Sunday, 25 May 2008


Another week has passed with no work going on at Summit Aviations nice new building at Manston. The UK construction and development business is in hard times and perhaps CGP are feeling the pinch as well. The graph above shows CGP's share prices in decline with a fall from 163p in February to 125p this week. Here is a snippet of business news:

"The company, which listed on AIM in February last year, reported a pretax loss of 1.53 million pounds for the period from July 6, 2006, to Nov. 30, 2007. No revenue was reported and expenses came in at 1.47 million pounds."

Here is what Ken Wills had to say about this 'maiden' loss:

"... given its excellent relationships in China, CGP is in a position of strength to capitalise on the current need for Chinese businesses to globalise, which will enable the company to grow its business and shareholder value," said chief executive Ken Wills. "

Regular readers will not need to be reminded that there is a serious risk posed to one of Thanet's main drinking water aquifers by China Gateway and that The Environment Agency has already written to TDC and Mr Wills' agents stating it will oppose anything other than MAINS SEWERAGE removal, off the proposed development and away from our aquifer.

The IOTG reported on Friday that Mr Wills intends to stick to the plans submitted for an 'on-site' treatment plant (Klargester septic tanks etc) as it would provide a CHEAPER and sustainable solution to disposal of foul drainage. We all know its cheaper, because that is why CGP have gone for this option in its plans but SUSTAINABLE? What utter nonsense. Mains sewerage is sustainable and more importantly, SAFE, but of course costly.

There was no admission that CGP is even listening to what its own consultants are saying about the risks to this aquifer let alone what The Environmental Agency is telling CGP and our own Council. I trust our own Council Planning Committee will not think fit to ignore what the Environmental Agency is saying, as it has stated quite clearly that it will object to any cheap septic tank proposal.

So are we to see CGPs urgent necessity to make more profit on this application (as its loss last year and present share price indicates it needs to make) come before the need to protect our drinking water?


Anonymous said...

I want to know what Cllr Iris Johnston is doing to stop the progress of China?


Anonymous said...

There is a world down turn, we are in no postion to be pedudice towards the Chinese.

I for one love the people and the food.

I don't know what Jerry means about Irish. Is she not to go on the next cross party visit to China I hear.

Anonymous said...

Has TDC, before planning the consents done the necessary Finacial Credit Checks on this comapany to determime it's commercial stabilty, this is normal when dealing with a new customer in the commercail world and checking credit worthiness? IF NOT, then tdc should take note of Dover's experience with the company that promised to regenerate the Harbour and seems to have left empty promises.

Anonymous said...


Due diligence, I doubt it - and here is one for Ken to answer the Wendsbury principle.


chris wells said...

One for Malcolm, its the Wednesbury principle. Ahh the joy of correcting the spelling of he who corrected you, you wringer!

Anonymous said...

I think it will be a good thing if the Chinese build a new Gateway because Tesco have too many stores.

Bertie Biggles said...

Are you all talking about the same thing here (excluding 13.32 who made me laugh!)?

Wednesbury unreasonableness is a term that is used to refer to the principle enunciated in the British case of Associated Provincial Picture Houses v. Wednesbury Corporation [ 1948 ] 1 KB 223 — courts will not intervene to correct a bad administrative decision on grounds of unreasonableness, unless such decision is, as was articulated in Councill of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service (the GCHQ case) [ 1985 ] AC 374, 410 per Lord Diplock,

"So outrageous in its defiance of logic or accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it."

Ken Gregory said...

Malcolm, is the wendsbury principle like the Doonsbury priciple. Chris, my Nan had a wringer, I will not tell you what she called it when she caught her thumb in it!

Michael Child said...

I wonder if he realised that the land was on top of our underground drinking water reservoir when the land was purchased, any idea who owned the land before?

I think Mr Wills may have been sold a pup, certainly if the land belonged to a farmer he would have known because of all the regulations about what sort of fertiliser can be used over the aquifer.

chris wells said...

To get serious, the intended implication is, I assume, that any planning decision related to the China Gateway application and the water supply would fall outside the wednesbury principle.

Not sure that stands up. For example, and in simple terms, it is easier to import water than jobs. You can pipe in water from elsewhere, getting jobs here has proved extraordinarily difficult.

An unreasonable position?

Bertie Biggles said...

One could argue Chris, that Diplock's interpretation could apply to building on an aquifer when Southern Water is desperately seeking new supplies and wanting to put us all on compulsory metering.

On jobs, I thought Eurokent site was for jobs and industrial development or has the KCC/TDC East Kent Opportunities LLP got different ideas?

chris wells said...

Sorry Bertie, think about it. The very fact you start with the phrase 'it could be argued' almost certainly puts it outside the principle. This is not a comment on my views on the application, merely putting the trawling of a particular opposing approach in proper perspective.

bertie biggles said...

"So outrageous in its defiance of logic" is what I was thinking about in respect of Gateway on an aquifer, Chris.

chris wells said...

Or one could say that the outrageous action in defiance of logic is an island surrounded by water that floods valleys to provide reservoirs!

Anonymous said...

Wringing my hands over this vexatious issue Chris and Ken I really am.

Look up Barkers law?

It is clear that Thanet has a significant water problem and the decision here, is either protect the underground water source or pipe in water at customers expense for a developer in this case the China gateway? That’s where the unreasonableness comes in. Southern Water is obliged law to put in service when requested?

If the pollution of the under ground aquifer is the preferred option please let us now…if not tell us the public what you are doing about it instead of treating it as joke.

You and I know that SW will just say they do not object if the appropriate services are in place.

The rain over the last three days proves this venture to be flawed?


chris wells said...

I am not treating it as a joke Malcolm, merely pointing out the flaws in the argument. At root, if mains drainage connection solves the issue, then it would appear to be a simple condition for any planning application - but I cannot and will not discuss that sort of thing in detail in case this comes to full council.

You cannot chuck out grand sounding legal concepts and not expect to be challenged on their real relevance - because the intention is to demonstrate that TDC is stupid for not knowing and/or ignoring what is so obvious to you. Truth is if it were that obvious, then it would have the power you claim! Sometimes your judgement on the websites may just be at fault as well.

chris wells said...

PS Barkers Law appears to be a solicitors firm in Poole Dorset???

amkiky said...

Chris, try this:
Enter 'Barker's Law' in their search. Should be what you're looking for.

Bertie Biggles said...

This extract might help:

How a South London mother changed the law.
A single mother who took her battle against a huge property development to the House of Lords has won a landmark case that will force the government to change the law.

Diane Barker spent seven years fighting her local council who had granted planning permission for a cinema complex and car park outside her south London flat without taking into account how it would affect local people. Diane feared the car park would worsen her asthma and destroy the safety of the place where her ten-year old daughter liked to play. When she asked for an environmental impact assessment the local authority, Bromley Borough Council, said that this could not be demanded after outline planning permission had been granted.

So she took the case all the way to the House of Lords, who, after referring it to the European Court of Justice, ruled that developers who do not measure the impact early on can still be forced to do so later.

After the case Diane’s solicitor, said, ‘Residents can now insist that significant environmental effects are considered at every stage of the planning process. The result of this judgment is that the environment will now be better protected.”

Bromley council said that it had followed government advice and should not have to pick up the legal bill.

chris wells said...

The point of this is that there should be impact assessments about environmental issues during and throughout the planning processes. Agreed. But where does it stop? I could prevent any building anywhere anytime using an environmental impact assessment, because there are always environmental impacts to new developments. Somewhere there has to be a sense or reasonableness - which is where the rub comes in. What is reasonable to opponents is not to developers. Councils have to take government guidance into account, and in this case, did so and still got told by the courts they were wrong. The whole thing is far from black and white and obvious.

Anonymous said...


It’s clear that TDC is going to take this all the way and go full steam ahead without duty of care. That's fine by me, as you and me and TDC's developer friends will not be around in say 50 years time to say to our children's children TDC screwed up their water supplies and why we cannot adequately feed and cloth ourselves.

The China Gateway wants more agricultural land, that's the issue here Chris that's the problem over and above what’s allocated elsewhere - there is an abundance of it.

You know that if the China gateway gets what it wants, the ramifications of yet another Thanet planning decision will have consequences for other areas outside of Thanet.

Oh and for the record I do not get all my information from the web I fully research my information you just read a weak TDC planning reports it’s that simple.

Perhaps you would care to comment on the EA views.

Chapter 9 - Soil Conditions and Contamination:

The Agency's Groundwater and Contaminated Land team have the following comments on chapter 9 of the EIA.

Table 7.2 does not identify all the risks posed to the groundwater in the underlying aquifer. Only made ground is identified as posing a risk to the groundwater. Landfill sites, fuel tanks, adjacent industries and aircraft parking are all potential sources which can pose a risk to the groundwater; this risk should be identified and assessed in the ground investigation report.

This section from the EA letter on China Gateway is concerning – am I reading this right that the EA is confirming that aircraft, fuel tanks, chemical foam etc etc (i.e. Manston airport which sits on the aquifer) would endanger the aquifer.

And the developers don’t flag this up in their report?

Heavy rain like the last few days seeps into the aquifer, aviation fuel overflow etc etc?

Finally it was different story when some of the residents of Ramsgate helped the Foreness point debate/issues - oh how that group where coveted by TDC then eh Chris? Only now the environmental water problems have become more significant and TDC acts very differently – why?