Thursday, 11 June 2009


The Planning Committeee of TDC meets next Wednesday, 17th June to consider an application in regard to 1 Granville Marina. (Items 6a and 6b on its agenda). Luke Blaskett, the case Officer recommends APPROVAL to build an extension on the side of an illegally demolished Grade 2 Listed Building and turn it into five, 2 bedroomed flats and one, 1 bedroomed flat.
What does he tell our Councillors (particularly Ezekiel's new members)?
" Following the partial demolition of the Grade 2 listed building ( two thirds is hardly partial and it was done without Planning consent of TDC which is a criminal offence by the way) it was resolved by members to serve a repairs notice on the owner of 1 Granville Marina. Under this notice works on the reinstatement of the listed building were to start on 23 Feb 2009 and be completed by 30 Nov 2009."
Does Mr Blaskett discuss this issue any further? No. Does he remind members the demolition was carried out without consent by TDC? No.
Was work started? No. Was it enforced? No.
So what is Mr Blaskett really saying here? Could it be:
1. TDC is being taken for a ride here by a developer who has gone about demolition of a Grade 2 Listed Building without consent and has not been prosecuted?
2. So please, members of the planning committee, reward them by giving them what they wanted all along by approving an application you have already rejected?
If this is not incompetence then what is it?

Let's hear now from Cllr Latchford OBE, Deputy Leader of TDC:
"The council is utterly determined to ensure that this building is re-built in its previous form and, to this end, we have already served notices on the owner of the property. One requires emergency works to be carried out immediately and, if this is not done, the Council will undertake the work in default. The other notice requires the property to be put back in its original state. This will mean that the owner will have to submit detailed information on how they will achieve this requirement."
Fine words but what a load of 'tosh'. One is reminded of the fine words spoken in April 2008 about a certain 'arsoned' Scenic Railway on the derelict Dreamland site; all 'blah'. The Leadership of this Council showed little integrity in not resigning after their disgraceful behaviour in The Woolen Mill last year, so why should we expect anything other than 'cod's wallop' in regard to this matter?

None of what Latchford said has happened and now his and his Leader's Planning Committtee are being advised to approve what is effectively a new development of SIX modern apartments on a prestigious location in place of a Grade 2 listed building that was meant to be protected in law by TDC!
Another thought has crossed my mind; having removed Cllr Bill Hayton last year from Chair of Planning, (it is rumoured Ezekiel was upset by a Planning Committtee site visit to an Au Clair property in Victoria Rd which was taller than it oughta have been) and removed men of principle like Jarvis and Bruce from Planning, who is going to look at this application next week and 'nod' it through as Ezekiel appointees? ( I include our 'Conservative' Ind here).

Councillor A K Gregory (Chairman)
Councillor Simon Day (Vice-Chairman)
Councillor Crispin Crotty
Councillor Brian C Goodwin
Councillor Dean McCastree
Councillor Mrs Judith Russell
Councillor Mrs Karen Sullivan
Councillor Brian M Sullivan
Councillor Michael Tomlinson
Councillor Ted Watt-Ruffell

Another thought has crossed my mind; how many of them have received formal TRAINING in Planning Matters and if not, should they not be exempt from attending Planning Committee under TDC rules? On present form, who follows the rules at TDC anyway!
All I can say, is that if Applications F/th/09/0051 and F/th/09/0052 are approved next week, then TDC is clearly shown to be one of the weakest, incompetent and most supine LPA's in the country in regard to up-holding Planning Law and in particular, in regard to Listed Buildings.
If it is not incompetent, what is it?


Anonymous said...

Brian White Head of Planning and Regeneration is the (IMO) incompetent oaf who should be sacked. He's made a total b*lls-up of everything he's touched.

Bertie Biggles said...

A little harsh 22.25 but if I am correct, was there not a problem recently at a development on allotments in Ramsgate that Mr White was involved with?

Anonymous said...

Bertie - I think the nub of the problem is that no one in Planning cares about our environment, as long as their pay cheque is in the bank at the end of each month. A little extra doesn't go amiss either.

Anonymous said...

Remember the officer who was charged with asset disposal?think you will find planning also covers this sector - he is charged with rebuilding and selling - bit incongrous? means council can vote themselves permission - quite handy?

Bertie Biggles said...

23:20, idle gossip up and down the land often implies that Planning Depts must be on the 'take' and your 'extra' falls into that category.
If you have any evidence concerning such a situation you should report it to the relevant authority.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Expect Mr.White's solicitors to be banging on your door soon Bertie. Free speech is one thing. Libel is another.

Bertie Biggles said...

21.26. Forgive me, but exactly what is libellous about 22.25's comment? It is a harsh opinion, as I have pointed out.

Am I not correct in stating that Mr White has admitted in IOTG that there was a bit of a cock-up in regard to notification to residents and the development at Ramsgate on the former allotments?

Bertie Biggles said...

16.13, I have edited your comment as it commented on matters that I cannot verify.

You must also realise that all LPAs in the UK have a major problem in keeping tabs on developers not doing what they had gained planning consent to do or ignoring planning consent altogether. It is not a problem specific to Thanet by any means. Rigorous enforcement is the answer.

Anonymous said...
Brian White was recently involved in the well-publicised cock-up over at Westwood, where he failed to notify residents of a significant change to the housing development over there. He had to personally go and apologise to them, now they are demanding huge compensation.

There have been other instances where his department has not realised builders have sneaked a bit extra in that wasn't on the plans.

Is it not time for him to retire?

12 June 2009 16:13

Ken Gregory said...

Whilst not allowed to comment on the title of the thread, I would say that the LPA's do have real problems, generated by central Gov allowing for the overseeing of building work to be done by two seperate bodies, either the NHBC or the local authority. IMHO this allows for mistakes and confusion.

Anonymous said...

Ken Gregory always comes up with a load of irrelevant toss to try to take the eye out of the storm!

It comes down to whether or not TDC enforcement officers did their job in letting a Grade 2 listed building be demolished in front of their eyes and how a planning officer is now recommending approval following the law breaking offence, it is nothing to do with who will oversee the rebuilding at this stage! Unless he already knows that it will be passed and built? !

Anonymous said...


Perhaps then you could inform the public how TDC proposes to deal with the Ramsgates CAAG comments and the new Town Councils comments in regard to this application especially when the planning department have stated it should be approved.

Ken what is apparent that there is a one rule for developers in Thanet - and one for the general public, who pay TDC to do a job and pays much more than developers do?

We also have developers destroying street furniture, wrecking roads and signs which the public has to pay to reinstate...why?


Anonymous said...

It is unfair as well as incorrect to suggest that the Independent member is really a Conservative. He votes differently to them a lot. The Birchington Arcade is one example where the Tory members voted against it and he did not.

Anonymous said...

News is that one of the successful candidates (not MEP) is being investigated by the police re electoral expenses

Bertie Biggles said...

Thanks to 11.44 for here and hear! You will appreciate why I have not posted your comment, but I have now corrected my error and thank you very much for bringing it to my attention.

14.13, I am perhaps being a little unfair here but let's wait and see what happens in 2011?

Readers must understand that even though members of planning must coyly state that they have not pre-determined the issue and will only make up their minds during the planning meeting, that this is beyond the realms of credibility when you listen to their input at a Planning Meeting! However, they cannot make a public comment in advance as this provides clear evidence of 'pre-determination' and so it is unfair to expect Cllr Gregory to comment. He must remain silent.

Anonymous said...

So Bertie are you agreeing that Brian White can be let off the Manston fiasco fault because the NHBC were actually meant to be policing it? thought you wanted fair govt too not to side with mis-management?

Bertie Biggles said...

Not at all 20.46. Let's be quite clear that what we are talking about here is incompetence by the sound of it. However, in mitigation, the number of planning applications in 2007/8 have been enormous and is TDC really up to keeping a beady eye on them all? It is up to our Councillors to monitor the competence or otherwise of TDC's officers.
What I am also interested in is the ring-fenced allotment money and has it been spent by TDC on other causes? A worthwhile mis-use would be to open Margate Museum and the toilets in Albion St?

Anonymous said...


What's with the sudden change from refuse to approve for the Marina development - I mean what's all that about!!!



Bertie Biggles said...

D8, I have had my attention drawn to this issue and wait out as it needs some examination and then I will post!