Many thanks to my spies for providing a full report of last night's Eastcliff Residents' Association meeting with the Pleasurama developers (see previous post). The architects, developers and builders were all represented, along with the estate agent and a couple of chaps from TDC (Brian White and Doug Brown). Here are the, er, highlights:
Brian White started saying planning consent had been given but the detail that had been revisited was the final roof design and the material finish – we were shown a piece of grey material which will be on the roof. It was pointed out that residents had not been consulted about the roof changes.
There is money this year to repair the cliff face – but from what was said they seem to be going to remove quite a chunk too. Coping will be put back in place. Epoxy resin coating in light grey colour. Tenders go out next Wednesday.
Knights (the builders) will be on site from next Monday starting traffic changes in Harbour Parade – hope to have meeting soon with local traders and contractors to consult re how to deal with inevitable disturbance. Lady from Playbay asked re parking spaces for her customers – they had not been told work would start Monday. Waffly answer meant in reality they won’t have any spaces. A question was asked about whether there would be hoarding along the cliff top once the repairs had been effected, Knights replied that waist high railings would be sufficient for site protection.
107 apartments, 60 bed hotel, restaurant, shops etc. “virtually” at existing level. Environment Agency say it should be 5.5m above sea level but in fact is 6.05 m. In the event of a 1953 style flood the retail on the ground floor would flood but the apartments would be OK. Height has been “depressed”. Explained roof gardens etc. Spaces for 184 cars on site i.e. 1 car per appartment, 1 car per hotel room plus 17 spare for traders – none for visitors. Said this was going to be a “stunning development” that will regenerate the town. Terence Painter said there was lots of interest - one hotel chain was on the point of signing but they were still talking with others. Will take 2.5 years to complete.
Geoff Woods asked if SFP Ventures (the developer) would be willing to support bandstand project financially – Terence Painter said he was willing to discuss it.
Jocelyn McCarthy asked about which route all the building lorries would take into town – the reply was twisted to mean just site access but that was not what Jocelyn asked. Terence P said there was a meeting next week to discuss this. Gerry O’Ramsgate asked again about the effect on the harbour traders during two and a half years of building works – said their concerns were not really being taken seriously (applause).
Other points which came up during the meeting were that the Marina Restaurant is to be redeveloped, space for traditional seaside entertainments and amusements in the new Pleasurama development is a commercial rather than a planning issue, flat owners will not have a clause in their lease preventing complaints about music at the bandstand (following the recent complaints from flat owners about music from the bandstand in Cliftonville).
Peter Landi rounded off the meeting very succinctly saying he was horrified that they (the developers and council) had come to the meeting so ill-prepared. Were the council aware of the extent of the tunnels under the East Cliff? He lived on the East Cliff during the war and remembers the vibrations from the bombs and anti-aircraft guns and was not sure the cliff was going to stand all the work just about to be done to it.
The general feeling was that residents had not been consulted even though work is supposed to start on Monday. No definite plans are in place for site access and lorries through the town. No guarantee of safe access to the beach. Not enough parking places – Doug Brown went off at a complete tangent claiming it was political to assume people would use cars less in future and raving on about walking buses to schools which had nothing whatsoever to do with the evening’s topic.