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On the 26.3.2009 I emailed various senior council officers including the chief executive Richard Samuel the email follows in quotation marks.
“Gentlemen I am wondering how the situation now stands with Pleasurama, I had a long discussion with Doug Brown about the development last week, he was as ever courteous and helpful.
He also provided me with a set of the new plans, which now show a two way road between the cliff face and the back of the building that appears to be too narrow for large vehicles to pass each other on, I believe this could present serious problems if a lorry caught fire down there.
He was unable to satisfy some of my concerns about safety issues relating to the development, I am coming to the conclusion that none of you would really want the development to go ahead without a FRA and escapes to the cliff top.
Progress on the development so far has been to build an access road roundabout and drop off point for busses, as this was done without a FRA and as the new plans have storm shutters that are higher than the new road, it would appear that even the architect has accepted that the sea will continue to overtop the road.
As you are probably aware the new road is constructed of lose cobbles and slabs on sand, there also seem to be considerable doubts about the safety of the Marina Esplanade incline and its ability to act as an access road for busses.
Frankly as far as I can see most of the work so far has been done wrongly and will probably have to be undone, to go ahead without the certainty of public transport access would seem unwise with a development of this size.
I now come to the validity of the planning consent and am wondering if you could answer me some questions about this, as you know I am reluctant to go down the LGO and FOI road as I think it just adds unnecessarily to your workloads.
I have been told that as work has started on the access road work is deemed to have started on the development and therefore the consent didn't expire after five years.
1 Does this mean that planning consent is granted in perpetuity for this development?
I have been told that before work can start on the development a bond has to be placed in a bank account, last time I asked about a month ago and after the five years had expired the bond had not been placed.
2 Does this mean that work has not officially started on the development and therefore planning consent has expired?
3 I gather that SFP as a company would need to have supplied you with a certificate of authenticity for prevention of money laundering purposes does such a certificate exist?
I am copying this to the LGO officer who dealt with my complaint about this before that resulted in the environment agency's letter strongly recommending a FRA and emergency escapes.
Best regards Michael”
Although I am not against the development in principle I am most unhappy about aspects of the development that the EA consider may be dangerous and feel that the council has not acted in the best interest of local people in this matter.
The latest plans are very different to those first passed and I believe the differences constitute material change and that the planning consent is no longer valid.
In this instance my complaint is that I have not received answers to the three questions in my original email.
I have had an email dialogue about this with Richard Samuel and on the 9.4.2009 he sent me an email promising me answers last week, in quotation marks below.
“An officer will reply to you on this next week. I have made some initial inquiries and I understand the obligations under the Proceeds of Crime legislation are not quite as you say. I think you rmay be confusing due diligence procedures with irregularities in the deposit of funds which do not come into effect until funds are received. However I am not the expert and you will receive a fuller reply shortly.
Thanet District Council
As no answers have arrived I am now lodging this complaint, I should also like formal notification of the existence of the certificate of authenticity for prevention of money laundering purposes and the name of the authenticating bank as I believe this document may be falsified.
Can you also please send me email confirmation that you have received the complaint and send all correspondence by email.
Please let me know if you want the rest of the documentation as the complaint form will not accept the html in the emails.