Saturday, 30 April 2016

18 long years

On bank holiday Monday May 25th 1998, a major fire broke out on Ramsgate's sea front. Fire fighters from all over Kent went to tackle the blaze, about 150 in all. Local residents watch the blaze as it ripped away at the once palace of fun since 1927-1997.

On the 25th May 2016 it would mean 18 long years since the arson attack on Ramsgate Main Sands biggest draw. A whole generation of children who have missed out on summer fun. Both Labour, Conservative and TDC have failed the electorate and have missed plenty of opportunities to enhance the Ramsgate offering with currently work yet again stalled on building 107 flats that, to be quite honest, no one really wanted.
So what went wrong and I make no apology for this post.
After the fire James (Jimmy) Godden put in plan after plan and TDC refused mainly because the intent was leisure and Jimmy wanted Yuppie flats. Eventually he got TDC to agree a leisure complex including shops and a cinema however no work was started making it obvious he was holding out for flats. Eventually TDC's patience ran out and they threatened to CPO the land but to ensure Jimmy wouldn't fight it they TDC and the Labour Cabinet agreed to let him keep the insurance money. So in 2001 TDC got the land back and Jimmy got (allegedly) £1/2M in Insurance money.
What did Ramsgate get.
Which became this by 2003
So what did Labour do? Well they create a sales document which makes it quite clear leisure is what they want for the area

So with that document they make it clear that what is important is to enhance the character of the Royal Harbour and which enhances the quality of Ramsgate's waterside. So what do they do?
In November 2002 they choose an offer from an opaque overseas group who propose building 107 flats

What is odd is the offer is not from the chosen group SFP Venture Partners but is from a local estate agent.
So the Labour cabinet completely ignore their own document and agree to 100 flats with a hotel and ancillary A3 however by May 2003 they had lost the election and the Tories took over and in November 2003 planning is applied for and the flats have increased to 107 flats. Planning was granted in January 2004.
As people know no building started and the only change was an increase in the footprint and the "tombstones"

After various false starts Ezekiel's Cabinet signed a development agreement in 2006 and again in 2009 however this still failed to get a development and finally in February 2014 the 2009 agreement terminated, however did TDC take back the land from SFP? Did it heck another opportunity lost and 2 years on Cardy have yet to start building and so we get to 18 long years with nothing substantial happening on the site and councillors who have failed the people of Ramsgate wondering why there is little trust by the electorate in their ability to help and support the regeneration of Ramsgate.