Thursday, 13 November 2008

ALL QUIET ON THE GATEWAY PHASE 1 FRONT?

Despite TDC and 'Woger' seeming so proud of an improvement in TDC's timings of handling Planning Applications in today's press release from Cecil Sq, I wonder if they are so proud of the lack of strategic planning in the environs of Manston?

The diagram above is from Page 66 of the KIA Masterplan. The perceptive will note that KIA want a road to be put through CGP's China Gateway Phases 1,2 and 3 and the closure of the present B2190. I am beginning to feel sorry for Ken Wills and CGP. Let me explain why.

His new Summit Aviation building has had to be re-designed due to airport safety concerns, despite TDC and KIA 'approving ' the original plans and the back will now have to be the front and parking sorted out. Now, we have this road punching through the plans and having to circuit round the 'Gateway Building' and possibly effect the No 15 buildings! This saga seems so typical of Thanet and its Council. What have Infratil and CGP been told about their conflicting plans? Is there really no strategic planning section working at TDC? Is the whole Manston development around the airport to become a re-run of piece-meal and unjoined up planning that has blighted Westwood Cross?

If this wasn't enough to make CGP wonder what is going on, let me offer some snippets that have come my way recently. Firstly let's quote Paul Carter of KCC in a reply to a Thanet resident: "However, that said, I do have serious concerns myself on The China Gateway Development and have let my views be known to Thanet District Council."
Whilst we are quoting 'Leaders' let's examine what 'Mauwice' said to Jane Wenham -Jones in the IOTG of 17th October: " I do support the phase one development of China Gateway but I will need convincing with the two other phases."

Hang on a moment! CGP has made it quite clear that The Gateway project has to consist of all 3 phases and that Phase 1 can only go ahead if Phases 2 & 3 can be delivered. Despite TDC meeting in 'full council' on the 9th Oct and considering what it liked to regard as a 'stand-alone' application, CGP has always maintained its a 3 phase job. Has CGP been mislead by TDC? What was it told when it went ahead and purchased land in 2006 and then 2007?

If this nonsense was not enough, readers might like to know that EKO LLP which appears to have no democratic control over it from our elected Councillors, is still prevaricating over selling CGP its 5 acres of land (at the exorbitant price of £225,000 per acre) for its 'Gateway Building'. In addition KCC has admitted in response to a 'Freedom of Information' request, that its RANSOM STRIP (never included in sharing of assets with TDC in EKO LLP) is not subject to a formal offer of purchase yet from CGP. (This ransom strip is on offer at the 'extortionate price' of £1,000,000 and controls access into the NW corner past the Cummins roundabout where the X types are to be located).

Readers also might like to remember that EKO LLP (KCC and TDC's own property company) has land at the South end of Manston Business Park that it will not sell at a market value to CGP so that the whole Phase 1 Plan could be re-drawn to remove the contentious X type warehouses away from Acol and the aquifer and thus result in a good plan for Manston Business Park. So much for representing the people of Acol?

Well, if you have got this far, some further snippets to digest. The TDC Planning Committtee meeting next week (Wed 19th Nov) has no 'Conditions' items on the agenda relating to Phase 1 of Gateway, 6 weeks after planning consent was approved on the 9th Oct and it has come to my attention that some residents in Alland Grange Lane have had a letter from CGP, withdrawing its offer to purchase properties until issues about Phases 2 and 3 are resolved. Very understandable in the circumstances.

My position, unlike that of vacillating Council leaders is the same as always; good sustainable development for jobs on Manston Business Park by CGP or anyone (if EKO LLP stops playing silly beggars) but no further development on prime agricultural land for Phases 2 and 3.

5 comments:

Rick said...

I thought I would share er indoors "Oatibix" moment with you BB.

I read your post out. After some laughter she said "Perhaps they could make it a drive through Chinese goods retail experience. You know like a drive through Argos".

Bertie Biggles said...

Now that's a thought!

Anonymous said...

Only in Thanet could the Council vaunt two projects that drive through each other!

You really could not make this up could you!

Has anyone told the Council's Gazette about this cock up, or have they been told not to comment again; like with the Petition snatching affair?

Rick said...

Mind you if there is a road drainage system and regular on site gulleysucker lorries. I can feel a drainage solution coming on akin to the dredging malarkey that keeps a harbour allegedly viable.

Just order a few extra RSJs ... knock an archway in each gable end of each warehouse. run the road through. Traffic lights for forklifts crossing.

Compromise gentlemen and this could work. Extra extra exhaust extractor fans to get the traffic exhaust out of the warehouses to protect the lungs of the thousands of national minimum wage locally recruited warehouse staff.

I am also thinking widen the road and make it dual use as a runway.

A taxi rank for Rear View Mirror and his oppos ... getting plenty of bizzo from those national minimum wage workers going fours ups on cab home costs.

Laybys for hot dog and noodle vans.

Free staff cultural coach for lunchtime transport to the Turner Centre (not to be used to cadge a free lift home).

I am finding it difficult to spot a downside to this.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, the Councils collective greed will finish the idea off.