Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Royal Sands Development on the Pleasurama Site in Ramsgate, OSP update.


Last week I went through the process of getting the decision on the Royal Sands Development agreement called in.

The decision as published on the council’s website is:

Decision:

“That the revised development agreement summarised in Annex 1 to the report is agreed, with delegated authority granted to the Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager to sign the final agreement, once all advance conditions are met, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Commercial Services.
Minutes:

Councillor Bayford spoke under Council Procedure Rule 24.1, seeking assurances from officers in relation to the proposed development agreement.

On the proposal of Councillor Poole, seconded by Councillor Hart, it was RESOLVED:

THAT the revised development agreement summarised in Annex 1 to the report is agreed, with delegated authority granted to the Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager to sign the final agreement, once all advance conditions are met, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Commercial Services.”

Truth here is I really don’t understand if the OSP (overview and scrutiny panel) actually do anything, I know they can call a decision in, whether once they have done so they then have the power, or the inclination to change that decision is something I don’t understand at all.

The run around I encountered trying to get the decision called in suggests that they are treated by officers as a nuisance that has to be negotiated, rather than some properly functioning part of the council.    

Anyway here is the email I have just sent off to the councillor and officers concerned, after being instructed by Thanet District Council’s democratic services, that this is how a member of the public communicates with the OSP.

“Ian, Mike, Harvey.

I have been told by democratic services to contact the three of you regarding the Royal Sands call in. 

Two issues here, the first being the way in which scrutiny and call in is available to a member of the public.

Could you please confirm my assumptions here, as the machinations of local government remain something of a mystery to me?

I am assuming the whole business of scrutiny costs something and that it is local taxpayers that foot the bill for this.

I am also assuming that the voting constituents of Thanet should have some point of input and instigation via officers, in the mater of scrutiny.

I am also assuming that having instigated the scrutiny of an issue a constituent should then have access to an officer who will ensure that their points are put impartially to all of the members of the scrutiny panel.

In terms of instigating the call in of The Royal Sands decision initially I tried the democratic services, customer services and emailing the chief executive route as a means of getting the decision called in. This failed and I got no email response, apart from one, from the officer who wrote the report, essentially saying that he could hardly call his own report in.

I tried the method of contacting members of scrutiny, until I reached one where the council’s website had omitted their contact details, fortunately I already had Ian’s personal email address, and contacting him via this resulted in the decision being called in.

On Friday I phoned democratic services and asked what the next stage was, mostly how I could contact an officer who would put forward my points to the scrutiny panel and what they came up with was emailing the three of you.

Now I am fairly certain that Harvey and Mike are the officers who have supported the aspects of the decision that I wish to be scrutinised and that Ian, while responsive, is likely to be unpopular with some scrutiny members, who may take a less than balanced view of anything he proposes.

I however feel that as member of the Thanet electorate, council taxpayer, business ratepayer and a resident of the ward the development is situated in, I should get my reasons for requesting a call in, put impartially, by an impartial officer, to all members of the panel. 

All that said can, you please tell me, what are the possible outcomes from calling the decision in?  Can you also provide me with contact details for the appropriate council office? 

On to second and main issue, the Royal Sands call in, which is the information I want put to all the members of the scrutiny panel, preferably by an officer who impartial.

The flood risk issue first.

Up to now officer take on this one appears to be that I am some sort of crank, who has taken issue with the development of the site and wishes to see another fifteen years of dereliction.

This is not the case, my objective here is to ensure that the development, is if built, both safe and viable in terms of its funding. My assumption is that the construction of a new residential development on an EA designated high risk flood zone, without any site specific flood risk assessment is both foolhardy from the public safety point of view and will to a lesser or greater degree blight the development, effecting the development’s financial viability.  

There are various aspects of the sites vulnerability to flood and storm damage.

1 Historical

The site suffered considerable damage during the 1897 storm when various structures on the site were demolished by wave action.

It also suffered damage in the 1953 storm, most notably a 12 ton crane that had been working on the beach was swept over the sea defence and into the site by wave action.

In the 1978 storm the front of the Pleasurama arcade was stove in by the sea (the main Pleasurama building had an internal floor height higher that the frontage and after 1978 the lower front part was only used a pool area because of the water damage to the arcade machines).

Also the adjacent harbour wall suffered considerable damage, there was also damage to the sea defences from Ramsgate to Dumpton.

This information is well documented in the local paper archives.

2 Environment Agency recommendations.

On 8th February the Environment Agency sent the council and developer a letter strongly recommending a site specific flood risk assessment and emergency flood escapes, see http://michaelsbookshop.com/ea/

When I put discussed this with officers I was told that these concerns were invalid (officers implied that as the EA officer was young and female, her position as the only qualified technical specialist to examine the plans should be ignored), so I asked Laura Sandys to ask the southeast’s senior environment agency officers for their official position in writing.

This is what she sent me:

“The Pleasurama development gained planning consent prior to the publication of the latest government guidance on development and flood risk, PPS25.  When we were consulted in 2003 our floodplain maps did not show the site to be at risk and the design, at that stage, had clear evacuation routes to the top of the cliff. But, having received revised plans for the development last year, we highlighted our concern over flood risk and recommended that a site-specific flood risk assessment be undertaken.  This would inform appropriate mitigation measures such as recommended floor levels, flood resilient design and an evacuation plan to ensure that the development is made as safe as possible.”

3 Design Changes.

When the site originally gained planning consent the intention was that the development be supported on driven piles, into the chalk bedrock.

The 2005 cliff condition report http://thanetonline.com/cliff/id2.htm stated that this would be too dangerous because the vibration could trigger a cliff collapse.

The design was then changed to piles bored into the chalk bedrock (this construction method has been insisted on and adopted for the two other recent developments on Marina Esplanade, although the are both set behind modern well constructed and maintained sea defences).   

At some later time this was changed to shallow foundations only dug down as far as the top of the sand, which once formed the beach where the site is. 

Note; The site was formed by sea wave action prior to the construction of Ramsgate harbour, so the chalk bedrock is at about the level of low tide. The construction of the harbour shielded the site from the scouring action of the sea and caused a build up of sand forming a beach approximately where the site is. In 1860 chalk spoil from the railway tunnel, put on top of the sand, was used to raise the site to its present level. The inclined side of this pile of lose sand and chalk was then paved with stone slabs forming a sea defence. The existing Ramsgate sands are the result of wartime defences, prior to 1915 the sand was all below the normal high tide level. Since the removal of the wartime defences, which happened when the sand was removed for the construction of Port Ramsgate, the level of sand above the high tide line in front of the development has been variable.

4 Sea Defence.

My understanding is that the sea defence there is still the original 1860 inclined slab defence and all of the promenade structures behind and above this are founded on the pile of lose chalk and sand.

Mike has confirmed this in writing and informed me that the council, who own this sea defence, hold no construction plans or maintenance record relating to it.

In simple terms, the foundations of the development rest on sand, it isn’t screwed down to the bedrock like the other new developments down there and the only thing preventing the sand from being washed out by the sea, is a 150 year old sea wall with no maintenance record and more sand.

The only other sea defence, that I know, of that was built by the same railway company, as part of the 1860 railway expansion, was the one between Reculver and Thanet, this failed in 1953. About 10 square miles of land and about three miles of railway track were lost in one night. 

I should like to add that I think it highly inappropriate that this sea defence and flood risk assessment issue is discussed in closed session, as it relates to public safety.

Next the questions relating to the asset disposal.

Here the secrecy situation is the reverse, I am concerned that the proper asset disposal process didn’t occur at the time of issuing the 199 year leases, see http://michaelsbookshop.com/pda/id4.htm and further isn’t occurring at this stage of freehold transfer.

Harvey has assured me that this isn’t the case, but wasn’t able to provide me with a full explanation because of disclosure legislation. I am assuming that this information will be available to a closed session of the scrutiny panel.”

Best regards Michael. 

If you read or skimmed through that lot you will see I am as much trying to get to grips with the ins and outs of scrutiny as to make much sense of The Royal Sands.

The picture at the top is my unfinished first attempt at having a go at oil painting. I have been buying tubes of oil paint at the boot fairs I have been to.

Ian Driver has called the decision in.

There is an OSP extraordinary meeting on 16th August and although there are no details saying what it is about on the council’s website yet, my guess it is The Royal Sands call in.


After some difficulty negotiating the council’s website, revealed, this link should take you to the decisions page http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/mgDelegatedDecisions.aspx?XXR=0&&DR=25%2f07%2f2011-08%2f08%2f2012&ACT=Find&RP=0&K=0&V=0&DM=0&HD=0&DS=2&Next=true&META=mgdelegateddecisions&

It doesn’t seem that many decisions get called in.

The call in notice for The Royal Sands says:

This decision has been called in by:
Councillor Ian Driver who writes Reasons for call-in:

 

 1. To ensure that there has been a recent flood risk assessment of the development site;

 2. To ensure that the disposal of the site was in compliance with agreed Council processes;

 3. To ensure that the Council secured a reasonable price for the sale of the development site."



I may add to this one.  

38 comments:

  1. Private eye might be interested in investigating this.

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    1. I cannot overlook the possibility that many of the TDC Officials share Michael's concern. But none has the wit to put matters right. There is no evidence of coruption. However, there is compelling evidence of incompetence and pusillanimity.

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    2. Sorry about the delay answering some of the comments here, I have been otherwise engaged.

      John my guess is that you are right, I guess the priority for those working in local government is that of keeping ones head down to ensure further and more lucrative appointments.

      I think the fear all along the line is initiating something that could result in litigation from the developer to recover monies spent so far.

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  2. Boring......yawn.....boring yawn

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  3. Michael - You are mistaken - I have checked the Planning Conditions and they do not stipulate Piling for the foundations. I cannot find any reference that anyone ever said that Piling was going to be used. I think you may have made this up.

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    1. I don’t think the planning conditions specifically exclude building the development out of gingerbread and obviously if the stipulated pile boring then we wouldn’t have the problem we have now, I take it you don’t disagree with what I have said in the post or you would have mentioned it.

      Discussions between me and officers, the various contractors that have come and gone, the council’s consulting engineers and so on have been ongoing. Initially driven pile foundations were assumed and discussed, this was up to the 2005 cliff condition report, the link is above should you wish to read it. Following this it was bored piles, assumed and discussed.

      The last reference I have to pile boring was on 26th August 2010 when I had a long discussion with the MD of Cardy construction, who said:

      “Work will be starting on the site imminently, the first stage will be to set up all the Portakabins site security and so on. The ground works, pile boring, pipe laying and connection of services will follow this. Steel frame construction should start by 1st March 2011.”

      The shallow foundations on to sand that actually appeared weren’t ever discussed until after they appeared, Cardys assured me that the load capabilities were adequate and I checked this and agree with them.

      It was only later when I discovered the position over the sea defence that I raised concerns about using this type of foundation, so far no one has come up with any reasoned argument supporting a combination of the existing foundations and sea defence. You have to appreciate that I am not saying that there is a problem, just that this situation should be professionally assessed.

      I will add a picture of the situation during a high spring tide to the post to help you appreciate the problem.

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    2. Michael, it would be very unusual for a planning condition to insist on piled foundations as planning is about the appearance of a building and its impact on the surroundings.

      Piled foundations are a matter for building control and I would have expected the local authority building control to insist on piling, however the building control element was contracted out to a private company which has been legally acceptable for many years now.

      The contractor would construct whatever foundations were shown on the drawings, so responsibility for these "questionable" foundations goes to the architect and the building control company who they employed.

      Unfortunately, remote building control functions do not have local knowledge and a simple trial bore hole may have indicated pad foundations were adequate. It is only when you take the sand, chalk fill, old sea defences and storm conditions together does a potential hazard become evident.

      It would be interesting to know what the local building control officers think of the foundations, but as they are not involved I would expect "no comment".

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    3. Readit,

      This is interesting. You haved provided yet more evidence of incompetence. Surely, someone in TDC must have spotted this fact about the foundations; and if so why did they not speak out? Who are they scared of?

      Delete
  4. Unfortunately it is just down to a an incompetent Chief Exec with supporting cast of directors - pleasurame- chinagate- EKO-Theatre Royal etc,etc.

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  5. I have seen the detailed engineering designs,calculations and geotechnical assesments for the Royal Sands project. I am told they have been independently verified by not only Building Control but also by a highly qualified third party engineering specialist with huge experience in projects of this type on the coastline. The employee's of third Party Building Control organisations are normally ex Council Building Control Officers. They hold excatly the same qualifications/experience and responsibility to that of a LA employee (they might not get flexible working hours/pension and the comfy life of a Council employee.. local knowledege would not have been neccesary. The level of in depth exploratory work that would have been done on this job will have been far more influential to the designers.

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    1. 10.41 sorry about the delay replying here, I have been busy elsewhere.

      As I said I have no arguments with the foundation load calculations, which I have checked myself.

      The problem here is not about whether the sand will support the foundations, as it undoubtedly will.

      The problems are.

      1 The structural integrity of the sea defence protecting the sand the foundations sit on from being washed away by wave action, the council have informed me in writing that this is unknown.

      2 Building on an EA designated high-risk flood zone, without a flood risk assessment against the recommendations of the EA.

      As you undoubtedly take heed of what the technical experts involved say, I recommend you read the EA’s expert’s letter http://michaelsbookshop.com/ea/

      Delete
  6. I have just worked out who it is that keeps leaking info from the Cabinet....so very obvious..... Michael..tut tut

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    1. To anonymous @10:41,

      You state that you have seen detailed engineering designs, calculations and geotechnical assessments for the Royal Sands project. However, you do not indicate whether or not you understood them. Though somebody had told you that the plans had been verified by experts. In essence, you are simply telling us what you have been told.

      You go on to to say about the engineers, "they might not get flexible working hours/pension and the comfy life of a Council employee.. ". in my view this gratuitous slur detracts from the probity of your argument.

      More importantly can you please describe the level and depth of the exploratory work; and explain why local knowledge would not have been necessary?

      I find your dismissal of local knowledge to be rather curious. My experience of building is limited to my involvement on the client team for two 20 million pound refurbishments of a Grade 1 listed Victorian building in Westminster. Our structural engineers were on site and considered local knowledge and history to be of crucial importance. In fact had they not adopted this common sense approach, taken the cheap option and flogged on then there was a real possibility that the building would have collapsed.

      Picking up on you earlier calumny: it is worth mentioning that our structural engineers were considered by their profession to be among the best in the business. None of them was an ex civil servant. Indeed none of them would have worked for the low wage of a government employee.

      I repeat my earlier question. Can you please describe the level and depth of the exploratory work; and explain why local knowledge would not have been necessary?

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    2. Local knowledge will only give someone a guess of what foundations are needed. However extensive borehole investigations,trial pits and geotechnical studies allow the designs to be based solely on FACTUAL information NOT just hearsay,newspaper cuttings and hyteria. The Royal Sands project shares the same EA classification as the whole coastline of East Kent. If we took the same pessimistic view to that of MC then you would evacuate the whole of Sandwhich and Deal. PS John, Westminster is built on a river not the sea,so not sure of the relevance of your comparison

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    3. Anonymous @ 11:18,
      The purpose of my comparison to Royal Sands lies in fact that the Westminster building I am talking about is built on a marsh. Consequently, it does not have foundations and sits on a raft. Which I have seen. This is because our engineers dug down to the raft to satisfy themselves that it could continue to support the load of the building. These essential investigations are what I meant by local knowledge. I think we can agree on this point. The history of the building was also essential bearing in mind that history can inform the present.

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    4. 11.18 you seem to have got yourself a bit confused here, perhaps you view the opinion of the Environment Agency’s technical expert as hysteria.

      The problem, as detailed in her letter is not one of static tide that is a serious problem in Sandwich, but one of wave action because the site is adjacent to the sea, this information is local knowledge and genuinely does make a difference.

      The main differences between this site and the rest of east Kent are that virtually all the sea defences in East Kent are modern concrete one’s regularly inspected and maintained by the Environment Agency, this is the case with the ones in the rest of Ramsgate. The sea defence in front of the site dates from 1860 and hasn’t been inspected. The other difference is building a large residential development between the cliff face and the foreshore.

      I think though your main area of confusion though is my intention here, which is to ensure the development compiles with the normal minimum safety standards set out by the environment agency, for a foreshore development that is a Flood Zone 3a (High Probability).

      This brings me to question your motives here, so a simple question, why do you wish to support building a new development on a high risk flood zone without any sort of flood risk assessment.

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  7. Michael "Billo Wrights" is a long since deleted google blogger account apparently somehow being operated by some sort of spammer/mischief maker.

    I have reported it to google. Perhaps you would remove the link from your sidebar ?

    Thanks Richard

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    1. Are you sure Anon 10.30 is not an imposter?, "Richard" could be anybody.

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  8. Retired EngineerAugust 11, 2012 11:28 pm

    I would never rely on local knowledge when designing foundations. Ground conditions are invariably inconsistent and the developer has done the right thing in arranging such extensive investigations. I have checked and verified the foundation designs that have been chosen and they are a perfect choice for the site. I am a Chartered Engineer with 50 years experince in the industry. I have built harbours, see defence walls, and was also involved in the initial design approval for the channel tunnel. I am afraid that THIS time Michael Childs is very very wrong.

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    1. I understood 'local knowledge' to mean getting onto the site and conducting a thorough investigation. I am sure that this is also what Michael meant. It seems then that we can all agree on this point.

      On the question of the flood risk I simply do not know; other than to say that it is always wise to treat the sea with respect. It has history of killing people.

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    2. Retired Engineer, I too have checked the load spreading capabilities for sand and as I said above I agree with you that they are absolutely fine.

      I assume as you have seen the foundation designs you agree that the foundations rest on the layer of sand that previously formed the beach.

      Presumably you have also seen the construction plans for the promenade that the council holds and agree that the promenade and associated walls all sit on top of the sand too.

      I also assume you have seen pictures of Ramsgate sands taken between the construction of the harbour and 1915 when the war defences that caused the accumulation of sand were laid. So you presumably agree that the sand in front of the sea defence is not a permanent feature caused by the shape of the harbour.

      Obviously a key consideration when laying foundations on sand, is that the sand stays in place, in this instance the sea defence prevents the wave action from washing the sand away, which is undesirable as this would cause the development to collapse.

      Now the council have told me in writing that the sea defence was built in 1860 and its inspection and maintenance is the council’s responsibility, unlike the other sea defences in Thanet, which are modern, inspected and maintained by the Environment Agency.

      The council have also told me, in writing, that they have no construction plans or maintenance record for the sea defence, as an engineer doesn’t this set alarm bells ringing for you?

      Having said that I feel I ought to reiterate that I am not saying that there is a problem with the structural integrity of the sea defence, I like you and the council’s engineers just don’t know. What I am asking for is that the sea defence is inspected and like the Environment agency’s engineer I am asking that a site specific flood risk assessment is carried out.

      This is a £22m project to build 107 apartments, a hotel and commercial units where the cost of a flood risk assessment would only be a fraction of the price of one apartment.

      Once again my question to you is what are your motives here in supporting building a large development, on a high risk flood zone, without a flood risk assessment?

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  9. Would it not be TDC who would have the responsibility for building or re-building the sea defence if it wasnt built properly in 1860? The Royal Sands project and indeed all other properties on the coast line should be able to rely on such protection

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    1. I don’t think this is a case of it not being built properly in 1860, sea defences usually get a complete refacing with concrete going down to the bedrock at least every fifty years, as is happening in Margate at the moment.

      My guess is that any work would come out of the national costal defence budget, like it has in Margate, I don’t think either the council or the developer would have to find any money.

      The actual surveying of the sea defence and some sort of flood risk assessment of this little bit of Ramsgate that doesn’t have a modern sea defence, but faces the sea, well I guess this would have to be paid for by the council or the developer.

      I also assume that going ahead without knowing the situation could cost both the council and the developer dearly, the worst case scenario would involve an incident as outlined in the environment agency’s letter, involving loss of life.

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    2. Michael,

      I am not competent to judge the sea defences. Other than to say that it is wise to treat the sea with respect. It has a history of killing people.

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    3. John, the risk with the Pleasurama site is a tidal surge storm, the last big one we had in this part of the world was in 1953, it killed 1,836 people, the only historical record I can find relating to the Pleasurama site during that storm was that a 12 ton crane, that had been working on the beach, was swept by the storm over the sea defences and into the site. Obviously as there was no one living there, no one on the site was killed, obviously the 1860 sea defence didn’t fail as it is still there, whether it would fail in a similar storm now that it is 60 years older, I don’t know, the only other sea defence built by the same railway company in 1860, the one between Reculver an Thanet, did fail in 1953, about 10 square miles of land were lost in one night.

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  10. I remember well the storm surge of 1953. I was living in Ramsagte at the time. The sea can catch you unawares at any time. Surely, we as an island race should know that.

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  11. Michael,

    You say that the definitive EA report recommends carrying out a flood risk assessment. This appears to be common sense. I do not understand TDC's objection. It is alleged that TDC has dismissed this recommendation on the sole grounds that it was made by a young woman. I find it difficult to accept that someone was daft enough to actually say that. However, if he did then I suggest that he reads a biography of Grace Darling.

    Michael, I have no idea whether or not the sea defences are adequate. I cannot overlook the possibility that neither do TDC.

    All the evidence suggests to me that there is something wrong with this project that TDC are endeavoring to conceal. We will learn the truth someday.

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  12. John - The EA were consulted at Planning Stage and did NOT request a FRA for the development.It was not considered to be relevant. It is only in recent years that the EA has changed its criteria for Coastline projects. The new criteria is not retrospective,it would be impractical and difficult to impose the new criteria on schemes that had been previously been fully designed strictly in accordance of the EA requirements published at that time. Notwithstanding this,I have spoken with the developer who has confirmed that they will be liaising closely with the EA on all matters associated with the construction throughout the build process.With EA involvement and the very professional reputable builders Cardy we can all sleep easy.

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    1. Anon @ 22:21,

      Thank you for your informed and reassuring reply. It would be even more reassuring if I could assume that you speak as someone with authority in TDC.

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    2. Anon, as I guess you know, I have published both the letter from the EA and the more recent written confirmation of the EA’s position (sent in writing to me via Laura Sandys) on The Royal Sands, both saying that the EA want a proper flood risk assessment and other basic safety measures.

      I have also published the email from the council’s engineer saying that the council have no plans and no maintenance record for the 1860 sea defence in front of The Royal Sands.

      If you have an updated position from the EA or if the council have discovered further information on the condition of the sea defence, you only have to provide the correspondence or a link to the correspondence and our fears will be allayed.

      Frankly though a person who wishes to remain anonymous, saying he has spoken to the developer who is going to speak to the EA just isn’t enough to make anyone sleep easily.

      As far as Cardy’s go, in the past they have been very forthcoming with information about the development, however since they deserted the site at the beginning of the year, they stopped replying to my emails about the development.

      There is no question of Cardys having finished the transfer slab support columns, which is what the documentation says, they walked away from the site about two thirds through this stage, some columns half built and holes dug for more shallow foundations. They made no attempt to protect the exposed reinforcing rods, where previously they had been painting them with rust preventative, they even left one of the doors to a steel storage shed open, are you saying they are still involved in the development?

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    3. Retired EngineerAugust 20, 2012 10:51 pm

      Forgive me if I am wrong but I do seem to remember answering all of your points many times previously.

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    4. RE, not that I remember, I guess we, those supporting the development, those against and those like me taking the pragmatic view that if we are going to get it then it should conform to basic EA safety standards, partly for the safety of potential residents and partly so that it has a reasonable chance of getting financed this time around, would really like some solution to the flood risk and sea wall problems.

      Fifteen years of deserted building site, ten years of different plans and various contractors have cost both the town and the council dearly. Secret meetings and the occasional anonymous comments, mean that no one has really answered many of the fundamental questions.

      Assuming that you have some understanding of engineering, you will appreciate that the intention here is to build on a high risk flood zone without a flood risk assessment. Added to this is the change of foundation design combined with the 1860 sea wall that has no plans or maintenance record.

      You can see from the picture above that a high spring tide on calm day means the sea comes up to the sea wall, if this is combined with a storm the structural integrity of the sea wall becomes important, as this sea wall is what prevents the sea from washing away the sand the foundations sit on.

      I don’t think that much knowledge of engineering is required to understand this, experience building sandcastles on the beach should suffice, of course if the sea wall is surveyed and found to be sound then the only problem is one of wave overtopping as outlined in the EA letter.

      This leads me to a further question to you as an engineer, in view of the fact that I am only asking for the safety assessment strongly recommended by the EA, are you for or against the development?

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  13. People living in a road with trees in the pavement would be under a greater risk on a windy day that the tree would fall on there house. There is more risk associated with Lorry mounting the pavement and driving into a terrace hosue than ever their would be from a tidal wave

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    1. Well NUTTER, the people of north east Japan may well disagree with you.

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    2. Nutter, look at it like this, you get planning permission to build a line of houses next to line of trees and the environment agency expert comes along and says you need to get the trees assessed in case any of them are likely to fall on your houses.

      What do you do?

      With Pleasurama the environment agency expert has come along and said the site needs a flood risk assessment.

      What do you think the developer should do?

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    3. How do we know that the developer hasnt already had a FRA done....for all we know they may have even met with the EA and satisfied themselves accordingly.

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    4. anonynous @ 23:37

      with 'may' being the operative word.

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  14. Chop down the tree's and turn em in to books...thats what i say

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