Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Inn-comprehensible Plans

The Pleasurama drama rumbles on, with another public meeting slated for this Thursday. So I thought I'd step back a decade or so and look at the original plans that were submitted to our lovely council, when Whitbread were alleged to be involved in the scheme.

Actually, it's not the drawing of the building that I'm interested in. As you can see, local estate agent and, er, pillar of the community Terry Painter submitted the plans, and next to his logo is the slogan 'enjoy!Whitbread'. That's a rebranding that Whitbread went through in September 2001, when they stopped brewing beer and became more interested in brewing lattes, running restaurants and owning hotels.

Trouble is, no-one at Whitbread seems to have known they were involved in the scheme, as this email from the time suggests:


According to LinkedIn, Jamie Cowen is a real person, and has subsequently moved on to become Head of Mixed Use Development at Sainsbury's Property Investments.

So on what basis did Thanet Council consider these so-called plans from 'Whitbread'? Was any due diligence performed? Did they bother to ask Whitbread if they were actually involved? Or was it all accepted on the basis of Tiny Terry's say-so and a photocopied logo? I, for one, would find that nothing short of inn-credible!

Meanwhile here's how the Pleasurama (aka Royal Sands, aka Titanic) development looks today, more than ten years on:

58 comments:

Don Wood said...

If TDC are so keen on the development they should build it themselves we will be needing loads of one bedroom flats now the bedroom tax is kicking in and Londoners cant afford a flat coz the rents are outrageous or even inn credible

Anonymous said...

Not sure how the DFLs would feel about council flats on the front Don.

Anonymous said...

Is suggesting one company is involved in a development to gain a lease and it turning out to be utter bollocks fraud? Or is it just stupidity on TDC's part?

Anonymous said...

So lies piled on lies, perpetrated by changeling company structures of indecipherable origins, owned by phantoms, fronted by smooth-lipped chancers who play free and easy with the truth, backed by councillors apparently powerless to undo the worst contract they ever signed, all the time the key prime tourist site in a seaside resort is turned into a building site for fifteen years. Why on earth are people making a fuss? Get over yourselves for goodness sake.

Anonymous said...

So they lied about partnerships...lied about their own experience...lied about completing the development...but councillors still maintain that cancelling the contract will involve lengthy, expensive litigation? I would don a powdery wig and thrash this bollocks out in court myself. In fact, a court case would be the last thing that Senor Keegan et al would want.

Anonymous said...

Poole is useless and should resign. He is incompetent and all the x party patronising over this and the ferrygate saga is incomprehensible!

Barry James said...

I am confused as to why Labour would believe that they believed at the time that the stand alone building wouldn't get built. assuming it was genuine (difficult I know) a developer was going to give up on the profit from 20 apartments is even more difficult to believe. As it happens their planning application was for 107 apartments not 100 as in the original presentation.

Anonymous said...

Thanet Council haven't heard of due diligence, hence Transeuropa, little more than a shell company, was allowed by TDC's S151 Officer Sue McGonigal to run up £3.4million of irrecoverable debt.

Anonymous said...

I'm still confused. If you pretend that the development involves Whitbread, but this isn't true, this is fraud and the police would be involved. How is it that the police haven't investigated? Is it just that nobody has reported it to the police?

Anonymous said...

I had a pint of Whitbreads with my supper last night. No, actually it was Cobra. My goodness, but you said Whitbreads, so that must be fraud. Stand by to get your collar felt as the police are on their way, says the village idiot.

Where does Thanet find these people who leap from arresting the whole council and its officers, to pilots flying over Ramsgate to developers and their agents. Get the message, the police are too busy giving cautions to school kids who had a playground punch up.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the developers' "friend" again:

"There's no such thing as fraud; TDC are all wonderful competent people; developers can only make Thanet better blah blah blah.."

It must have come as a great shock to you my friend when Ezekiel got sent down. Police too busy giving cautions to schoolkids eh?

Schmoozyschlepp said...

There is a tremendous amount of stuff going on around here in the criminal line - not just TDC - but it is obviously much easier to take cider and rolling tobacco from under-age drinkers than to investigate people trafficking, growing houses, and council corruption to name but 3 popular local activities... after all, there are only 13 of them I believe...
As for Anonymous 12.20's comment, not all DFLs are as he imagines: why not have council flats on the beach, if they are attractive, add something to the townscape and make good use of the land, with proper facilities for the residents, why not? Nothing's too good for the working classes, as we used to say in the Labour Party - before Mr Blair showed us the light! (and I left).

Anonymous said...

How do you grow houses? And is it possible to grow luxury seafront apartments?

Anonymous said...

Council flats would be the solution to palavarama, that way the people would always be in residence and using local shops etc, not left shut and unoccupied most the year. Also if there really were queues of wealthy people who wanted to live there i.e. what we call demand, they'd have been built long long ago.

Anonymous said...

As a DFL now here before this became a derogatory acronym, I would love to see council flats on the front..or sheltered accommodation - what would be better for the elderly and vulnerable than the sound, sight and smell of the sea?
As for The Pleasurama Job, there are up to 56 councillors who could have dropped this fiasco in 2009 who defied officers recommendations. Each of them should be made to issue a public apology for their stupidity in continuing to support what now appears may be a fraudulent enterprise. And who was it's brain-child? Who hated TDC with a vengeance? RIP! QED

May the Force be with you when they've finished confiscating booze from teenagers.

Anonymous said...

What a great idea to put the elderly and vulnerable in flats that are liable to flooding and / getting buried under tons of rubble!

Anonymous said...

The argument that "flats that are liable to flooding and / getting buried under tons of rubble" is just an argument against any flats, because if those are the risks there will be no market for them at all. The fact is that with proper layout and construction there is no reason why the flats would at any greater risk of flooding than Margate, Herne Bay, Whitstable etc.

Anonymous said...

There's still a far greater risk of them being buried under rubble though, no matter how well they're built.

Anonymous said...

I think the demand would have been there 11.01pm if you didn't have to lodge your deposit with an unknown offshore company

Anonymous said...

No shock at all about Ezekiel, 9:35, because he used his position to advantage to secure the purchase of a property. Misuse of public office is a crime, but flying over Ramsgate or taking council decisions is not. Some jokers on these papers seem to be under the impression that the police can go about arresting people willy nilly simply on their say so. I do not like Manston so arrest all pilots. I do not agree with the decision to defer berthing payments so arrest the whole council. Does not work like that chummy though I doubt you will ever understand in your fuzzled mind.

Anonymous said...

Dear 10:00 Am

The Whitbreads e-mail was actually addressed to me and i have the original framed (its not for sale unlike TDC). I also asked the plod to indicate how they investigated TDC and why did their fraud offices lie to me - no response so far!!!

It gets much worse when the District auditors and the worthless EKAP have failed the public especially when a member of the public gave them and the fraud squad information to investigate and they did not!! This sorry tale of woe continues with the Trans-Europa fiasco when the CE of TDC is also the section 151 officer and the duality of roles is now suspect.

I would urge anyone who has any information or wants the issue sorted to request that Andy Mack (Grant Thornton TDC auditor)investigate them as a report in the public interest (public interest report)and when you do it you send this to TDC at the same time and you must do that to make it legal like.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying, 10:27, that the police are in cohorts with TDC to cover up fraud? If such were the case that would seem to makes arrests even less likely.

It is more likely that the information given did not amount to evidence, more likely unfounded conjecture or hearsay, and thus, nothing to investigate.

Anonymous said...

Latest advice from DCLG is to advise the local authority of any suspected fraud where a planning application is involved. Try that with TDC! Ha!

Anonymous said...

As for Andy Mack at Grant Thornton, he too is a busted flush as he signed off TDC's 2012 accounts, the ones that failed to disclose the huge outstanding debt racked up by Transeuropa. That's what you get when you privatise the Audit Commission.

Anonymous said...

11:03, the NHS is in public hands, but I think I would prefer BUPA having tried both. The public sector is hardly a shining example of efficiency. Try phoning the Inland Revenue with a query!

Richard Eastcliff said...

It seems to me that the issue here is 'who regulates the regulator?' No-one as far as I can see.

The plods aren't interested, the privatised audit commissioner isn't interested, the Information Commissioner isn't interested, our local MPs aren't interested, the Local Government Ombudsman isn't interested and the Department for Communities and Local Government isn't interested.

Unlike, say, the NHS there doesn't seem to be even a half-arsed independent body that investigates corruption and incompetence by local authorities. Hence they get away with it time and time again.

Anonymous said...

10:41

The information was correct enough on the Ezekiel issue mate?

Plod for some reason failed to deal with other matters perhaps the matter of getting a uniform to visit someone without proper authority raised some eyebrows at force HQ and lets not forget the KPA protecting Cllrs down here?

I am surprised that some waster has not threaten me with some veiled legal threat.

Anonymous said...

Well said Richard Eastcliff you have summed Thanet's situation up, and for that matter anyone else who suffers with a Local Authority that is not fit for the purpose. For instance when am incompetent executive team has been appointed by the politicians and they are then too afraid or dimwitted to act and remove them. You rightly say there is no fucker who is both willing AND empowered to take action and seize documents and investigate independently of the politicians, the executive and commercial interests.
It is all very well having for example a Local Govt Finance Act and a S151 Officer, a statutory appointment with statutory duties to protect the public, if when the person in post is a failure there is no regulatory body to step in and take the Council into special measures, which is what is needed now.

Anonymous said...

Definitely Kent Police are too lazy and scared to make the arrests over Pleasurama and Manston. Pensions to protect etc as in the NHS failures.

Sandy's gone to jail - we need some civil servants in there too. He didn't act alone. McGonigal is clearly responsible being the Finance Director, Deputy CE and now CE.

Jail.

Anonymous said...

And another Pleasuram meeting tomorrow? How tedious. It just needs cancelling and turfing ofr the Summer.

And what was that weird Manston meeting with Buchanan and the Mayor and the Marlowe Academy? Was air/water pollution or overlfights not mentioned?

Sounds like the councillors tip-toeing around - and delaying - the problems they've caused.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.27

I feel sure that the man who bought what was "Crespis" in the Harbour Square Margate and renovated it, that he had brewery backing. To devlops clubs at Margate seafront and he was looking to at Birchington.

He received an invoice (about 1980) from Hoser Property Development for services rendered. He had never heard of the company. So he IIRC visited them and refused to pay even though it was implied that a payment might ease the way to planning and licensing consents in the area.

My recall does not stretch to definitively saying that was Whitbread potential investment finance.

Rick seems to be revealing more details and it appears that it may have been Cllr Pat Sebastian then who may have called Scotland Yard about 1998. Corrupt or inept planning dept ? This being at a time Cllr Coppock was creating a paper trail of evidence being properly handed in to police

It seems clear that when the Pleasurama Planning application hit TDC their Planning had just been protected by the act of withholding evidence from a Standards procedure and then misleading full council.

What may well have been the case, if proper process had occurred, was that Planning would have been declared unfit for purpose pending remedy. And the Pleasurama application not considered until Full Council was satisfied that Planning could uphold due diligence.

Anonymous said...

And so Rick kills off another discussion.

Elsewhere we have jail them, arrest officers, oops no, the plod won't do it 'cos there is no regulator. All sounds like fat chance of anything happening.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for you 3:58 with nothing relevant at all. Another TIB.

Anonymous said...

But what is relevant? Most of it is meaningless nonsense only suitable for providing amusement for the more discerning amongst us who peruse the blogs. I have been reading about Manston closing, calls for arrests, bent developers and £25K bungs to Labour for years, but nothing ever happens.

Please, though, don't stop your contributions,4:09 pm, because they are amongst the funniest. Whoops, here comes another plane so arrest the pilot.

Anonymous said...

Nothing ever happens...until it does. Plenty of examples in Thanet and, whilst charges haven't yet been brought over Pleasurama, this doesn't mean that they won't.

Anonymous said...

I think you're confusing yourself with the discerning, 4:25. You're just a dull cynic, but educate us peasants why you're happy for Manston to be up for sale, no fire cover after 5pm and training flights? We'll assume you don't work for the airport or council so you won't get arrested.

Anonymous said...

You are such a card, 5:07, why don't you put yourself forward for Britain's Got Talent. I really don't care about Manston being up for sale, but just enjoy your ridiculous comments about the place. No fire cover after 5 pm, what a laugh you are.

Anonymous said...

You're an irrelevance 5:52 but why do you think there is fire cover after 5pm? It certainly was stopped. And there is no customs or police searches either.

A numskull like you probably thinks there is no pollution too?

Anonymous said...

4:25 is just another blogging TIB

Anonymous said...

You really are a wag, 7:32, with your funny ideas about no fire cover or customs. Bet there is no Border Agency or immigration cover either after 5 pm. What a hoot.

Please don't stop your comments because you just make my day. Incidentally, I am a DFL, but it doesn't make you less funny.

Anonymous said...

See they arrested an RAF Search & Rescue helicopter pilot today for low flying over Ramsgate, but when they discovered it was Flight Lieutenant Wales they let him go again. Mind you, he had to fly back to RAF Valley as there was no fire cover at Manston.

Anonymous said...

I like you too 7:55 but I bet you are a TIB like 8:00. Why do you think there is fire cover after 5pm at Manston?

Anonymous said...

Don and other local supporters of Manston should look at the discussion about runway capacity in the south east going on at the moment. Lots of comments such as "if airlines wanted to use them, they would".

These comments are levied at airports such as Birmingham and Stansted. Manston does not get a mention, but the same cold be said for it.

Paul Carter, successive leaders at TDC, local commentators should really try not to make themselves look too stupid in an adult conversation by bigging up their pokey municipal airport into a national debate. It's never been relevant, it never will be. The 'success' you see now is its limit. You only have to read the monthly operational reports from manstons owners to confirm what they think of it. Manston is never mentioned.

Anonymous said...

9:03, sorry to disappoint but Lewisham, SE13 born, not Thanet. As for thinking there is fire cover, I know there is for all landings and take offs regardless of time of day, but please don't let that stop your idiotic and hilarious remarks.

Ex-Dulwich DFL said...

As a relatively recent DFL I find the levels of negativity towards this rather beautiful corner of England around local papers and blogs quite surprising. I would have thought this was a lovely place to live which is why I moved here.

There seems to be one person in particular who regularly comments who hates Manston and aircraft, reckons the water and air are polluted, the council corrupt, the cancer risk high and the locals in-bred. One has to wonder why he lives here.

Anonymous said...

I don't live here anymore 11:13, but that doesn't stop me being concerned.

Anonymous said...

If you don't live here, 2:37, how come you know every time a plane flies over Ramsgate or that the Manston firemen knock off at 5 pm. Do you come back to check. You really are an amusing little chap but very lacking in credibility.

Anonymous said...

Rogered Latchkey, OBE said...

Now come along chaps and possibly chappesses. Oh hang on, just need another quick sip and slurp. Hair of the dog and all that. You really do need to be a little bit nicer to each other and comment on here without being so aggressive towards each other...

Oops, sorry, awake now. One of the speakers in Committee here at County HQ has just got too near his microphone. Where was I. Ah yes, do play nicely.

I was jousting with - another G&T please, steward - that awfully sweet boy Simon Bores over on his teeny tiny blog the other day. He was a bit of a tart and said I was an old buffer, and indeed that most of my fellow Ukippers are the same. Damned cheek! But I chortled. Young rascal, but devilishly handsome in a Lucy of Arabia kind of way. Small amount of make-up but very clever lighting.

Anyway, live and let live is what I say, unless of course you're one of those marriage-seeking Oscar Wilde types, or Johnny Foreigner - or both. Awful thought.

I'm 93, you know.

Anonymous said...

Whitbread Big Head Trophy bitter,
The pint that thinks it's a quart.

Ah, that takes me back.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in Thanet, but I wish I did because there's nothing I like more each morning than an early start and a quick hose down with kerosene. I'm also keen on in-breeding.

Anonymous said...

9:45, your keenness on in-breeding is readily apparent and obviously practised by your ancestors.

Anonymous said...

Back to the Pleasurama Pit, isn't the reason there is so little demand from those with money and brains for properties in this location actually well displayed in the "Wallpaper" behind the EastCliff Richard blog, which shows when you log on, being a picture of huge waves chucking seawater and sea spray onto the road along by that site. Who would want to pay so much money for a place where from time to time your cars clothes bikes and prams are guaranteed to get covered in that corrosive stuff blowing in on the prevailing wind?

Anonymous said...

Did we ever find out if there is no Manston fire cover after 5pm?

Luckily the DFL'ers won't be about that much to get too contaminated or very much cancer?

200 lung cancer cases in Thanet according to the Gazette.

I bet you'd be miffed if there was no monitoring at Manston and you got lung cancer?

Anonymous said...

Not a brick will be laid at Pleasurama now so why isn't it turfed for the Summer? Another year wasted.

Anonymous said...

Turf has to be left for at least 6 weeks, so even if they do it today it will be too late for summer.

Anonymous said...

you know what i mean 327 even astroturf would be better than another summer wasted

Anonymous said...

don't know about that 4.52, me and my mates often spend the summer wasted, it's triffic

Anonymous said...

hello ECR and enjoyable your tales of intrigue in Thanet are.

My show bizz chums tell me that Thanet even once featured in a potential script for Yes Prime Minister. I wonder what your journalistic instincts think ?



Sir Humphrey: "Good Morning Prime Minister. I refer to your current inquiry into whether private armies were raised with a view to a coup d'etat to overthrow your predecessor as Prime Minister. And the newspaper speculation that your sponsors, some say puppet-masters rather unkindly, were the ringleaders. You know that your independent inquiry has concluded there is absolutely no truth in the allegations ? I have to report some events unfolding in Thanet Prime Minister"

PM "Isn't that where that document forger is from a councillor from my party ?"

Sir Humphrey "Oh well remembered Prime Minister. And not easily ruled out as of no relevance to the events. Forged Ulster Defence Regiment enlistment documentation and ID cards have allegedly turned up. Unfortunately after the arrest of 21 Territorial Army soldiers who had been recruited into a Private Army the sort of thing your recent independent inquiry concluded was but a myth. It appears that the unlawful military training and preparation for missions may even have occurred on land owned by a county cllr of your party"

PM "At times I need Thanet like I need a marrow suppository. Hush it up"

Sir Humphrey "There is the matter of the ex policeman though Prime Minister. The one who tries every so often to feature your sponsors some say puppet-masters in the High Court. On the basis they were protected by an unlawful Special Branch administrated police no go area"

PM "Well how can he be a problem."

Sir Humphrey "Well the clever fellow is a witness in the Thanet case Prime Minister"

PM "But that means if the Attorney General ever grants him access to the High Court he will cite it at some point ?"

Sir Humphrey "Just so Prime Minister"

Airey Neave has an interesting history.