Monday, 26 January 2015

More on the Pleasurama saga in Ramsgate and a ramble.

Firstly a follow on from Tuesdays post about Pleasurama and the cliff report, see I want entirely happy about the response to my request for information about the site infrastructure.  
Anyway here is the email request I sent them:
From: michaelchild
To: ; casework
Sent: Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:37
Subject: customer feedback request
I am writing to you for an update on the Pleasurama site, mainly as there is a certain amount of rumour circulating on the internet.
There are four main areas of interest relating to the civil engineering infrastructure of the project and updates on any of them would be useful at this time.
1 The cliff façade condition survey; is there any progress on this? And if there are any reports that are in the public domain can you please send them to me by email?
2 The flood risk and structural integrity of the sea defence, has any investigation been made into this? The latest information I have on this that the EA strongly recommended a flood risk assessment. Mike Humber emailed me telling me that the sea defence dated from 1860 and the council while being responsible for the maintenance of the sea defence hold no plans or maintenance record for it. This is particularly important now the construction method has been changed from bored piles to pad foundations sitting on sand held in place by the sea defence.
3 Cliff maintenance access, has any assessment been made to ascertain if there is enough space between the proposed development and the cliff façade to maintain the cliff façade for the life of the development? Important as the various surveys of the façade describe it as having a short serviceable life.
4 Road access, has any investigation been made into the psv and hgv access for the development? Mostly this relates to the Marina Road inclined viaduct, which as far as I can see from the plans is to be used for psv and hgv access for the development, once the development is built, despite KCC signing it as unsuitable for construction hgvs.
Best regards Michael

Here is the email they sent me with the cliff report:

Dear Michael,

Thank you for this, we have only just received the final report back and it is attached for your information.  Our Engineers are reviewing and will be taking action as necessary. 

The scheme has full planning permission to be built out, there is no legal requirement to do a flood risk assessment, and the access is considered satisfactory for maintenance purposes.

At present we are still undertaking a mediation process the details cannot be shared due to legal reasons, however please rest assured that we have informed the HSE of our negotiations and they will be kept informed and asked to visit should the legal’s complete satisfactorily.  We would also ensure a rigorous programme of works that would take into account access and egress limitations and work with the developer to ensure adequate flood risk protection.

I trust this answers your questions.

And here is my reply, which I have just sent them

Thank you for the report you sent me.
I am sorry to say I am not entirely happy with your response and am therefore seeking a further review.
With respect to the flood risk, three factors have occurred since planning consent, one is that Ramsgate sands have become significantly denuded greatly reducing the protection to the 1860 sea defence fronting the site, the second being the change from pile bored foundations to the development to pad foundations on sand held in place by the sea defence and third the EA letter
I does occur to me that I could make economic sense for the council to have an independent fra made of the area as it is the council and not the developer that liable for maintaining the sea defence. The company usually used by local authorities for this is they did the fra for Turner Contemporary.
When I spoke to you on the telephone you told me that there would be a seismic survey and I haven’t received the results of this from you.
You also said that this would be an independent survey, however what you sent me is a survey by East Kent Engineering Partnership, essentially the same council officers who signed off the main repair contract that has proved to have been faulty. [Coating badly applied, significant panel failure within a couple of months of the contract ending]
I also note that the report you have sent me seems to be saying by omission, inasmuch as it describes the condition of the foundations for the arched part of the façade, that the foundations for the portal part of the façade shown on the design drawings do not in fact exist in reality and this would appear to need underpinning.
There are several other significant and observable issues that the report has omitted covering, these include the surface of the cliff top above the brick and render part of the façade, the foundation of the centre balustrade the brick and render part of the façade which has been exposed and appears to be on made ground and in need of underpinning.
Can you please confirm the position regarding an independent structural engineers report on the condition of the cliff façade?    
My understanding is that Cardy Construction commissioned an independent report when they started work on the foundations back in 2009/10 and that this report resulted in site workers examining the façade for movement prior to starting work each day for signs of movement, can you please send me a copy of this report and any other reports on the cliff that I haven’t got?
All of the reports I have got are published here in a series of linked pages links at the top
Your point that the gap between the development of the cliff façade (4 metres) is sufficient to allow for maintained of the cliff façade for the life of the development is “considered satisfactory” requires further clarification.
Can you please send me the report stating how much space is need between the development and the cliff to allow for future maintenance of the cliff façade?
Obviously during the expected life of the development [80 to 100 years] parts of the façade will have to be removed and replaced and the cost of doing so is most likely to fall on the local authority. I assume that the viability and cost of these repairs are a matter of public interest.
Your point on the withholding information for legal reasons, can you please confirm that this would cover issues relating to the civil engineering of the site infrastructure and the structural integrity of the cliff façade?  

Regards Michael.

On to the Thanet tourism grant, see this once again has all of the look of Margate council getting a grant to spend in Margate.

I will ramble on here if i get time.


  1. Well done Michael, i am glad you still are on their case. xx

  2. Well done Michael and has your letter been sent to HSE too?

    Pleasurama is a dangerous shambles under Poole and now Everitt with 2 more years wasted.

    With only 3 months to the election what is the view of the candidates of this development?

    Why have RTC councillors/clerks not gained grants for Ramsgate? What do they do other than sit on TDC too?

  3. Get the £250K grant given to Margate into perspective. Its peanuts.

    Blackpool Illuminations gets £2 millions, Tate St Ives extension gets £3.8m, Scarborough receives £2.7m to refurbish its market and Saltdean Lido in Brighton £2.3m, for renovation work.

  4. Michael why do you do it ? I mean blog aboutwhat you are doing. All you do is invite comments from armchair experts suggesting what you should no next or how you could have done it better.

    Chris Spivey (The man who argues the Lee Rigby murder was a false flag hoax) was in court last week for internet harassment. He had five supporters turn up most of whom were already on his internet writing team. On Facebook he has over 5000 followers and his hit rate for his blog runs at millions.

    As soon as the hearing was over he received on his blog about 150 comments from people who were sorry they couldn't get there to support him in court. But many of those comments proffered advice to what their "Legend" or "Hero" should do next.

    I have been following your blog for years and wondering when you will realise that "Raising public awareness" is a fool's errand.

  5. Ah anon I guess I realised that I wall on a fool’s errand many years ago, but being a fool doesn’t necessarily mean you are an idiot. And why do I do it? Perhaps because I realised some time ago that we are a long time dead.

  6. Michael life is full of keyboard warriors proffering advice yet getting volunteers to get of their a**e and actually get involved and make a real difference is very rare. You keep up the good work and ignore people who hide behind anonymity


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