Friday, 26 September 2008

LETS ALL STOP PRETENDING ABOUT GATEWAY

Application 08/0400 has become a farce and these two people above are the major part of the problem. Let me explain.

Early this year TDC (your Council who have to make a decision on the 9th Oct) and KCC(also your Council) formed East Kent Opportunities LLP. and pooled their land holdings at Eurokent and Manston Business Park to form effectively our Council's own property development company registered at companies house. The directors 'Woger' Latchford and Roger Gough went to China as 'Directors' of EKO LLP/ Councillors where Woger forgot about hospitality from Commercial Group Properties but Roger didn't. I digress.

The problem is that instead of saying to CGP, "lets have a sensible plan for Manston Business Park utilising our (Council/EKO LLP) assets" they are playing the property speculator game. They are happy to charge CGP £2.25 million for a ransom strip and 5 acres to allow Building 01 'The Gateway' to happen but have not addressed the site as a whole. You see, they know that this application is not 'stand alone' as EKOLLP (our councils) are fiddling with the plot at Eurokent for housing so that CGPs farmland purchases can be designated as 'industrial' and hey presto, we get Phases 2 and 3.

Because of this odd situation, CGP are playing on the site with a ridiculous plan that overcrowds, puts huge redistribution warehouses closest to Acol and our aquifer and is quite frankly a travesty of any sensible planning process. The problem is that TDC Cabinet are so much behind this project that they do not want Planning (oh, Brian White of course is committed to this project too) to upset the developer by telling them to go away and produce a sensible plan. Its all a question of do you really believe this is a stand alone application or not? Well TDC/KCC and EKO LLP don't think it is, nor does CGP.

Anyway, lets believe in the Tooth Fairy, suspend intelligent thought and pretend it is a one off application.

Oh dear, the diagram below shows the existence of Theatrical Pyrotechnics employing 30 +people from Thanet , smack bang in the middle of CGPs nice drawings. We can't pretend they don't exist can we? Well, its location and safety distance means that at least until 2013 any plans to build on them or close to them are irrelevant and exceed the time for consent.





Now we can look at Manston Business Park below with the harsh light of reality and what do we see?
All the black buildings are real and exist. All the blue are CGPs proposals with the exception of buildings that cannot be built. So what does the application boil down to?
Well quite clearly, 5 huge redistribution warehouses (X and A types) in the most sensitive part of the site, one Gateway building, a few other box buildings and a restaurant. So where are the thousand jobs? This application now looks pathetic and shoddy and needs revisiting.

Here's a suggestion. As TDC/KCC want this development so much , for goodness sake, give land to CGP at a fair price and tell them to put redistribution warehouses up at the new Summit Aviation end of the site where they won't bother the water supply or Acol (ie.let Ken Wills have the HGVs grinding around outside his office instead). Then the smaller more sensible operations and buildings can go down at the bottom end of the site where they will be less intrusive , quieter for Acol and less hazardous to our aquifer.
Now that's what I call a sensible proposal but that of course is not what this project is about is it. The worst thing about being lied to by people is when you know it and they know it, but they persist in telling lies. TDC Cabinet and its Senior Officers who have abstemious habits on trips abroad, continue to fail to come clean about this whole issue and quite simply cannot be trusted to act impartially or objectively.
That is why our Councillors need to reject this application and thus take it out of their hands entirely.








14 comments:

Matt B said...

It is starting to look a bit "odd".

Anonymous said...

oh what a tangled web we weave when we set out to deceive, come on Bertie you know that what you have written is a load of rubbish,16% of thanets eligible workforce without a job, Thanet highest number of people in receipt of Job seekers allowance in Kent, here is a chance and you like so many other people set out vilify decent people doing their utmost to provide jobs and careers for those who truly wish to work, about time you "found some more plastic bags" in order to improve your low"life" flying credentials

Bertie Biggles said...

Well 14.03 or should I say Councilloror TDC Officer? You are probably surprised that I have allowed your comment through so let me explain why. Believe it or not, I actually have faith in our democratic system and when I see it distorted for whatever motives I am concerned.

Let me address your points.

1. Is there any factual comment in my post that is incorrect? If so please feel free to elaborate.

2. If TDC/EKO was interested in job creation why have they decided that houses on Eurokent are such a good idea instead of attracting employers?

3. The pool of un-employed in Thanet has traditionally hovered around 2,000. But you might be interested to know that Fresca at Thanet Earth have not replied to requests for details of jobs at Thanet Earth despite the job creation promises? (Try jobs@thanetearth.com)

4.As far as plastic bags are concerned, I do not have a clue what you are talking about? Would you care to elaborate?

5.Try, when arguing and supporting the very weak case to allow China Gateway Phase 1,(after all it is a stand alone application, is it not?)to avoid personal abuse like 'low-life'. It does not help your argument or cause. All it does is make decent honourable men and women and many fine Councillors wonder why there has been an hysterical response from the 'Establishment'about those who have concerns about this planning application. You have not really grasped the point about this whole issue fully. Let me explain. Most 'protestors' are happy to see good, safe development to provide jobs at MIBP. The problem is that the vast project envisaged in The Gateway Scheme is another matter but because you and CGP have rolled this issue into one vast project, protest has had to be directed at Phase 1 because we all know it is not a stand alone project. Quite simply, you need to admit this is not a Stand Alone development but a vast project and put that to the electorate and its Councillors in an open and honest way.

Hugin said...

Bertie biggles, you tell us "The worst thing about being lied to by people is when you know it and they know it, but they persist in telling lies. TDC Cabinet and its Senior Officers ..... continue to fail to come clean about this whole issue and.....cannot be trusted to act impartially or objectively."

What are the names and positions of the liars and what specific lies have they told us? Name them and shame them.

The developers, according to their own publicity, expect their project to be a great success i.e. profitable for them. We should thus expect them to agree to the most stringent conditions that can be devised being put on their plan without argument. If they object -refuse planning permission.

Anonymous said...

Bertie, you missed beat here!

As 14.03 disagrees with you, you should take down his post as being offensive!

It's a tactic being carried out on other sites such as village voice, where Ken justs takes down arguements that challenge him!

Bertie Biggles said...

I regret 17.52 that I decided not to publish your comment. This is not the time or place to discuss the points you raised so please bear with me for the moment.

Hugin, I was making a general comment about being lied to and have no intention of naming or shaming at the moment.

If you trawl the press since May and this site you will see that despite the EA stating to TDC and CGP's agents in a letter dated the 25 Aug 2007 that " Any foul water shall be directed to mains foul sewer", this was not shown within the documents posted by TDC on www.ukplanning.com in April. We did see a cheaper proposal for cess-pits given to TDC in April which was still being mooted by Ken Wills of CGP in May 2003. On 23 May the IOTG reported ' CGP headed by Isle businessman Ken Wills has said it is sticking by its plans for an on-site treatment plant, saying it would provide a cheaper (yes!) and sustainable (no) solution to disposal of foul drainage'. It was not until late July 2008 that CGP admitted they would have to comply with the EA. A lot of agitation and concern could have been pre-empted by TDC by making the EA document available and making a simple statement that it was insisting on these conditions.

What's my point? I have almost forgotten myself! Ah, yes, open local government is good and hiding or supressing information is not good. Read Thanetonline and Michael's fight to get material to be put up in the public domain.

JC said...

Surely, if TDC and KCC have got together and created this 'joint venture' they should be putting all planning permission through an independant Local Authority. Any legitimate organisation would get a decison free from influence. They should seek to re-assure the Thanet public. Some of the recent TDC planning decisions appear to be very strange and a number of follies seem to have been erected as you have noted in earlier posts. I have also looked at the website for the 'Thanet Earth' development. For a technilogical multi-million pound organisation I find their website very sparce. If you want one of the jobs promised then the only link is for a blank email to them!!!! Strange. JC (1st time Blogger)

Anonymous said...

I think that there is an issue with the fact that a Planning Officer can skew any application in the direction they feel appropriate before it gets to the Planning Committee. As it states on the website rottencouncil.co.uk:
"Before any planning application reaches committee level, such applications are first left to the devices of the planning officer. It is here the planning officer can begin his or her vendetta against the applicant... (or objector) .... by meticulously perverting the application. As part of North East Lincolnshire Council's Constitution, the Development Control department are granted power, subject to exceptions, to grant approval of or refuse planning permissions through a system named the "Scheme of Delegated Powers". This scheme is the inner sanctuary of the planning officer, where he or she can seriously corrupt planning applications and then approve or refuse them at their discretion, immaterial of the schemes exceptions. In the event that an application surpasses this scheme, then a planning officer can still misdirect by passing up their misrepresented reports to the planning committee for deliberation and push those members of the committee in the planning officers direction. Moreover, some members of the planning committee will no doubt have prejudicial interests, in whatever form, to side with the planning officer - a combined double setback."

jg said...

Good argument against the Gateway Bertie. Agree with you that because you are opposed to China Gateway does not mean you are opposed to progress and jobs.

This whole Gateway Scheme seems to have sinister undertones. It has been rushed through with very little coverage up to now from the media or the Council. With voting so near I am still talking to people who haven't heard of it. This is mind boggling when this scheme will dominate our lives in every way. Smells a bit of sweeping under the carpet!

There are the serious concerns about it being built on top of our water supply. It begs the question....why are they not using already empty warehousing? No matter how much asking and digging that has been done NO job descriptions or guarantees are forthcoming anymore than at Thanet Earth. This one point alone is a fundamental right to us before we lose our environment, quality of life, wildlife and possible watwer supplies for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

This poor business plan dismisses the trucking issues and lack of infrasture to accommodate it. The document's "Conclusions" page describes approximately 17,000 trucking movement PER DAY to service this monster. Lets pause..........can you get your head round 17,000 truck movements per day? Can you visualise these trucks filtering into what is already chaos at certain times of the day?...... The document talks about daily rates if all three phases go through, however, like me, I am sure you have seen some newspaper reports describing this as a 24 HOUR DAY complex!!
Like the people in London, before the Conjestion Charge, on hot humid days we will be wearing masks! Not only will we suffer noise and air pollution but if this complex is operational 24 hours per day it will be lit up and seen for miles around.

There is no reference to the inevitable trucking parks that will be needed to accommodate 17,000 trucking movements per day.

I have been contacted by a man who lived and worked in Dubai and a woman whose parents live in Valencia, both people are passionately against the China Gateway and are prepared to fight it till the end. Both shared similar experiences. Dragon Mart in Dubai and China Mex in Valencia shipped in their own work force and the result is that whole areas in the neighbourhood are becoming Chinese communities and local housing and shops are being taken over to accommodate this.

I know many people will say this is heresay....yes it is.....I have no proof of this, I only know that two people have a shared experience and are putting their hearts and souls into stopping a possible repeat scenario in Thanet.

All the business presentation really tells us is that yet again cynical developers can make empty promises about jobs to desperate people and try to get away with it. WE are not so gullable anymore. We have been caught out too many times before and have learned to look and dig deeper. In this case what we can really see happening is that some people will get rich very quickly and those who desperately need it will be left wanting again. Interested parties being the Developers, Thanet District Council and the KCC.

This proposal is so huge it has implications for other Boroughs, namely pollution, infrastructure, gridlock on the M2 and M20 already hit by "stacking" on a regular basis. I do not believe that Thanet District Council have the expertise or experience to pass this scheme and that it should be judged by impartial Government bodies and a Public Enquiry should be held.

jg

Hugin said...

Friends, like it or not, planning applications must be considered subject to planning laws alone - not your personal preferences or political views.

This is part of section 70 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990:

Determination of applications: general considerations
(1) Where an application is made to a local planning authority for planning permission—
(a) subject to sections 91 and 92, they may grant planning permission, either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as they think fit

Note the words "such conditions as they see fit". Now write to, email or 'phone your local ward councillors to tell them what conditions YOU want to see imposed on the China Gateway application and ask your friends and neighbours to do the same. Remember - your councillors are your servants not your masters.

Bertie Biggles said...

Could I apologise for delay in putting comments up. Have had a very busy day.

Hugin, you are spot on in regard to discussing these issues with our Councillors. This is exactly what Cllr Simon Moores was saying two weeks ago in Your Thanet. Councillors need to hear people's views and take into consideration as full a picture as possible when making their decision on 9th October. Clear, cogent concerns and issues that have not been resolved yet by planning should be put to them.

If they make a decision that I feel is wrong then I will certainly urge that it be reviewed by The Secretary of State. However, if the decision of my Councillors is upheld then for me the matter ends. We cannot describe ourselves as democrats unless we are prepared to accept the bad with the good. At least we can express our views and lobby our Councillors and wave banners and protest if that's our style without having a knock on the door at 2am. The more open, informed and vigorous the debate, the better it will be for working and participatory democracy in Thanet. Whatever the decision is on the 9th, the effect on democracy in Thanet has been positive.

Bertie Biggles said...

Awfully sorry to not show your post, 14.17. However I am sure you understand why. In answer to your question......yes and no or no and yes.

steve said...

still don't understand what could possible entice the chinese here. Surely anything that happens here is at least 5 times as costly, regardless of who is doing the work.

still don't get it. does anyone know?

Bertie Biggles said...

The basis at the moment seems to be a redistribution centre for Chinese imports, Steve. Its just a way of cross-loading stores once they are in UK. What I find amazing is that Chinamex have a big Gateway in hand in Holland at Schipol airport and why should Ezekiel think that Manston is a Europe hub? Research and deveelopment and manufacturing jobs; as you imply, its cloud cuckoo land!