Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Ramsgate Sands, going going gone? With some thoughts on the Pleasurama site, the Royal Victoria Pavillion, the sea defences and the world wars.

Before the First World War Ramsgate had no sands at high tide, the shape formed by the promenade and the harbour wall causes some build up of sand but not enough to reach above the high tide mark.

This picture illustrates what I mean, it dates from around 1910.

Ramsgate Harbour had been in its present form for around 80 years when this preliminary sketch for Life at the Seaside by William Powell Frith was drawn in 1850.

During both world wars there was a threat of invasion so a mixture of concrete and barbed wire defences were put on Ramsgate Sands to deter the enemy. 

You can see from this picture taken not long after world war two that the amount of sand trapped by the war defences was considerable.

The situation remained the same throughout the 50s 60s and 70s

During the early 1980s most of the sand and associated wartime defences that held it in place was removed from the beach and used for the infill to build Port Ramsgate.

The amount of sand has been slowly diminishing this was the situation in 2010, note the walkway on the sands for the disabled extending from the concrete area in front of the beach cafe, this was twice as long in 2009


This is the situation today, as you can see we lost a lot of sand during the winter.

With very few exceptions the sea defences around are coast are modern concrete structures built during the last fifty years and maintained by the environment agency.

The sea defences behind Ramsgate Sands are owned and maintained by Thanet District Council. The ones in front of the pavillion date from when it was built in 1903 and had the sea smashing against them for about twelve years before the sand built up and the sea came no where near them. The ones in front of the Pleasurama site were built in 1860 so they were in contact with the sea for around 55 years and for the last 95 years the sea has come nowhere near them.

During this time the council have no record of any sea defence maintenance there and at some point they managed to lose the construction drawings.

The recent concrete steps, seats and coloured promenade sits on the sand held in place by the 1860 sea defence as do the recent Pleasurama foundations. 
  

I will ramble on here about the possible implications for the Pleasurama site and The Royal Victoria Pavillion, if I get time, though I doubt I will need to draw a diagram to get most people to understand that we have a problem. If as much sand goes as went last winter the sea will once again be smashing against the sea defences.   


The progression suggests that the Pleasurama site will be at serious risk within two or three years as it has the earliest sea defence made of slabs laid on the side of the chalk spoil from the railway tunnel that was used to elevate the site enough for the railway station.

The pavillion appears to sit on a more solid concrete defence and the sand in front of it should be the last to go, perhaps five to ten years.

Of course much could be done now to mitigate the problem, but first the situation need a professional assessment, such as the recent one done in Margate, it and the resultant works were funded out of the national coastal protection budget and not out of council tax. 

Update
 I went down there today and the situation with the sand seems to have turned some sort of critical point where it eroding more rapidly, as you see the non tidal area has nearly reached the Pavillion.
A further update this picture was taken today 18.04.2014

102 comments:

  1. Perhaps Ramsgate should be abandoned and rebuilt at Manston which is higher. Classics like the Royal Pavilion and Michael's Book Shop could be moved brick by brick and rebuilt in the new town.

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    1. Or perhaps William we should get proper sea defences like the rest of Thanet, my take here is that TDC councillors and officers were so keen to get their deal done with the developer over the Royal Sands that they took Ramsgate out of the costal protection survey in case it showed that we needed a higher sea defence and stopped the development. As for the Pavillion the council should have taken it back from Rank, got the heritage lottery and EU grants and turned it back into a public leisure venue. The cost of regenerating it equates to funding the Turner Contemporary for a eighteen months and about 15% of the probable cost of regenerating Dreamland. But yes on the whole I would like to see Ramsgate getting say about half of the facilities in Margate where the council are already funding The Theatre Royal and the Winter Gardens. As our antipodean cousins would say “fair do’s’ mate” and frankly as winning Ramsgate is the key to power at the district elections and marginal at the parliamentaries it is about time these issues became a little more high profile.

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    2. Michael, Margate may have just got some new sea defences, but where are they around the rest of the Thanet Coast? Do you see any protecting the properties down Harbour Street in Broadstairs or the low cliff areas of Westgate? As for your winning Ramsgate being the key to power, surely in 2011 Labour won Ramsgate but not power. That only came about when a man elected as a Tory resigned from that party and threw his vote behind Labour in return for a lucrative chair position. Don't mind having the debate, but stick to the facts. Incidentally, can you be sure UKIP will not take most of Ramsgate next time?

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    3. Ah William I forgot you natural political edge so I will translate for you.

      The shape of Broadstairs seafront is one that naturally fills with sand, it does have an EA standard sea defence at each end but just doesn’t need one in the middle because of the sand.

      The properties in Harbour Street don’t need protecting apart from the bit right by the harbour arm which is a listed structure so you enjoy it while you can.

      Around the rest of the island there are either modern EA maintained sea defences or no sea defences because the EA consider the natural coastline is appropriate. Granted were the EA called the drainage and costal defence board it would attract less environmentalists and more engineers and there would be less flooding.

      Ramsgate is unique in having a vulnerable man made sea defence that isn’t properly maintained, fortunately however it no longer looks as though they will build residential accommodation immediately behind it.

      I guess the Labour majority at TDC occurred by what I consider to be Conservative natural wastage, if you start out at the beginning of an administration with a very narrow majority here in Thanet, it has usually historically been the Conservatives that succumb to the highest number of losses, prosecutions, defections, going away and deserting the people the claim to represent, I don’t need to rub it in do I?

      I am inclined to believe UKIP will do fairly well in the next elections, at the expense of the Conservatives, partly because they didn’t give us the referendum they promised at national level and partly and partly because people don’t trust them locally. In Ramsgate this trust issue came about partly when every major council owned building became derelict under the eight year Conservative administration and partly because they never clarified the extent of the night flights they would be prepared to allow.

      Labour leading TDC, Laura as Conservative MP and the Labour dominated RTC don’t collectively seem to have done too badly this term. People are inclined to wonder what the other lot would have done. I guess a Conservative dominated TDC could easily have done worse, Albion House, Westcliff Hall and Pleasurama seem to be progressing, the Eagle Café is back in use. I guess the business over the ferries would have been about the same under either administration, not sure if the Conservatives would have closed the port after the sheep were killed. The Broadstairs issues I don’t really understand well enough to understand but doubt Broadstairs affects elections that much. Laura seems like her Labour predecessor to have been a fairly good constituency MP and I guess you do better when you MP belongs to the party holding the balance of power.

      UKIP at KCC don’t seem to have made any noticeable impact on Thanet issues and this is already being mentioned a lot by customers in the shop, I think the UKIP plan for saving Manston, build another runway and a new terminal has gone down like a lead balloon and sounded to most people like a joke in poor taste.

      I would say at the moment things are fairly open on the election front.

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    4. Actually, Michael, I was not attempting to be particularly political and started off rather in frivolous mood. I could go off on the way some people in Broadstairs feel, not just let down, but spitefully targeted by the current Labour administration, but it would serve no purpose. Whatever will be, will be regardless of anything you or I might say on a blog site.

      On a brighter note, it is good to see an exchange on a Thanet blog between two people prepared to use their own names for a change. Long may it continue though I will not be holding my breath on it.

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    5. William, in Ramsgate we saw the activities of the previous Conservative administration towards our public amenities as motivated by spite towards a town with predominately Labour councillors. But that said I don’t think the previous Conservative cabinet under which most of it happened were perceived as being particularly Conservative, more as a bunch of people with their own agendas who had banded together under that political banner.

      Frankly I don’t think anyone can fathom the current Conservative lot at TDC, they don’t seem to be providing any sort of publicly perceived opposition to the Labour administration. My best guess is that they are terrified of being perceived as doing anything wrong so they don’t do anything and are just hoping that Labour will make some huge mistake.

      The senior officer situation at TDC seems to appalling at the moment and the fact that this goes virtually unmentioned let alone addressed by councillors of either main party is where the potential lies for the Conservatives. Added to this is that constructing something that would cause floating voters chose their affinities at district level is likely to take around a year.

      I genuinely don’t think the business of anonymous blog commentators is something to worry yourself about, some make a genuine and useful contribution, some are just people testing the waters and a few are internet trolls who are best ignored. I do my best to administrate the comment in a responsible way and think that for the most part I succeed. Having genuine known commentators engaging in a dialogue with or about internet trolls isn’t in any way helpful to anyone, they are just one of the problems like commercial spam which go with having a reasonably popular blog. The amount of troll comment is much more likely to be proportional to the counter on the sidebar than relate in any way whatsoever to the content of the blog posts, or the genuine comment on the blog, which trolls and spammers seldom read properly.

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    6. Not being a blog administrator I will take your word for the situation with trolls, Michael. On TDC I really do not know what to say other than ever since I moved back to Thanet, some part of the isle perceives the administration as anti regardless of who is in control. On the overall isle split, I recall the Conservatives took 10% more of the votes in 2011, equating then to only one seat more than Labour, suggesting that the latter have perhaps more marginal. How this will pan out with a greater UKIP presence remains to be seen although they seem to be trying very hard to turn the public off. To me it seems once again to be a recipe for public apathy, but maybe when combined with a general election, a few more may vote. I would not put money on anything other than a poor turn out.

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    7. Michael,

      The man on the Clapham omnibus or the customer in Michael's shop; who am I to believe. Michael, try as you admirably do you do not succeed in hiding your strong political bias. This is no crime, but in my view it detracts from your erudite and interesting engineering explanations. I had wondered why all that sand vanished..

      It was a bad day when local government went political.

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    8. Ah William I think you need to get your head around the natural wastage, as far as I can see we now have 23 Conservative councillors and 26 Labour councillors. I guess the real question this poses is; were the vanished Conservatives – the ones that turned a majority into a minority – actually really Conservatives when they stood for election or did the have some other agenda and or motive?

      My guess would be that a higher proportion of Labour group started out with roughly Labour ideals, although I do think that there are some cracks beginning to appear within the Labour group. Something a bit Animal Farm seems to happening at the top, trashing the community skate park and trying to sell (the last council owned major venue in Ramsgate) The Royal Victoria Pavillion of to the capitalists – rather than running it for the benefit of the town, like The Theatre Royal, Winter Gardens, Turner Contemporary and Dreamland, seems to be creating a division between Labour and er Labour. Particularly poignant when you consider that the Conservative run KCC is subbing Turner Contemporary to the tune of £1m+ pa.

      John, as I have said before, like many local businessmen I am actually a member of a Leninist Trotskyite cell, my plan – come the revolution – is something along the lines of; identical twin murdered in botched suicide attempt.

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    9. Think I am with John, Michael, in lamenting the passing of the days when capable people served their local communities without political tags. A prominent Labour local politician recently told me that Laura Sandys will be really hard to replace because she is a nice person, something rare in politicians. That is a sentiment I share.

      On the revolution, surely it is starting again in Ukraine. Perhaps you should start finalising your plans.

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    10. What I do not understand is the appallingly slow way TDC officers seem to be dealing with the two issues paramount on the Pleasurama site
      1. where is the schedule of works promised to rectify the breach by SFP? and
      2. where is the explanation from Eversheds as to why the long stop date was missing from the development agreement?

      Neither of these have been dealt with in a timely manner and when last I asked neither had been forthcoming. The agreement ran out on the 28/2/2014 nearly 2 months ago

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    11. Barry my understanding is that the independent construction expert has now been appointed, whether this means that the schedule of works will go into the public domain once it has been prepared, I don’t know.

      Longstop omission wise, there you are in the realms of the dubious 2009 cabinet decision not to terminate the development agreement against the advice of the senior council officers.

      There is the possibility that the council’s solicitors made an error and that the council will get some compensation for this. On the whole I think this unlikely as this type of agreement is fairly normal for a solicitor and the longstop a normal part of them.

      This leaves either officer instruction to the solicitor to remove it, or councillor instruction to the solicitor to remove it. I suppose in that case it would be someone with a grudge either against Ramsgate or TDC and or an incentive from the developer.

      All that said, we are landed with the situation which will probably cause a further one to two years of damage to Ramsgate and considerable expense to the council, whether recrimination would benefit anyone I don’t really know. I guess if the instruction came from a councillor or group of councillors it could be a reason for the relevant political party not to reselect or select them for the next election and for people not to vote for them.

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    12. Sounds to me like you are directly targeting the culprits as the 2009 administration, and we both know who they were, and then throwing in the suggestion of an 'incentive' from the developer. Any proof of that Michael or just another smear at your favourite party.

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    13. Well William it was the 2009 cabinet that decided not to determine the development agreement against officer advice and caused the amendment to the development agreement completion date without any longstop date, so it did seem like a possibility.

      I thought I had detailed the only possible reasons there could be no longstop date in the agreement, are you saying you have thought of another possible reason? Or are you saying it wasn’t the 2009 administration that decided to give the developer the time extension?

      The whole thing started with the Labour administration that chose a developer with no track record and was then compounded by the Conservative administration. I guess if the Labour administration had any excuse it was that the developer claimed to be in partnership with Whitbread however by the time the conservatives took over Whitbread had said in writing that they had no involvement in the development. So if you are looking for balk marks I guess it is around L3 C5 nothing much for either lot to be proud of.

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    14. William the original agreement was drawn up in 2006 so its the officer(s) and administration that created the problem all the 2009 did was amend that original agreement in only 2 ways. If any one is in error then they need to take responsibility they have left their descendants.

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    15. Same administration in 2006 as in 2009 so it doesn’t really matter when the longstop date didn’t get included Barry. However in 2009 the officers made it clear that the council could terminate the agreement with very little risk of incurring large expenses. The key issue here is that by 2006 it was very clear that the council were not dealing with Whitbread but an offshore company without any track record.

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    16. Michael, I am not saying anything other than pointing out where you direct your blame as usual and the implied smear of a backhander. See you have still not substantiated that suggestion in anyway. Accept you are right though that no administration comes out smelling of roses in this saga and, even the excuse that they thought Whitbread was involved is a bit thin. Surely they could have checked with Whitbread or is that beyond the thought processes.

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    17. Well William, with Pleasurama we have ten years or more of major economic damage to Ramsgate and certainly all of the agreements the planning consent happened under the eight years of the Conservative administration. Apart from the notion that what they did was the right and proper thing and that given the same circumstances should they regain power they would and should do it again. If you don’t accept this, and I don’t, do you? You have two options, one is that the whole thing is totally the result of incompetence and the other is that there was some incentive. As I said, I think it highly unlikely that the council’s solicitor would have been incompetent to the extent of not including the normal longstop date in the development agreement, if however this proves to be the case, all well and good as the council inevitably get considerable compensation. However if the council take the action that they have said they will take, which is to investigate why the solicitor left out the longstop date and the solicitors defence is that the council at some level instructed them to remove it, then presumably the solicitor will have some record of this instruction. It also follows that the solicitor would have warned the council about the considerable financial implications of having no longstop date and one would expect the council and the solicitor to have a record of the associated correspondence.

      You will also appreciate that during the period prior to the 2006 agreement the council were dealing exclusively with an offshore company and knew that this was the case. So that during the period when the initial agreement was formulated the developer had no obligation to file accounts that would show where they spent their money.

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    18. Well William, with Pleasurama we have ten years or more of major economic damage to Ramsgate and certainly all of the agreements the planning consent happened under the eight years of the Conservative administration. Apart from the notion that what they did was the right and proper thing and that given the same circumstances should they regain power they would and should do it again. If you don’t accept this, and I don’t, do you? You have two options, one is that the whole thing is totally the result of incompetence and the other is that there was some incentive. As I said, I think it highly unlikely that the council’s solicitor would have been incompetent to the extent of not including the normal longstop date in the development agreement, if however this proves to be the case, all well and good as the council inevitably get considerable compensation. However if the council take the action that they have said they will take, which is to investigate why the solicitor left out the longstop date and the solicitors defence is that the council at some level instructed them to remove it, then presumably the solicitor will have some record of this instruction. It also follows that the solicitor would have warned the council about the considerable financial implications of having no longstop date and one would expect the council and the solicitor to have a record of the associated correspondence.

      You will also appreciate that during the period prior to the 2006 agreement the council were dealing exclusively with an offshore company and knew that this was the case. So that during the period when the initial agreement was formulated the developer had no obligation to file accounts that would show where they spent their money.

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    19. Indeed, I would agree that this has been a blight on Ramsgate, but the fact remains that it was a Labour administration that originally tied up with an offshore company and the suggestion they did so because they thought Whitbread's were involved in no way changes that. They should have checked.

      Yes, subsequently, Conservative administrations have had to deal with these, and certainly deserve no plaudits, but they were presented with a done deal. As for the long stop clause, what you say is pure conjecture and the suggestion of incentive remains mischief making. Should such eventually be proven then I would agree that the culprit(s) should be appropriately dealt with. We do not, however, know who they are, if any.

      I am not disagreeing with you about the apparent failings of TDC on this issue, just your perpetual attempts to steer the blame mainly one way. To my way of thinking, the developer was a bad choice at the outset and that opportunities to dump them have been missed since.

      Off topic for a moment, but can you perhaps explain why most of Kent is a good place to live with strong property values and high average earnings whilst it is the Labour bits that don't keep pace. Should that tell us something?

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    20. William the premise that in eight years the conservatives would be unable to resolve an error made by Labour is a pretty bleak one.

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    21. Is that my premise or yours, Michael? Like I said, I do agree with you that no TDC administration, under whatever flag, comes out well in this matter, but you seem to want to tip the blame a bit too far one way for a so called independent mind.

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    22. William whilst true that Shaun Keegan sold snake oil to the labour administration on the back of Whitbreads involvement it wasn't until Keegan created a UK based ltd in Jan 2006 that a development agreement was drawn up by Ezekiel and Latchfords administration. This agreement, drawn up by Eversheds (TDC lawyers), is the one that doesn't contain a conventional "long stop date.
      Was this a mistake by Eversheds or a deliberate attempt by someone to create a long term issue? What is apparent is the current officers seem not to understand the urgency it finding out.

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    23. William here are some of the documents from the Committee for the Improvement of Sandwich Bay relating to the meetings and correspondence between them and members of the TDC Conservative group, I have redacted the names of some involved but I thought it could possibly help you in understanding why I feel in this instance the Conservatives are more culpable than Labour.

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  2. Neh, Michael, I see you more as an aspiring 70's hippie. I haved visited Haight/Ashbury and Golden Gate Park with excitement. Sadly this was in 1988 and I was 25 years too late. This could explain why my wife refused to dance naked while I whistled 'If Your Going To San Francisco'.

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  3. As ever thank you for a fascinating blog with interesting pictures. I wish I could add something useful to the discussion of our coastal defences but I all I know about the subject is what you have written!

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    1. MTP I hope I have managed to get the information reasonably correct, it is mostly based on old newspaper articles, historic photos and information obtained under foi legislation from Mike Humber the council’s engineer.

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  4. If it is true, Cardy apparently have made an offer to TDC to buy the site off SFP. I am told that the offer included paying the Council £3million pound up front and they would not get freehold until the development was completed. The Transeuropa was the last time TDC turned down £3million quid.
    What reason would TDC have to turn down that offer? I have little sympathy for TDC or SFP but if this option gets rid of SFP that can only be good. It gets the Council their money and it gives local people jobs thro a well known reputable company Cardy

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    1. Anon 8.51

      If your sources are correct, this would seem to good to be true. This arrangement would avoid 3 years of delay and 500kin court and legal costs. We can be far from sure as to the outcome of litigation especially given the known apparent failings by Evershed. The Developer has been around the block, and I am sure SFP will be looking to recover the £7million they apparently are owed

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    2. Ah anon pretty quick response there agreeing with your point of view, unless of course you were talking to yourself. The point, that you have perhaps missed is that the council, the political part that does things – right or wrong – democratically, has decided to go down the road of getting the site back. The decision is made, so there isn’t any point in exploring what could have happened if different decisions had been made – if they had gone with the Browne proposal the thing would have been built ten years ago; but they didn’t.

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    3. And wasn't it Labour that did not go with the Browne proposal?

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    4. Lets hope that political part that does things has not got it wrong again. They failed miserably went they went to court over the animal rights situation at the port
      I only hope this time they have briefed their lawyers properly

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  5. Interesting but does it add up. allegedly Keegan has spent £5M (current accounts) and would be looking for a profit so maybe £7M then £3M to TDC for freehold then cost to build maybe another £10 - £12M. Cardy would have to borrow between £20- £22M and still make a profit. Who would lend under those circumstances?

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    1. SFP are in no stronger position than TDC. They are both in a deadlock situation. I am sure neither SFP nor TDC want to put their hands in their pockets to pay 500k for lawyers, especially with so much uncertainty. Much of the £5miilion that SFP appear to have spent will have added value to the site. I guess the best SFP can hope is to get their money back? Apparently Cardy went to TDC with a bona fide offer of funding from a UK Bank of £24million, and I am also told this was disclosed to officers.

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    2. Barry my take is that if Cardy genuinely wanted to build it aas were happy to get involved based on the 2009 agreement then they could have at any point gone to SFP and offered to buy out their interest in the project and carry on building, had they continued instead of stopping when they did the development would have been built by now and the freehold would have been transferred to them. So either it is a case of SFP wouldn’t relinquish their interest or it’s a case of trying to obtain the freehold for well under the market value without having done anything more than bung up a few concrete posts founded on sand, which is held in place by an unmaintained and very dubious 1860 sea defence getting progressively near to having waves smashing against it.

      My take is that if land banking of the freehold could go on for long enough then the value of the site progressively increases above the 2003 agreed overage so any developer that could obtain the site for that amount benefits considerably by keeping the site derelict. For instance if Manston closes so that there is no longer the threat of the site becoming London’s third airport with potentially hundreds of planes overflying it every day, then its value would increase by several million pounds.

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    3. Surely the escalating value theory would only work until sea level rises put the site underwater?

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    4. William you seem to have got confused about the sea defence issue. From a flood and storm point of view there is nothing wrong with the site providing it has a proper and professional flood risk assessment as strongly recommended by the environment agency.

      The result of such an assessment would either show.

      1 That there was no problem with the site and that it would be safe and reasonable to build on the existing foundations.

      2 That the sea defence there that dates from 1860, for which there are no design plans and no maintenance record, needs some maintenance, before it is safe and reasonable to build there.

      3 That the sea defence is inadequate and needs a major reconstruction work like the one in Margate has just had, after which it would be safe and reasonable to build there.

      From the potential developer’s point of view there is that risk that any new sea defence would be higher, meaning that the development would have to be redesigned to take account of this.

      From everyone’s point of view, going ahead with a new build, on an EA designated high risk flood zone, means that at every stage such financial backing as appears is likely to pull out once they realise this, because the development is blighted to a lesser or greater extent without a flood risk assessment.

      A new build isn’t like an existing building in this respect and anyone wanting to buy an apartment there would be likely to have great difficulty getting a mortgage, insurance, and using their apartment as security.

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    5. Michael, if I am confused at all, which I refute, it would only be because of the seemingly contradictory statements from you about land banking for escalating value and the flood risk to the site. The hard fact remains that sooner or later, with rising sea levels, something will have to be done about sea defences which, in itself, could be off putting to both developers and insurers. Hardly factors likely to enhance the site value.

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    6. Ah William I think I can nail where your confusion is now, you have forgotten about time, at the moment for a new development it is normal only to consider the approximate life of the development which is usually taken a hundred years.

      So we are not considering what happens in a thousand years, when the sea level may have risen 100 feet and the dinosaurs may have returned, but only the expected sea level rise in the next 100 years.

      Best predictions at the moment seem to be between one and two metres, this suggests to me that the height of the sea defence would need to go up by around that amount, dependent on how far back behind the sea defence the front building line of the development is and what shape the front of the sea defence is.

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    7. Michael, I am not confused for any increase in sea defences is going to be costly, even for 1-2 metres, and who would buy land that depended on such investment before it could be developed. After all, the developer might even have to pick up the cost so your suggestion of land banking is still invalid. If anyone is confused round here I think you must be in with a shout.

      That apart, enjoy your Easter.

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    8. William the cost of rebuilding sea defences in this country is met by the national costal defence budget, as the Margate ones were. Of course if you have a major costal town with a large part of the foreshore designated as high risk to flooding you would as Margate was have been eligible for the nationally funded costal survey that resulted in the nationally funded costal defence work in Margate. If however you were a council with a pending development like the Royal Sands where the survey could have meant that the project you had supported for so long or possibly had members or officers who were shareholders of the offshore part of the development company that didn’t, being offshore didn’t have to declare who they were….

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    9. Strangely William the offer from Keegan in late 2002 was presented on the headed notepaper of Terence Painter which in itself is strange. I have copies of both the Browne and Keegan offerings and with a free swimming pool from AJ Browne I cannot understand just why Keegan was chosen however what was presented to the planning department in Nov 2003 had little resemblance to the presentation in December 2002.

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    10. Precisely, and who was in power in 2002?

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    11. William all this proves over the last 12 years money controls the thought processes of those who are supposed to be working for the good of Ramsgate. I liken it to selling off the family silver

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    12. Best to find out from TDC who made this offer of £3million for the site. Which Cardy company?

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    13. Frankly anon while I am prepared to explain the history of the Pleasurama fiasco, the council have turned down the offer made by Cardy so raising an foi request asking for details of it would be a waste of council resources and a waste of my time.

      Obviously were which ever Cardy made the offer able to obtain the interest in the site from SFP they could restart the development again.

      At the moment the site leases, belong to SFP so it is them and not the council who have the ability to allow development of the site.

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  6. So correct me if I have misunderstood the previous posts from anon
    TDC get paid in full
    The Development gets built
    Shaun Keegan/SFP and his family are no longer involved
    Jobs go to local people
    We get a good local reputable builder to build the project
    TDC retain the freehold until it is fully completed. But get the unconditional freehold value 2 years early
    We avoid the uncertainty of litigation
    We avoid getting sued by SFP
    The Development stops being used as a political punch ball between the parties
    Other associated projects, the Tunnels, the Pavilion can benefit from the development

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    1. Anon do you know the story of the dumb but very beautiful actress who wrote to the ugly but highly intelligent academic suggesting that they breed an produce an offspring that was both very beautiful and highly intelligent?

      The academic replied that the offspring would most likely have her brains and his looks.

      Here I think the most likely outcome would be for the council to sell the freehold for a fraction of its value and still have to pay for the litigation to recover SFP’s interest.

      That would be fine as obviously nothing could be built on the site until the litigation was completed, which would be highly beneficial on the landbanking front.

      By the way, was the Cardy’s concerned the one where the owner is the same as the owner of SFP or was it the Cardy’s that built the new hotel in Margate or was it the Cardy’s that were set up to build The Royal Sands and is yet another company.

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    2. That is close to smearing a reputable local company. Mind you, Barry has previous for that.

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    3. Michael,

      See how the tone changes and the comments get venomous and suspicious once you let the anons in. Don't bother to defend him, I'm off.

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    4. John, on the whole I think that some sort of dialogue about Pleasurama here is beneficial, however without those people who still support building The Royal Sands on the site telling us what they think, there is no dialogue, just a rant.

      I don’t really see anyone who still supports this development doing so under their real name, do you?

      So what is it you suggest?

      Delete
    5. The Sands at Margate is a great example of the type of Hotel that would benefit Ramsgate. It has been a huge success. I had not realised that Cardy had built that one too...
      If that is their quality of work then we should be climbing over the coals to replicate that at Ramsgate
      Michael I am not sure why you get so insulting, just because people do not agree with you.
      There is huge support for Royal Sands and it would be a fantastic development for Ramsgate
      The deal that was offered to the Council gave them full value for the site. And removed all threat of litigation.

      Delete
    6. As I said anon it depends which Cardy Developments Ltd" (reg No 06726001) for instance, which was originally incorporated as Future Homes On-Line Properties Ltd" in 2008 but renamed to "Cardy Developments Ltd" only on the 4th of April 2013.
      Cardy Developments Limited is an Active, non trading business incorporated in England & Wales on 16th October 2008. Current directors and secretaries Mr Shaun Patrick Keegan.
      There is a difference between being insulting and insulting someone’s intelligence.

      Delete
    7. and what have they built

      I see they are a dormant company...what was you saying about intelligence

      Delete
    8. The company has nothing to do with Cardy Canterbury lot. Does not even share the same registered office.

      Delete
    9. Anon 5:12,

      That should be what 'were' you saying..... and not what 'was'.......

      Delete
    10. agreed 5.17 and glad you are looking

      Delete
    11. so pray explain which Cardy offered the money to buy out Keegan. And please provide some proof not rumour.

      btw in what way did I "have previous" Anon especially as I have never smeared anyone or any company either on here or on my own blog or do you have proof somewhere that I did.

      In the great scheme of things the Canturbury based Cardy seem to have spent their own money on that building site and atm have no prospect of a return

      Delete
    12. Was developing into a worthwhile debate, Barry, but with the troll back, I am out of here.

      Delete
    13. William ‘fraid you will need to point the inappropriate comment out to me as I can’t find it, unless it was caught by the auto spam device and has vanished.

      Delete
    14. Right I will try to explain the situation with the various Cardy companies, about a year ago when I noticed this company called Cardy Developments Ltd I wondered about the trading relationship between Cardy Canterbury and SFP.

      My take being that this was either a hostile move by SFP or there was some fundamental linkage between the two companies or there was some other explanation, so I emailed the chap Cardy who I usually email about Pleasurama.

      Here is my email:

      From: michaelchild@aol.com [mailto:michaelchild@aol.com]
      Sent: 11 April 2013 12:47
      To: Michael Stannard
      Subject: Another Cardy?

      Michael I don’t know whether you wish to comment on the latest in The Royal Sands fiasco as it occurs to me that it may have an impact on your company’s reputation.
      Re Cardy Developments Ltd" which was dissolved (reg No NI050796) in 2011
      Cardy Developments Ltd" (reg No 06726001) which was originally incorporated as Future Homes On-Line Properties Ltd" in 2008 but renamed to "Cardy Developments Ltd" only on the 4th of April this year.
      Future Homes On-Line Properties Ltd" had Keegan as director, when I checked out his other directorships several years ago.
      Companies house now say
      Cardy Developments Limited is an Active, non trading business incorporated in England & Wales on 16th October 2008. Their business activity is recorded as Buying And Selling Of Own Real Estate. Cardy Developments Limited is run by 1 current members. 1 shareholders own the total shares within the company. It is not part of a group.
      The latest Annual Accounts submitted to Companies House for the year up to 31/10/2012 reported 'cash at bank' of £0, 'liabilities' worth £0, 'net worth' of £0 and 'assets' worth £0. Cardy Developments Limited's risk score was amended on 26/04/2010. Current directors and secretaries Mr Shaun Patrick Keegan
      Best regards Michael
      And his reply
      On 11/04/2013 22:37, Michael Stannard wrote:
      Hi Michael

      Thanks for your email.

      I am however already fully aware of all such information.

      Kind Regards

      Michael


      Delete
    15. So Michael what is your point? You seem to agree that it is a dormant company not connected in any way to the Cardy Canterbury lot

      Delete
    16. Well frankly anon I what I expected was for Cardy Canterbury to say that the two companies were not connected, however as you can see from the email this isn’t what happened.

      I guess that when Cardy Canterbury first got involved I assumed that the whole nature of the development would change, three previous contractors had already abandoned the development, but I was convinced that Cardy were a serious developer intent on building a good and safe development.

      My assumption was that they would start with the fra strongly recommended by the EA, my take being that once the EA had made this recommendation the development would be blighted without it.

      When the foundations started going in built on the sand beach I contacted Cardy and asked them if the had investigated the sea defence holding the sand in place, they said they hadn’t.

      So I contacted the council and used a foi request to find out who owned it, what the design was and what the maintenance regime was.

      The council’s answer was that it is owned by TDC, it was built in 1860, the design plans have been lost, there is no maintenance regime, and they have no record of any maintenance being done on it.

      So I put the situation to Cardy and they refused to discuss it.

      My take being that if, as would seem the case, the foundations were unsuitable, up until the foundations appeared all of the engineering information was for a pile bored foundation scheme, in layman’s terms the development was screwed into the chalk bedrock, then Cardy were party to a land banking operation.

      Unless of course you feel that they were justified in putting the foundations for residential development directly on the sand beach without first investigating the structural integrity of the structure holding the sand in place.

      Delete
    17. With every respect Michael I am sure their professional engineers, building control and the clerk of the works are far more qualified to design and sign these matters of

      Delete
    18. Nail bang on the head there anon, I did much consultation with the council’s building control officers when the concerns were raised about the flood risk by the environment agency. The council’s building control department promised that they would cover the issue of making sure the building would be able to withstand the problems outlined in the report by the environment agency’s costal engineer. This was particularly focussed around screwing the building to the bedrock in the way the council’s building control officers have insisted the other two new developments – one finished and one building at the moment on Marina Esplanade – were properly screwed down and had the ground floors on concrete plinths supported by the bored piles.

      You can imagine I was surprised after Cardy started putting the shallow foundations on sand and I asked the council’s building control about this. Their answer was that since our discussions the situation had changed and a loophole had appeared allowing the developer to use an outside private building control firm, so the whole issue was out of the hands of the council’s building control and the clerk of the works as you call them.

      Delete
    19. Michael you are so off the mark it is embarrassing. There is no loophole. For the last 10years or so the building industry allows the Building Control function to be undertaken by licensed third party professional Building Control Officers. In this country you cannot build without the appointment of a Building Control validation. You do need to leave this sort of matter to the professionals.

      Delete
    20. Architects, Chartered Engineers, Building Control Officers, National House Building Council will have all signed off the foundations. Yet Michael you know best......

      Delete
    21. Interesting that anon believes these agencies have all been involved yet provides no proof. What is clear is that if this development was re presented then a Flood Risk assessment would have to be procured so why isn't that done before any more building takes place. (so no loophole Anon) seems like one to me and to many others.
      BTW Anon would you like the developers address and phone number I'm sure they might be interested in employing you as their spokesperson. Unless of course you already are that person.

      Delete
    22. Hi Barry - When the scheme got approved it was not conditional that the developer needed to satisfy either Michael Childs or Barry James. The Developer instead had to fully satisfy the statutory building regulations for the UK and also the planning consent for the works. I am told that is what the developer has done to the letter. I know it may irritate you that I state the facts, but I cannot bear to see you and or Michael misrepresent the situation. I am not a spokesperson for SFP, just a local resident. But our Town will continue to be isolated from modern commerce all of the time that you and others drive investment from the Town

      Delete
    23. I guess the key anon is to click here and read what EA's development control technical specialist had to say bout the scheme and then combine it with the council having no maintenance record for or design plans for the 1860 sea defence and ask yourself if anyone would sign off foundations knowing this information. So lets be kind here to those involved and say there was a breakdown in communications.

      Add this to what this post is mostly actually about, which is the sand rapid vanishing in front of the sea defence there and we will be kind again and say the situation has changed.

      Barry I can’t really understand what it is that anon is about however I suspect he is paying devil’s advocate to highlight the various historic problems with the Royal Sands. However I am not really interested in recrimination, what I am really interested in is getting the blight there and the economic damage to Ramsgate ended as soon as possible. This will only happen with a safe and economically viable solution for the site.

      Delete
    24. And I think the point is proven that anon commentary is as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

      Michael states facts and is prepared to put his name to his posts as am I but anons have no relevance until there is a name to go with it.

      personally anyone who posts as an anon doesn't have a point until there is some point of reference to go with it

      Delete
    25. Hi Barry - Agreed. Facts speak for themselves. And Michael has got it wrong. But it is all irrelevant. Whether the post is anon, Bob Smith or Hamilton. What counts is what the legal obligations are and as long as the developer has complied with them, then he should not have any worries.

      Delete
    26. Now there was me thinking that the hamster had gone to that great wheel in the sky and then another anon appears invokining his name.
      Anon don't you get it: your comments are about as useful as a chocolate fireguard

      Delete
    27. Barry, William, anon; I think anon (possibly Superham) may have uncovered the answer to The Riddle of the Sands; the developer’s management team has had a ten year work to rule.

      Delete
    28. Careful with the Superham stuff, Michael, otherwise we will be back to Arizona cowboys and DCI Barnaby going round cautioning councillors again. By the way, whatever became of that high powered investigation? Did I somehow miss the arrests and court cases.

      Delete
    29. when last the police officer replied he said he awaited word from Google US and FB as to who was admin on the various sites. I do wonder what takes so long but hey ho the blog certainly has had no new posts for a while.

      Delete
    30. Last I heard was that they interviewed Simon Moores. He may have mentioned it on his blog.

      Delete
    31. Peter, that was ages ago and yet no new developments. No doubt, as I suspected at the time, it was all a storm in a teacup brought about by the interference in police matters by the civilian Police Commissioner. I said then, and events seem to be proving me right, it was and remains an outrageous waste of police resources.

      Barry, was that FB or the FBI? Possibly even the sheriff of Tombstone.

      Delete
    32. William WatkinsApril 20, 2014 1:22 pm

      Hi William what events prove you right? nothing seems to be happening at all. The investigation? seems to have stalled maybe they are awaiting Facebook or Google responding to their enquiries. I too wonder why it takes so long

      Delete
    33. Hi William, just think about it for a moment. If it was such a clear cut case of conspiring to harass as implied, and sufficient to interview suspects under caution, surely collars should have been felt by now. After all, we are not waiting on DNA or forensic reports and how long does it take the likes of Google and FB to answer a simple police question. Right from the outset the ranks of the interviewing officers have been well above those one would normally associate with such an inquiry, suggesting interference at a high level. I remain convinced this is but a storm in a teacup and an outrageous waste of police resources. If proved wrong I will apologise, but I cannot see it happening. Simon Moores is not going to finish up in the dock however much Peter and Louise might like to see that.

      Delete
    34. William WatkinsApril 20, 2014 3:39 pm

      How do you know that Peter and Louise want anyone to end up in the dock? Have you asked them for their views. Just because someone complains to the police it doesn't mean they want someone "banged up" Personally I think you are guessing, maybe you should ask before interjecting your opinion.

      Delete
    35. Well, William, presumable Louise would not have made a complaint to the police in the first place had she not wanted something done about it and Peter has been heralding Simon's downfall for years ever since he was banned from Thanet Life. William are you not also interjecting your opinion for your guess is no better than mine on what motivates others to do the things they do.

      Delete
    36. William WatkinsApril 20, 2014 5:14 pm

      no opinion William: Louise would have had to have gone to the police to start this (fact) No one seems to know why the investigation has stalled (fact) Barry says the last he heard the police were waiting on Google and Facebook (fact).
      As to Louise wanting something done, that is obvious, however getting someone "banged up" that is a guess because she might as easily have wanted the police to ask them to stop their whatever. Then the police decide to take their own steps to remedy the situation.
      Which bit of my post was a guess William?

      Delete
    37. Your guess about what Louise and Peter might have wanted as an outcome of this complaint/investigation, like Louise might just have wanted them to ask the person to stop, is just as much as of a guess as mine about getting folk banged up. Usually when people complain to the police about others, and to be a conspiracy there had to be more than one, they are not doing so because they wish them well. Accept it, we have differing opinions but that does not make yours anymore right than mine.

      Delete
    38. William WatkinsApril 20, 2014 6:44 pm

      Is sequencing a problem. my post at 3:39 contains no guesses whilst your post at 4:48 says " William are you not also interjecting your opinion for your guess is no better than mine" Also I have no idea what Peter wants and stated no opinion about his motivation. Did you not introduce what you believed Peter wanted at 1:51.
      Please stop putting statements about my opinion in your posts and also please stop twisting my words and stick to what you know, not what you believe.

      Delete
    39. Oh dear, William you are obviously one of the last word people so please be my guest. I reiterate your opinion is no more valid than mine, but I leave you to refute that in style. I am now tired of playing silly, you said this and I said that, games with you.

      Delete
    40. Oh dear William I was sure your debating skills were better than this capitulation. Surely we should expect better from a politician

      Delete
    41. Well done, Cllr, smart move for not only have you flushed out that Watkins is one of these sad, must have the last word little chaps, but his response demonstrates that his debating has not progressed beyond the contradictory style of the playground, "My dad is bigger than your dad" etc. etc. etc. Repeat it often enough and it must be right.

      Delete
    42. Or to put it another way, Allan, watkins is a boring little twit.

      Delete
    43. circling the wagons guys. have you heard Pavlov's bell ringing

      Delete
    44. Watkins, your 10:25,

      You should remember not to mix your metaphors.

      Delete
  7. I have just put up a photo taken today at the bottom of the post, of the situation with the sand on the beach in Ramsgate, while the Pleasurama history is now more of academic interest than of any real practical use, inasmuch as the council will either get back the site or it won’t. The problem with the vanishing sand appears to be real and imitate, anyone got any ideas? Can anything be done is there any authority that should be contacted?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try Saudi Arabia they got plenty spare

      Delete
  8. Just so I am clear: there is a Cardy Canterbury (the Cardy everyone would think of by that name) and a Cardy-Shaun Keegan involved in Pleasurama. And back in 2002 before the Keegan offshore companies etc emerged, Terence Painter was providing Shaun's proposals to the council on Painter letterhead? And Painter previously employed Keegan in Portugal?

    Is that a correct summary?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. where did you hear that Painter employed Keegan in Portugal anon?

      Delete
    2. Painter himself confirmed it several times in public and in writing. There's no great doubt over that. The rest of the summary is correct? Two Cardys and the letterhead etc?

      Delete
    3. Anon I was at a public meeting in Ramsgate where Painter said "I suppose it is my fault for introducing the developer to the site 11 years ago" and I haven't heard anywhere that Painter employed Keegan. Can you clarify please?

      Delete
  9. Certainly what would you like clarifying? And can you confirm the point made at 3:27?

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You are all bonkers

    ReplyDelete

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