Friday, 8 February 2013

Pleasurama Drama Continues in the news

The unacceptable situation over at the Ramsgate seafront Pleasurama site have been hitting the headlines all week. There was a public meeting on Wednesday with over 80 local people present.

The meeting even made the BBC News.

Yesterday's BBC Radio Kent breakfast show dedicated quite a bit of air time to the issue, interviewing, Thanet District Councillor Ian Driver, Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Alan Poole and Broadstairs Estate Agent and developer SFP's agent, Terence Painter. Mr Painter has previously also held positions as Chairman of Ramsgate Town Partnership, Margate Town Partnership and Margate Town Team.

Here are a series of Audioboo files of the BBC Radio Kent Feature. I do love Audioboo.

Part 1: Introduction and background on location in Ramsgate. 
Part 2: With Councillor Ian Driver interviewed.
Part 3: With Councillor Ian Driver continued.

Part 4: Interview with Councillor Alan Poole, Deputy Leader of Thanet District Council.

Interview Transcript...Scroll down to end for best bit...

BBC: If I can just start with you, Alan Poole. Why don't you just take the leasehold back if they are in breach of contract? Why can't you do that?
Poole: As far as I'm concerned they're not in breach of the contract.
BBC: SO there was no time limit set on how quickly they had to build these flats?
Poole: The long stop date is 2017, so we're nowhere near that yet.
BBC: OK. What is the sticking point as far as you can see?
Poole: Well, the sticking point is the developer finding £20m.
BBC: Right. Er, why do they need £20m?
Poole: Well, they need £20m to put up the building.
BBC: So, it's as simple as that is it?
Poole: We're in a very difficult financial climate at the moment. We're in the middle of a triple dip recession. And it's difficult for people to raise the necessary finance to get the work done.
BBC: And I don't suppose there are other developers waiting to come in are there? Or perhaps there are?
Poole: I'm not aware of any developers queuing up to take on this development.
BBC: OK. I think they would say, and we'll speak to their representative in a moment. They would say that one of the problems that they've got in raising the capital is that they don't own the freehold. And they would like it. And why can't you give it them?
Poole: They've got a 199 year lease. And the freehold was going to be transferred when the building was completed. We're currently in negotiations with the developers to transfer the freehold upfront but they will have to pay us upfront. 
BBC: Yes. Could you not just have a sort document that says we will give you the freehold when you build the flats. 
Poole: Well, we've already got that document.
BBC: So they will have the freehold, but you just want them to build the flats first.
Poole: We would prefer it that way, yes. But they're telling us they need the freehold to get access to the funding.
BBC: Ian Driver who we spoke to earlier says this company has no history of developing this sort of site. Is that true?
Poole: Ian Driver is a publicity seeking opportunist.
BBC: So he's wrong is he?
Poole: Yes, he's wrong, yes.
BBC: So, where else have they built stuff then?
Poole: He's implying that all offshore companies are cowboys and crooks, which is patently not true. 
BBC: BUt have you seen any of their other developments?
Poole: Well, this is probably a one development company. It's a vehicle that many many companies use.
BBC: So they haven't got any history of developing a place like this?
Poole: I'm not aware of any history.
BBC: So, he's right? Ian Driver?
Poole: Well…yes.

Part 5: Interview with Terence Painter, agent for SFP.
He does go into that the developer doesn't need the freehold, but that it would be nice.

Part 6: Interview with Councillor Alan Poole.

There's a Facebook Group for Friends of Ramsgate Seafront. They're currently aiming to get 1000 signatures on a petition to TDC by Monday. As ever, Michael Child is excellently on the case over on Thanet Online. 


  1. already posted on FORS
    More notes on the accounts submitted by developer.
    Stocks = value of the land (lease) as this is a development Company.
    1. How much was the original lease purchased for?
    2. The land seems to have appreciated in value by around £200K. Is this the cost of foundation work added onto original lease?
    3. Does this really increase the value of the land?
    Debtors = A N other that owes developer money.
    1. Who owes the developer over £200K?
    2. Why is this o/s at the beginning of the accounting period?
    What safeguards are in place to stop the developer removing his seed money (over £1M) should someone lend the company the money to continue the build? His total liability at that point would be £1. The lease value would then not matter to him.
    The Company was Incorporated in 2009 and have only ever posted Accounts from Feb to July 2011

  2. "Ian Driver is a publicity seeking opportunist"

    The most accurate statement made in relation to Thanet in general, or Ramsgate in particular!

    1. Maybe, but you've got to love the bit in the interview where Alan Poole admits Ian is right (unless you're Alan Poole!).

  3. Oh what a pl*nker. And he's to be trusted in negotiations with these developers? Don't make me laugh.

  4. Alan Poole did not like being questioned. He came across as shifty.

  5. Shifty isn't the word. He is obviously way out of his depth and completely lost without Captain Darling pulling his strings. He really ought to have been told to keep his big mouth shut tight and get on with the much more important job of delivering our labour propaganda in St Peters. The man is an absolute embarrassment and we have got to get rid of him. When can enough of us make a takeover for our awful current labour shower. They are all an embarrassment to us.

  6. i have looked how it was before the fire they was nothing wrong with it so put how it used to be and stop messing about no one mess about when it come to the turmer centre i would rather have the pleasurama and dreamland this seaside is dieing every year