There is so much information and misinformation appearing about the Royal Sands at the moment and this combined with most of the information I have put on the internet over the years being in the order that I wrote it rather than in some sort of chronological order, I though it was time I sorted out something in the form of dedicated website to cover the issue.
So over the next few weeks I will try to put together the information in a way that is easy to follow.
I don’t think there is much point in covering the period before SFP came along in 2002 apart from the district auditors report on Pleasurama audit 2001 2002 http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Data/Cabinet/20031016/Agenda/$Agenda%20Enclosure%206.doc.pdf which is the official story of the site up to then. Those of interested in raking over the errors that occurred prior to 2002 will find this document interesting.
This is the oldest SFP document I know of it is the initial proposal presented to the council as part of the tender for developing the site http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/blogpicts10/id5.htm
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I guess some of the things that are obvious now wouldn’t have been obvious then.
Apart from the obvious aspect that it looks like a Whitbread development although pretty soon after the council decided to go with it Whitbread distanced themselves from the project, saying that they had only expressed an interest in when approached and had made no commitment to it.
The key part is 9.17 Funding Arrangements.
“SFP bank will be funding the project overall through SFP Ventures Partners Limited and Mr Shaun Keegan.”
I guess looking back two of the things the council should have checked before selecting this tender where Whether Whitbread had a made firm financial commitment and whether SFP Bank actually existed.
Obviously as Whitbread pulled out they didn’t.
The SFP Bank thing is a bit more complicated.
Despite what the document says Société Financière Privée S.A (SFP), wasn’t actually a bank at that time it was submitted to the council 2002, I think to understand this you would have to understand the meaning of the French word Financière, which means stockbroker.
Without a banking licence granted by the Swiss banking authority they wouldn’t have been allowed to finance a foreign property development.
In 2003 Société Financière Privée S.A. (SFP) was granted a banking licence so it changed its name to Société Bancaire Privée S.A. (SBP), it continued to trade as a bank – apart from a period when its licence was revoked – until mid 2009 when it got into difficulties, was taken over and became Banque Profil de Gestion (BPDG).
One aspect of the document that I think is important is that the whole development was supposed to have been finished by 2003.