether you agree with this approach or not the meeting to decide the future of this development is to be held in secret and all of the associated documentation is secret too, see http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=151&MId=2919&Ver=4
Oddly enough the actual development agreement is in the public domain, see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/pda/ this is a long and complicated document that sets out what the developer should build and when, it also sets out how the council owned land becomes owned by the developer and the council gets paid for the land.
I am pretty foggy about the legal and procedural ins and outs, but am pretty sure that with the council, it is the cabinet or the full council only, that has the power to change development agreements relating to council owned land.
My guess is that what happens in practice is that the developer approaches the council officers asking for changes and those officers work out a series of options that protect the council’s interests and then put those options before cabinet for decision.
Obviously the hopes and expectations in terms of employment, which were along the lines of about 200 people working on the site during the last year didn’t happen.
Looking at the site at the moment, there isn’t a sense of one stage finished and another about to commence, but much more one of a work in progress abandoned unexpectedly. Holes dug but not filled with concrete, incomplete pillars with leaning and rusting reinforcing rods.http://www.thanetonline.com/cliff/index.htm or their may be some other explanation. The secrecy makes it difficult to know for sure.
Personally from the council’s engineers response I received via Allan Poole I doubt that it relates to the issues I highlighted, to do with assessing the flood risk, sea defence and cliff stability.
Anyone who missed this the two blog posts, the first one my open letter to cabinet members and two of their responses, here http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/royal-sands-development-on-pleasurama_23.html and a further post containing the email from Allan and my reply, here http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/royal-sands-development-on-pleasurama_30.html
When the site was first put out for tender by the council, one of the most important aspects was that it should have a major leisure aspect as well as a residential aspect to finance this.
The council rejected them on the grounds that they lacked the financial credentials and selected SFP who at that time were purely a Virgin Island company, so the council wouldn’t have had any way of discovering their financial status.
One problem here is that I think – reading the development agreement - the council were concerned that once the apartments were built the main leisure aspect the hotel wouldn’t be built. This is of particular concern as the hotel is in front of the part of the cliff that the developers contractor has examined and found has problems.
The pictures of this part of Ramsgate, click on them to enlarge, are a small proportion of the ones that I used to work out the history of the sea defences in this part of the town.
Having looked at the documentation again, see http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/documents/g2919/Public%20reports%20pack,%2005th-Apr-2012%2019.00,%20Cabinet.pdf?T=10 “Heads of Terms Agreement” it looks as though there is the possibility of a new development agreement involved.