Thursday, October 09, 2008

China Gateway Approved

So, there it is then. Approved. But with tough controls to be enforced by Thanet Council. Who, quite frankly, I wouldn't trust them to be able to control their own bowel movements, let alone a project of this scale. Still, at least CGP will be happy. I'm sure I heard a very loud 'Ker-ching!' emanating from just north of Joss Bay!

Click here to read more on Thanet Extra website
Click here to read more on yourfannitinnit website
Click here to read more on Gazunder website
Click here to read more on BBC News website
Click here to see which way your councillor voted


Anonymous said...

So you really do have a beard ECR. Copped the visage, all we need now is a name.

Anonymous said...

Via email:

Best described as a complete shambles. Three hours of argument and debate without the Chairman having a firm grip on things. The outcome was the application was passed with an amendment that the unanswered questions in the application have to be brought back to planning.

I am convinced some of the councillors haven't a clue what they were voting for as they must have been as confused as the rest of us.

It isn't over yet but it is now up to the developer to deal with the conditions imposed.

Overall disappointing but many of the points raised by the anti-group were raised and will be acted upon.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Yes anon 11:03, all you need now is a name. Plus, of course, the slightest clue what you're talking about.

Rick said...

Don't blame me ECR

here is a quote from the BBC report

Thanet council said the application was approved subject to "tough conditions" which would be considered by the planning committee after further talks with the developers.

A spokeswoman said the issues included water drainage, noise and light pollution, use of the buildings, landscaping on the site and car parking provision.

Anonymous said...

Who's ECR ?

Said ECR "I'm not a fan Tony"

Daktari's not a medical phoney

And Lucy Mail

Not a bogus female

And nothing I write is baloney

Anonymous said...

Right that's it Rick you're barred

Ken Gregory said...


i was there, I voted for the future of Thanet, and I stand by that. If it all goes wrong, at least I tried. My concern is the thanet of 2020, and i will continue to work for that.


Eastcliff Richard said...

Shame you weren't blessed with 20/20 vision then, Ken!

Ken Gregory said...

Richard, 41 councillors voted for this. i make no apologies for being one of them. If I am proved wrong Hands up it was my fault, but if I was right, I hope my opponants will say so. Aside from that I suppose the Manston Airport will be the next argument!

I have a real commitment to the future and youth of Thanet. I haope that is justified.

Lucy Mail said...

Bloody Hell, a politician that can't even spell opponent!
Who killed Kenny?
Verdict - Suicide.

Still, I noticed a spot of bother with 'hope' too, which, at least, is true to form!

And Ken, you know damned well that if you're right, none of your, er, opponants are going to say a dickie bird.
Stop being so naive (or talking to us like you think that we are!).

Anonymous said...

Yes, Cllr. Gregory, perhaps the future of Thanet is what you voted for but from the point of view of those in the gallery, except perhaps the large group from CGP who were seated even before the general public was admitted, this was a complete shambles. It was clear that some councillors with valid points on imposing tighter conditions were being over-ruled and the final vote on the application did, I assume, include the amendment about all the areas that weren't clear in the application, being brought to planning committee or even another extraordinary full council meeting.

I think even some of the councillors after three hours weren't exactly sure whether they'd voted on an outline or detailed application. The implication that this could be dealt with 'in a couple of weeks' is ridiculous. Where are the plans for the drainage? The details relating to junction improvements? All valid issues raised.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think the problem here for councillors from all political parties is the lack of confidence the public will have in the outcome, and in how democratic this decision has truly been.

The issue has been overshadowed, and confidence diminished, by the donation from CGP to the Labour Party, the continuing lack of honesty around the funding of the visit to China by Tory Councillors Ezekiel and Latchford, and other financial gestures from CGP towards "the community".

The Labour donation has, at least, been out in the open, with critical comments about it unsurprisingly appearing on local Tory MP Roger Gale's website. The visit funding has continued to be shrouded in "confusion", although on the recent BBC TV programme, CGP boss Ken Wills said openly that the visit had been hosted by CGP as well as Chinamex and the Chinese Government. Not what the two Councillors have said! Roger Gale has said nothing about this at all.

Sadly, Councillor Gregory, those elected may have voted "for the future of Thanet", but your problem is many electors may not feel able to believe it.

Anonymous said...

The trouble is, Cllr Gregory, that if you are proved wrong it will be too late. Vast swathes of prime agricultural land will have been lost for good under concrete. Another TDC legacy for our children, a huge, deserted business park. Or worse, a water supply that has been contaminated forever.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Sorry 9:08am. I've had to delete that as it was bordering on the libelous IMO. The gist of what you said was:

Hear, hear on the shambles, didnt reflect very well on the chairman or the officers, where is the backbone of Thanet, not in the councillors, they are taken in by a few false promises.
Shame on you. I've got kids but there wont be work for them there.It'll be for foreigners like Thanet earth.

PJK said...

There's been talk about flooding & Thanet becoming an island again.

Imagine: with all the building going on, the weight of said building works could cause an underground crack between us & the *mainland*. That could get bigger & eventually, the sea will seep through & we'll go sailing off into the sunset, an island once again, with no flooding needed to help us on our way.

Far fetched ? Probably, but surely, a land that was once an island COULD, with extra weight - i.e people, buildings, cars etc. - become one once again ?

I don't know - I'm not a scientificky person. Just a ponderer.

Anonymous said...

The "Future of Thanet" is as a Lorry park that will make operation stack look like a car boot sale.

Anonymous said...

We must continue to fight this. We must have a Public Inquiry.

Michael Child said...

OK Ken now you can talk freely about the application and presumably understand the plans and the conditions applied to them or you wouldn’t have approved them, can you answer a reasonable question, given the nature of the conditions where does the thousands of gallons of surface water from the car and lorry parks go, when there is a rain storm?

Anonymous said...

I feel I must join Michael in asking this question. Where goes the rain water?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry guys but you didn't lose the vote on this one last night; you lost it years ago when the decision was taken to have an airport at Manston. Where did you think the run-off from the airport had been going for all of these years? You can't suddenly turn round and get worried about contamination of the acquifer if you were happy to see expansion of the airport.

Take a look around any airport in the country. You see sheds, lock-ups and depots. It's a grim landscape and one that was inevitably going to result from the decision to have a stinking freight airport in our midst.

High-tech companies, paying high wages will always move to the leafy business parks provided by more ambitious and forward-thinking authorities, rather than the metal-bashing scrap-yard that Thanet is set to become.

steve said...

Ken Gregory

I understand you have been in local politics for some time, therefore I would be interested to know what you were voting for in the late 90's for your 2010 vision.

If it had anything to do with the airport, your vision was slightly impaired.

Did you inform the last electorate that you were there for the "yoof" and 12 years time, not the majority of council tax payers/voters?

You imply that people will move onto the next argument (Manston) as if its just for the sake of it. It just goes to show how blinkered our council have become if 239 hectares, 10 years and "£30mm" has created a very dubious 93 jobs, and we are supposed to like it. The airport is, and always will be a ball and chain to thanet, dragging it miles behind the rest of the region.

China Gateway, forgetting the environmental implications, has a serious fundamental flaw - what feckin use is a chinese goods distribution centre nowhere near a container port? What is actually going to go there?

You have to open your eyes to what is happening now and listen to your electorate, and not be a sheep with the other councillors, happily following any idea the leader comes up with.

Your legacy could be the ruination of the isle.

Wise up

Anonymous said...

Looking at the mess our towns have been left in Highstreets, Dreamland, museums etc etc, NO I wouldn't trust this council to get things right at the development. One pictures just empty sheds and empty promises.

Anonymous said...

Do we really believe that the 4 cabinet members and Ken Gregory were not guilty of 'pre-determination' on this issue last night? Your opening statement condemned you Cllr Gregory to pre-determination and you know it. At no stage in the proceedings were the aspects of whether this was a 'good plan' or a 'poor plan' discussed. The Chair silenced attempts by Cllrs Wells(Con) and Poole (Lab) to consider aspects relating to the plan. Roll on the call-in by Sec of Stae or Judicial Enquiry. What happened last night was a compromised Council ignoring its own precarious stance on this issue and I hope that humiliation will follow.

Anonymous said...

What i am worried about is have tha planning committee the strength or ability to make the conditions tough enough, from what i have seen i doubt it

Anonymous said...

Can you give us the link so we can find out who the brave 10 who voted against it

Anonymous said...

Tories:- Wells, Hayton, Crotty, Savage.

Labour: Poole, Fenner, Dark, Campbell, Clark.

Independent: King.

Anonymous said...

Well done. Ten brave people.

Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see how the careers of the four Tories stall after this.

Megan said...

Two Labour councillors had to leave before the end of play: Cllr. Harker, I think to get to work at the hospital, and Cllr. Hart. Don't know why he had to leave but knowing Clive, I'm sure he had a valid reason.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing "brave" about voting against the plan. It's full of holes and there is a whiff of corruption, which has not yet been cleared up. Which Poole voted against it? I don't see either of the Greens on the list against.

Megan said...

Which Poole voted against? Well, there's only one on the council these days. Where have you been since last May?

Dave Green may have voted for but he did get the amendment through so was voting for with his extensive amendment attached.

Anonymous said...

And Bertie has jetted off to warmer climes for the second time in just a couple of months.

Which sums up the arrogant self-righteous sad, cyynical, hypocritical and selfish lot you really are. Live off the fat yourselves, but condemn the many of the rest to a life without hope of a better life.

Those who voted against must represent the loony extremes of their various groupings, or who are full of their own importance and looking to make a name for themselves.

Anonymous said...

A better life? Don't make me laugh.

Anonymous said...

A better life? Stacking boxes in a warehouse - well - whatever you consider a better life!

Cllr David Green said...

This was Thanet’s largest business park, which had stood empty for years. Here we had an application that just might bring activity to the park.
I read some of your opinions of CGP, that you state as fact. Unfortunately, I do not have your resources and inside knowledge to know that. Of course I have suspicions that increasing the value of land holdings is a motive, CGP's publicity states this as reason that to invest in the company.
The permission granted is for 5 years, if it is not built then there is no problem. The land has been undeveloped now for at least 10 years. There is plenty of other land designated for employment purposes.
But I digress, to return to the application before us.
Yes, there were problems with the application that needed addressing, and in my opinion Council officers had addressed them in the conditions. I do not support empty gestures. Voting against this application, on already designated land (in two local plans) was, in my opinion gesture politics, that would have certainly been overturned on appeal.
Trying to impose conditions that were not supported by the relevent statutary consultees would also be doomed to failure, unless they could be backed by a strongly argued case.
Those that attempted to change spatial aspects of the application at the Council meeting were either showing their ignorance of Planning Law, or were being intentional mischievous. Once again, gesture politics.
My calculation was that there would probably be enough votes to permit the application. If not, there would almost certainly be an appeal which, because the site was already designated employment land, would be successful.
I wanted to reinforce the scrutiny of the implementation of the 106 agreement and the conditions on the permission. Hence my amendment that required the Council to consult on the applicants responses and to take them back to the Planning Committee for approval.
In my opinion, this now gives those concerned as well as myself the opportunity to lobby the relevant statutory consultees, whether they be the Environment Agency, Southern Water, or KCC as Highways Authority, to ensure that the conditions are met in full before permission is granted. Incidently, accepting this amendment creates a precident concerning the way conditions and section 106 agreements are dealt with in future.
In passing, I would make two comments by way of apology to you and the people of Thanet.
The first concerning the conduct of the meeting which was far from satisfactory.
The second concerning the legitimate concerns expressed by many concerning the antics of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council. I believe this has led to distrust of the Council’s impartiality as a Planning Authority.
I believe a more fundamental mistake was made far earlier though, and that was the Council Leadership’s decision to combine the Planning and Economic Development Cabinet briefs. I thought this Council had learnt many years ago that these two functions of the District Council were distinct and separate, and that each deserved its champion in Cabinet. Combining the two can only lead to the suspicion that the impartiality of the Planning function is compromised.

Anonymous said...

Just got the voting list from Democratic Services and it seems Cllr. Crotty voted 'for' altho' I thought he'd said 'against' but it was so confused that he could have said anything and I could have misheard. Cllr. Pickering is listed as 'against'. The councillor not present was Cllr. Sheldrick, the Vice-chair.

Anonymous said...

I should like to know how an HGV traffic increase to 5,000 plus a day can be "addressed" by any council.
And what IS the problem with undeveloped land? Is it against councillors religion to have land free from development?
You see, most of us have much more of a problem with DEVELOPED land.
I have a suspicion that KCC and TDC profiting from the sale of the land might be a motive too.
I should like to point out also, that a THIRD of the proposed development was Thanet's largest business park. The other two thirds are green belt I believe.
My calculation Cllr Green is that come the next local elections, there won't be enough votes to keep you or any other councillor who voted for this appalling breach of public trust, in office.

Anonymous said...

10.20 anon. Maybe, maybe not. It'll all depend if it's a great success or a disaster or whether in a couple of years' time anyone will still be concerned.Possibly by the time the elections roll round the company will still be trying to satisfy the council's Planning Department that they've got everything 'sorted'.

What will be interesting will be to see what happens with the other phases and how TDC deliver on those. As Ken Wills said last week, he needs those acres of farmland for the scheme to work. After all, until the fireworks factory moves, Phase 1 will only be a few distribution warehouses with a handful of smaller units. Phases 2 and 3 will presumably house these mythical 'factories' we keep hearing about. As the company has no revenue at present it remains to be seen how long they can hold out before the bank wants its money back.