Thursday, 30 July 2009

IS THIS WHY EUROFERRIES NEVER STOOD A CHANCE WITH TDC?

Here is PRC Architects concept for the commercial harbour at Ramsgate.
See http://www.prc-group.com/projects/projects.php?topx=2&codex=2&sub_code=40.
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My thanks to SMEG and Than.net for drawing my attention to the 'concept' plans. The question begging, is who has asked them to draw them up; TDC?
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Bertie is not that familiar with Ramsgate Harbour but it seems to me that with an expensive, up-market residential development like this with fine sea-views on the harbour frontage, close to one's expensive yacht moored in The Marina harbour close-by, there is no room for a working commercial port and much money to be made by someone building it.
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Could this be why TDC has been in no hurry to renew a contract with TransEuropa that expired in 2006 and why, according to quay-side gossip merchants, Euroferries were being 'beggared around' recently by TDC in terms of a contract signing? Does Thanet South MP, Steve Ladyman know anything about PRC's pretty drawings, having gone to a lot of trouble supporting Euroferries bid to get a high speed catamaran link going?
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Having seen TDC's EKAP audit reports about the shambles of financial mis-management at Ramsgate Harbour and its Maritime Services, is TDC contemplating the asset disposal to beat all previous asset disposals? I hope not. Let me explain why.
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I rather like PRC's ideas. Is Ramsgate ever going to be a serious cross-channel port again? In one fell swoop, PRC's project tidies up a bit of an eye-sore and will remove all those dreadful parking problems down by the port and those littering, peeing and defecating drivers up on Manston Loop at week-ends.! The problem that needs addressing though is how is it to be done?
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I would hope that any development could be a 'joint-project' with the Thanet Council Tax payer benefitting from a very healthy income stream for years to come and not be a quick asset sale to get some 'readies' in the short term, leaving a developer to make an enormous profit on the project. Should Ramsgate Council have some input and should the residents of Ramsgate themselves be involved and consulted?
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This of course is idle speculation. This could be PRC flying a kite of course or has TDC got some serious ideas in mind about its Ramsgate Harbour? We will wait and see.

22 comments:

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

Here a theory for you,

Ferry company wants to come to Ramsgate, a deal is agreed,
Someone in Council decides company agreed deal to easily and instructs Officers to go back to ferry company to renegotiate deal for more money, ferry company agrees new deal,

repeat once,

repeat twice,

Ferry company gets eventually gets pi55ed of and decide to go elsewhere.

TDC say " Port is losing money, and we cant attract users, we will have to sell it off"


Its only a theory mind you!

Anonymous said...

GAdzooks! If that is what they want to build in Ramsgate let's all leave now. Didn't anyone tell them it is a conservation area? Mind you they keep promising us all sorts of things but few ever materialise ( the skulduggery over the Royal Sands development is a case in point)so let's hope it is just pie in the sky- but someone must have had enough money to pay the architect for his plans. I wonder if it was SPF Ventures now they've been let off the hook over the £5 million bond.

mnottingham said...

My concern and one which is unclear from these drawings is will there still be space for boats to be taken out of the water and maintained? Whilst there is some vacant space at present, those that know more about yachts than me tell me one of the attractions of the current set up is the ease with which boatowners can have them worked on and maintained. We need to hold on to existing berth users rather than just expand without thinking through the consequences. I'm told Ramsgate charges are becoming less competitive. If we are to attract investors we need to maintain a full buzzy harbour. For the port there is also the question of providing services for the wind farms.

Bertie Biggles said...

Cllr Harrison, I love theories.
I am rather pleased that TDC, for whatever reason, did not end up with a Eroferries deal. A town in the USA had its fingers burned with a Euroferries plan that went pear-shaped a couple of years ago.

09:00, I am not familiar with the boundaries of the conservation area but would not be surprised if it does not cover the commercial harbour area.

Cllr Nottingham; I think the plan shows the marina side etc still as a marina, presumably with facilities for pulling boats out and repair.

Bertie Biggles said...

I am a bit slack with checking incoming e-mails. This was sent to me yesterday by Cllr Johnston in regard to my earlier posting concerning mismanagement at Ramsgate Harbour. I have placed it here, as it all seems related!

"Dear Bertie,
I have just quickly read Thanet Strife regarding Ramsgate Harbour and Port.

Last year I was one of a working party set up under the Chairmanship of Bob Bayford to 'advise' the Cabinet on the possible future plans for the Port. We had a number of useful meetings with a presentation in their own time from officers and members from Canterbury City Council who manage Whitstable Port. Councillors Steve Ward, Mick Tomlinson, Mike Roberts and myself obviously had to do as much research as possible on other ports by reading backgrounds and asking questions of our own officers.

The last meeting I attended was in April 2008 and despite numerous requests no one came up with an answer on why we no longer met. That is until Overview and Scrutiny this week. You may be able to see the full rude responses from Cllr Bayford to myself as the meeting was taped. He never bothered to tell us over a year ago that we were disbanded and I can only assume some of the questions we were asking were a bit too difficult for him and officers.

Yet another 'working party' is now being set up and the work we did last year will go unreported.

This waste of officer and member time at TDC is rife and an insult to those of us who try to participate properly.

Please publish if you wish.

Kind regards Iris"

Anonymous said...

Whats this Euroferies announcement after 3pm today (according to their web site)?

Adem said...

Press Conference at Ramsgate Port today (Friday) at 3pm

Stop Manston Expansion Group said...

Bertie, the clue to who has asked this company to do the drawings is in their client list. TDC nor KCC are listed, but SEEDA are.

In regards to the conservation area, unless I'm very much mistaken this relates to the buildings/area above the clifftop. I would say anything in place of the eyesore below the cliffs at the moment would be an improvement.

However, the regency buldings, spencer square didn't stop the council putting an industrial port there in the first place.

I heard the council were offered a huge sum of money when Sally folded from a huge developer with experience in the south of france. Our narrow minded, stuck in the past council wanted to continue with the port as a going concern, jobs for the masses, answer to all our problems etc etc. The same drum they beat about china gate, airport.

Thanet - a barren wasteland dotted with white elephants because of a group of tired old men keeping both feet planted in the past.

Anonymous said...

Major Euroferries announcement due at Ramsgate port

by Martin Jefferies

A major announcement on the future of the Port of Ramsgate will be made this afternoon.

Officials have kept the content of today's press conference secret but the KM Group believes there could be an update on a planned high-speed ferry service to Boulogne.

Euroferries were due to launch the new cross channel route in March but it was delayed when the firm discovered that its new 'Bonanza Express' vessel was unable to dock in Ramsgate.

The 96-metre 'Incat' catamaran has since spent time berthed in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa.

Although the future of the service seemed uncertain, Thanet Extra reported in June that behind-the-scenes work was still continuing.

At the time, Dr Stephen Ladyman, the MP for South Thanet who helped clinch the deal, said: "I can't say too much because although they've been kind enough to keep me informed of any developments, there's a confidentiality agreement in place which, were I to breach it, could bring the whole scheme crashing down.

"Euroferries should be able to talk more publicly about their plans in the very near future."

• Follow today's announcement as it happens on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ThanetExtra), kmfm (107.2FM in Thanet) and online (www.thanetextra.co.uk)

Richard Card said...

Exemplary blogging Bertie.

Anonymous said...

Wrong again Bertie

Bertie Biggles said...

Thanks for comments.

It would seem that we are back where we started from with yet another Press Release announcing a Euroferries service in September. What makes this anymore likely than the Press Release about the service that was meant to start last March?

Adem said...

There is now a formal agreement in place with TDC but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

You can read TDC press release here.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you Bertie and their own web page reads August start ....

If this gets off the ground they will have to wait until LD quit the usage of the Gare Maritime as they want sole use.

The date for the new terminal has been delayed until mid September if not October.

Anonymous said...

bertie you are wrong why not admit it, well done I say to all those who made it happen, as for the Labour Cllrs who sought to rubbish the Council, we know with the country in disaster mode any good news story by the ruling Conservative council they have to try and rubbish
Mike Mark and Iris, think you were a tad to premature in your condemnation.

Anonymous said...

The only vacant space on seagoing matters on Councillor Nottingham's comment is in his head Be thankful for a positive story for once.

Bertie Biggles said...

16.21, I will save my full congratulations until I see it happen. If you have managed to pull it off at last, well done indeed. You must forgive Doubting Thomas's like myself and some Cllrs from both sides of the political divide in Thanet!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the "red rose "would like to comment on her governments handling of the economy, with a national debt of two trillion unemployment soaring, house repossesions an epidemic,trying to claw back money from injured soldiers severly wounded and disabled for life in her Governments wars, no all we hear is how much better it was when she was in control, if our memories go back that far. How about a well done from you to the executive that have made it happen. Oh and by the way I heard the Service will start in Sep Bertie.

Bertie Biggles said...

17:03, please keep up! I think Sep was what I said at 15:41. In regard to petty points aimed at Cllr Johnston, we are all aware of the problems of the Labour Government! At local level our Conservative TDC and KCC both seem happy to squander and waste tax-payers millions with gay abandon through inept schemes; so let's not throw stones in the glass-house, please!

Cllr. Mike Harrison said...

Anon 16.21 said
" Mike Mark and Iris, think you were a tad to premature in your condemnation."

No one has condemned anything yet. We were only being sceptical having seen these thing disappear before our eyes previously.
If it happens, and I hope it does, it will be good news for Ramsgate and Thanet in general, as it will provide some jobs for those who are currently looking.

Michael Child said...

One little worry here Bertie wasn’t it PRC that designed the 5 sets of Pleasurama plans see http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/tdc/id30.htm and the new ones that are not EA complaint.

Another little worry here didn’t PRC design the original China Gateway plans with the cesspits draining into our water supply.

For a not very well known firm of architects isn’t an odd coincidence that they should be involved with three major projects that TDC seem to want approved.

Bertie Biggles said...

Well spotted, Michael. I had made the connection to China Gateway but had not realised that PRC was also The Pleasurama people! They seem good on pretty pictures but without substantive detail and it is odd that they appear to have fingers in so many Thanet pies! Perhaps, worth some digging?