Friday, February 05, 2010

East Of The Wantsum

Here's this week's East of the Wantsum (click it to big it). A slightly premature ejoculation, as the results of the public inquiry into our beloved Thanet Council's sell-off of the Montefiore site was still ongoing as the Gazunder went to press.

In fact much more heat has been generated in today's paper concerning Ramsgate Town Council's decision to abandon the sinking ship that is Albion House and decamp to the newly-renovated Custom House on the harbour. The red brick edifice has recently been tarted up by Neath Properties, who, according to the Gazunder, are the same people who brought you the, er, 'redevelopment' of our Grade II listed Marina Restaurant. Not only that, but they got grant money from the Ramsgate Seafront Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme for the Custom House scheme. And now they'll have a guaranteed rental from the public purse.

Don't get me wrong, they seem to have made a much better job of the Custom House than they did of the Marina Restaurant. But should they really be rewarded for their previous abysmal efforts with our taxpayers' sponds?


Michael Child said...

Richard I have been writing a post on the same subject and thought the Marina Restaurant business was Auclair Properties or AU Clair Properties, did you find any connection.

I noticed Goody Demolition who knocked it down are working for the council though see

Richard Eastcliff said...

Well, the only connection I could find was that Auclair and Neath shared a director, and offices in the Isle of Man. As 1000s of companies are set up for tax convenience in the IoM, it's probably not unusual for two companies to share the same address and director, as there are 'warehousing' firms there who specialise in that sort of (perfectly legal) tax mullarkey.

However, Saul Leese has gone further in today's Gazunder and writes: 'Custom House, which is now owned by Neath the same company behind the development of the historic seafront Marina Restaurant.'

Whether Auclair have sold the remains of the restaurant to Neath, or whether the two are indeed one and the same, is a mystery to me. Perhaps Saul knows something we don't!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a very cost arrangement;

tdc announce sake of Albion house
empty custom house changes hands uber cheaply
gets grant for refurbishment
rtc sign lease

I prefer custom house as a seat of council, but as a ramsgate resident I shall be asking, via freedom of information, on discussions that have been had between all relevant parties

Michael Child said...

Richard I don’t think they could have sold it as TDC have taken legal; action to gain compulsory purchase.

Oh and 1.57 the Custom House belonged to Frank Thorley not TDC, so I would imagine it sold for market value.

Richard Eastcliff said...

Yes, Frank sold the Custom House for £410,000.

Anonymous said...

£410,000. Historical building on harbour front. Market value? Pull the other one.

Bertie Biggles said...

A nice earner, The Custom House. Don't knock it. Buy for £410,00; tax-payer does it up for you; gain £40,000 per annum in rent (10% return each year); value already increased and hey with Ramsgate on the up and up, sell for £1,000,000 in a few years time. Wake up and look around Thanet for other properties that receive the same generous tax-payer support.