Tuesday 23 March 2010

Pleasurama cliff façade finally investigated.

It is good to see that the council are finally taking my worries about this structure seriously, as those of you who read this blog will know back in November when the council told me, as a result of one of my foi requests, that they weren’t going to examine the structure until 2011 I went and did so myself see http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2009/11/royal-sands-development-how-dangerous.html

What happened next was rather strange, I sent them pictures showing vegetation growing out of all the cracks in the façade, a bulge in part of it and an apparent lack of foundations.

The council investigated the bulge and repaired it, weeded the vegetation out, but said there was nothing wrong with the foundations.

During the last four months I have badgered on at them about the foundations and then I heard that they have finally decided to investigate them, they didn’t do me the courtesy of telling me that they had decided to investigate them, so once again I had to go and have a look for myself.

Well it appears that they dug away where the absence of foundations had been crudely covered up by dumping a bit of concrete and what they found was no foundations.

I suppose the pertinent point here is that I pointed out that there didn’t appear to be adequate foundations, both to the council and the council’s advising engineers right at the very beginning of the £1m contract to fill and paint the façade.

The question begged here is why didn’t they investigate the foundations then?

Click on the link for some pictures of the investigations of the façade http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/310/id17.htm the number of exploratory holes suggests that perhaps they should have taken a closer look before spending so much of our money painting it.

The council have also repaired the wall that was sinking into the ground at the top of Augusta Stairs.


  1. Vindicated again, Michael.
    Beginning to think that too many at TDC spend too much time in the 'virtual' world on their computers and insufficient time looking at the real world under their noses. This ongoing and potentially very costly farce does beg the question, did anyone go out and have a proper look in the first place?

    It reminds me of TDC paying a contractor for work not carried out or charged wrongly regarding Housing & Maintainance. Sloppy, inefficient, wasteful of tax-payers money and open to corruption because of insufficient visual inspection and simple checking.

  2. The Chief exec decided several years ago that tdc could do without a proper engineering section, and apart from one lonely soul pensioned them off or made them redundant. Unfortunately that has meant that the engineering dept spend all the time in the office or at meetings and have to rely on consultants or outside engineers.

  3. Well done, keep on annoying them Michael i think only peristance pays off - i met a former engineer of TDC and he confirmed the last comment, you don't expect the head of Development to know anything do you? I think engineering is now in his remit?

  4. Now when I met a council chap and an engineer down at the site I asked the same question Michael - and I was informed that all is well.

    So TDC please tell us what the hell is going on - and why is the RTC not raising hell with them as this farce is costing the tax payer and the developer once again is profiting at public expense.

    John I am still waiting on your phone call that you promised!!


  5. Well done Michael. I think we can anticipate a post from Rear View Mirror thanking you for all the public expenditure you have saved by probably heading off a disaster.

    We found the TDC Building Inspectors really helpful and sensible. But I suppose they are for small scale works. Otherwise sign offs are NHBC or architect ? (I don't know)

    When I built a kitchen extension some years ago the Building Inspectors told me how to do the calculations as there was a main drain to be protected. I had to run a 45 degree from the outside of the nearby load base House and extension end wall footings.

    I have been wondering how they could do that sort of load spead (Cliff to under development) zone when there are no adjoining footings where there should be ?

    Or is it different when they plan to use pilings ?

  6. It's a pity that TDC are all too ready to criticise local blogs for being negative, yet they ignore them or "forget" to thank bloggers when they're trying to make Thanet a better & safer place. Keep at it Michael!

  7. Another great story you've, er, dug up Michael! Keep up the good work!

  8. well done Michael keep it up.

  9. Don’t really know who is to blame here Bertie, the council used Jacobs as technical advisors and when work on the £1m project started and the apparent lack of foundations was exposed, I informed Jacobs and the council.

    I really can’t understand whey they didn’t investigate the façade then, before spending all that money on it, nor can I understand why they didn’t investigate it back in November when I sent them the pictures.

    20.13 and 21.56 I have never really been convinced that any of the council officers that I have spoken to really understand some of the technical issues posed by me relating to cliff safety in this part of Ramsgate.

    The most significant with this façade being that it doesn’t and support the cliff, but in fact the cliff supports the façade, this means that I don’t think that they have really taken on board the fact that however much money they throw at the cliff façade it doesn’t alter the fact that the intention to build residential accommodation 4 metres from an unsupported chalk cliff is unwise.

    Mal I am beginning to wonder if they would rather sanction a dangerous building than admit having made a mistake.

    You also have to appreciate that RTC is mostly made up of a mixture of Labour and Conservative district councillors, both administrations have supported this development from its inception.

    Richard it is indeed different in the case of piles, they drill deep holes, put in a framework of reinforcing rods, fill the holes with compacted concrete, these support the steel cage that the other parts of the building are attached to.

    Peter it makes it very difficult when I am trying to make points to them and they don’t even have the courtesy to tell me when they have taken them onboard, you could say they try my patience.

    Richard I would think that making all those inspection holes in something they have just spent £1m repairing ought to attract the national press, any ideas on that one?

    Thanks Don I will.

  10. Am I missing something? The structure appears to be built directly on the bedrock so why would there be foundations? Sorry, I haven't been to see this myself. Just curious.


Comments, since I started writing this blog in 2007 the way the internet works has changed a lot, comments and dialogue here were once viable in an open and anonymous sense. Now if you comment here I will only allow the comment if it seems to make sense and be related to what the post is about. I link the majority of my posts to the main local Facebook groups and to my Facebook account, “Michael Child” I guess the main Ramsgate Facebook group is We Love Ramsgate. For the most part the comments and dialogue related to the posts here goes on there. As for the rest of it, well this blog handles images better than Facebook, which is why I don’t post directly to my Facebook account, although if I take a lot of photos I am so lazy that I paste them directly from my camera card to my bookshop website and put a link on this blog.