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My attempts learn about the Pleasurama project have lead me into a dialogue with Thanet District Council about their website and the way they pass on correspondence to councillors. Click on the links above to read the correspondence.

latest news
My recent communications with council officers the oldest are at the bottom. Can you call it the latest news, hard to tell really.

Subject:
Meeting with Brian White
Date:
10/03/2007 13:30:15 GMT Standard Time
From:
Michael Child
HES@thanet.gov.uk CC: Doug.Brown@thanet.gov.uk, terry@wwheeler.freeserve.co.uk, winterstoke@tiscali.it, mauriceburton@btinternet.com, rjwinramsgate@tiscali.co.uk, peterjude@landi4.freeserve.co.uk, terra_nova@btconnect.com, richglen@clements320.fsnet.co.uk, ralph@ralphhoult.co.uk, mrsmknight@hotmail.co.uk, Michael Child, mayor.ramsgate@btopenworld.com, margatemuseum@btconnect.com, margaret.swan@ukonline.co.uk, lauraprobert@btinternet.com, Kedajone, johnmac1941@hotmail.com, jocelynm@talktalk.net, info@clivebaker.co.uk, fiona.fennell@kent.gov.uk, eddie@ramsgatebrewery.co.uk, david@ddorman.plus.com, curator@greatstorm.fsnet.co.uk, batt977@btinternet.com catblake@freeuk.com, dgreen.home@btinternet.com, poole@btinternet.com, sandy.ezekiel@thanet.gov.uk, CC: llaldred@yahoo.co.uk
Bobbreggub
robert.bayford@thanet.gov.uk
jobooth@tinyworld.co.uk
jackbernard.cohen@virgin.net
cook_barbara_ann@hotmail.com
kaydark@hotmail.com
simonday@clara.co.uk
trevoremes@freenet.co.uk
michellefenner@hotmail.com
johnfullarton@hotmail.com
bowenfuller@hotmail.com
brianandann@birchpark.fs.co.uk
greenliz@btinternet.com
AGreg115
Ian.Gregory@ekht.nhs.uk
cllrboggs@hotmail.com
bill-hayton@bhayton.fsnet.co.uk
charles.hibberd@thanet.gov.uk
higgsl@parliament.uk
Iris.johnston@btinternet.com
john.kirby@thanet.gov.uk
roger.latchford@btinternet.com
roger.latchford@thanet.gov.uk
Jeff.Kirkpatrick@btinternet.com
barbara.nicholson216@tesco.net
richard@rnicholson3.wanadoo.co.uk
william.peppiatt@thanet.gov.uk
ingrid.spencer@talk21.com
ingrid.spencer@thanet.gov.uk
margatecarnival@tesco.net
steve_ward@btinternet.com
zita@wiltshire1.fsworld.co.uk
martin.wise@thanet.gov.uk
Claire.Sivier@thanet.gov.uk
lucy.tuson@thanet.gov.uk
editorial@kosmedia.co.uk
eleonard@thekmgroup.co.uk
editor.thanet@kentregionalnewspapers.co.uk
thanetextra@thekmgroup.co.uk
news@meridiantv.com
newsdesk.thanet@kentregionalnewspapers.co.uk
southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk
Annette.Firmin@thanet.gov.uk
Committee@thanet.gov.uk
jdr_kent@yahoo.com
howardm@parliament.uk
steveladyman@email.labour.org.uk
GaleRJ@parliament.uk
enquiryodpm@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
cpocrown@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
dc@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
devplan@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
regplan@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
hens@thecoop.orangehome.co.uk
laura@sandys.org.uk
LadymanS@parliament.uk


Dear Brian
I am getting inundated with enquiries about our meeting, so I am sending you this and also sending it to the recipients of the previous emails. I think itís a pretty fair summery of our meeting but if there is anything you disagree with please let me know.
I had a very positive meeting with Brian White Head of Development Services for Thanet District Council on tuseday, he obviously understands the problems associated with the building and I genuinely think will do his best to try and resolve them. He will be meeting with DEFRA and the architects this week.
He has promised to send me the latest set of plans, the seismic report on the voids in the cliff and any other related documents he can think of.
Approximately the issues in order of importance that he intends to try and deal with are.
1 Storm and flood protection.
2 The possible effects of both the lowering of the ground in front of the cliff protection wall and of piling next to the cliff.
3 The appearance of the roof when viewed from above.
4 The appearance of the building and its lack of architectural merit, now the gull wings have gone.
5 Access road, access to the site for building materials should be via the old railway tunnel.
We are both a little uncertain as to exactly the base datum line of the building but concur that it is probably about 1.5 meters lower that that of the pavilion. I should be able to calculate it accurately when I have the plans.
I have also asked him to try and find out if there is any record of exactly how high the exceptionally high tide of 1953 was relative to the levels on the site survey, something I havenít been able to find out and is very pertinent to where the base line of the building should be.
Something that Mr white pointed out that hadnít occurred to me was that it was likely that it was the much larger beach, which was removed for the construction of the port, saved the pavilion from being destroyed in the flood and storm of 1953.
The much larger beach was formed and subsequently held together by the war defences, it would seem likely that if we want to keep our pavilion then we are going to need some means of capturing sand added to the beach, this would of course also add considerable protection to the new building.
I frankly donít envy Brian White his task as I canít see any way that the issues can be resolved apart, from designing a new building that fits between the cliff top and the floodline. The developers are likely to resist this as it will mean they can fit less inside it and therefore would make less money.
Brian White pointed out was that the whole base area could be made a car park with the building above supported on piles that were able to withstand occasional floods and storms.
Ultimately the argument that people will not want to buy apartments in a building that is below the floodline, liable to storm damage and therefore probably uninsurable may suffice.
We discussed the access to the site, we both concurred that the sloping road from the east cliff would not be able to stand the weight of the construction vehicles, and that bringing in the construction vehicles through the existing café culture would be detrimental to it continuing to exist. I suggested that the best way to bring in the building materials would be through the old railway tunnel, this would probably be much cheaper than compensating the businesses in the area for loss of income.
Kind regards to you all Michael.





Subject: Re: official complaint Date: 06/03/2007 16:20:31 GMT Standard Time From: Michael Child
to
HES@thanet.gov.uk
CC:
Doug.Brown@thanet.gov.uk, terry@wwheeler.freeserve.co.uk, winterstoke@tiscali.it, mauriceburton@btinternet.com, rjwinramsgate@tiscali.co.uk, peterjude@landi4.freeserve.co.uk, terra_nova@btconnect.com, richglen@clements320.fsnet.co.uk, ralph@ralphhoult.co.uk, mrsmknight@hotmail.co.uk, Michael Child, mayor.ramsgate@btopenworld.com, margatemuseum@btconnect.com, margaret.swan@ukonline.co.uk, lauraprobert@btinternet.com, Kedajone, johnmac1941@hotmail.com, jocelynm@talktalk.net, info@clivebaker.co.uk, fiona.fennell@kent.gov.uk, eddie@ramsgatebrewery.co.uk, david@ddorman.plus.com, curator@greatstorm.fsnet.co.uk, batt977@btinternet.com catblake@freeuk.com, dgreen.home@btinternet.com, poole@btinternet.com, sandy.ezekiel@thanet.gov.uk, CC: llaldred@yahoo.co.uk
Bobbreggub
robert.bayford@thanet.gov.uk
jobooth@tinyworld.co.uk
jackbernard.cohen@virgin.net
cook_barbara_ann@hotmail.com
kaydark@hotmail.com
simonday@clara.co.uk
trevoremes@freenet.co.uk
michellefenner@hotmail.com
johnfullarton@hotmail.com
bowenfuller@hotmail.com
brianandann@birchpark.fs.co.uk
greenliz@btinternet.com
AGreg115
Ian.Gregory@ekht.nhs.uk
cllrboggs@hotmail.com
bill-hayton@bhayton.fsnet.co.uk
charles.hibberd@thanet.gov.uk
higgsl@parliament.uk
Iris.johnston@btinternet.com
john.kirby@thanet.gov.uk
roger.latchford@btinternet.com
roger.latchford@thanet.gov.uk
Jeff.Kirkpatrick@btinternet.com
barbara.nicholson216@tesco.net
richard@rnicholson3.wanadoo.co.uk
william.peppiatt@thanet.gov.uk
ingrid.spencer@talk21.com
ingrid.spencer@thanet.gov.uk
margatecarnival@tesco.net
steve_ward@btinternet.com
zita@wiltshire1.fsworld.co.uk
martin.wise@thanet.gov.uk
Claire.Sivier@thanet.gov.uk
lucy.tuson@thanet.gov.uk
editorial@kosmedia.co.uk
eleonard@thekmgroup.co.uk
editor.thanet@kentregionalnewspapers.co.uk
thanetextra@thekmgroup.co.uk
news@meridiantv.com
newsdesk.thanet@kentregionalnewspapers.co.uk
southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk
Annette.Firmin@thanet.gov.uk
Committee@thanet.gov.uk
jdr_kent@yahoo.com
howardm@parliament.uk
steveladyman@email.labour.org.uk
GaleRJ@parliament.uk
enquiryodpm@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
cpocrown@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
dc@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
devplan@odpm.gsi.gov.uk
regplan@odpm.gsi.gov.uk

Dear Mr White I do find this most encouraging and hope you will have some information on previous spring tide flood levels relieve to the building datum line. I have obviously read the Environment Agency Draft Stour Catchment Flood Management Plan. But find it very vague on actual measured levels, which I hope you will be able to provide. The problem with the last big flood and tidal surge in 1953 is that Ramsgate was largely ignored because of the devastation and loss of life on the north Kent coast so information is largely anecdotal. I also hope that you will be able to send me something in writing that I can publish with, or preferably instead of my contentions on the thanetonline.com website, that will either serve to reassure the hundreds of people every day who are looking at it, or provide some solution in terms of sea defences for the building. I am also concerned to know how deep the footings for the cliff face protection wall are relative to the lowered building datum line. I would also like to know the condition of Wellington caves the gun emplacement ammunition stores and the other voids behind the cliff, as I suspect that once the storm protection has been resolved this will be the next difficult issue. I would assume that any cliff collapse during piling could go back as far as the back of Wellington caves, and I am uncertain if they go back as far as the houses, which presumably could be problematic. I look forward genuinely to meeting you tomorrow my other meetings with TDC planning officers have been both pleasant and productive. Kind regards Michael Child.
Re: official complaint
Date:
06/03/2007 14:12:57 GMT Standard Time
From:
HES@thanet.gov.uk
Reply To:
To:
MichaelChild@aol.com




2.3.07

Dear Mr Samuel this is my final email before I make an official complaint that you have failed to answer my reasonable questions or provide any of the basic information that I need in order to have an informed and constructive discussion with Mr White.
I shall also complain that you haven't implemented the actions that you promised in your email below. Believe me when I say I would far rather not go down the road of the LGO it is just time consuming for both of us, when you could just answer the questions that you can, explain the reasons why you can't answer those that you can't, pop the plans and any related documents in the post, and both of us who are busy, could get on with other matters.

I have attached some photographs of storm damage to the east pier in 1978, kindly provided for us by Terry Wheeler Editor of ABOUT RAMSGATE for The Ramsgate Society, I hope you will find the helpful. I should add, although I expect you know, this was fortunately not a particularly high tide.

I am publishing our correspondence at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/tdc/latest_news.htm if you can't open the pictures the will be there for you to view.

Kind regards Michael.



Subject:
Re: TDC website
Date:
12/10/2006 13:48:54 GMT Standard Time
From:


I could n't possibly comment on your literary analogy. However I can say
that your intervention is leading to the necessary corrections to the
contact arrangements via the website right now. I have also asked the
Communications team to prepare a Q & A on Pleasurama to be placed on the
website where hopefully most issues can be addressed and enquirers
directed.














Dear Mr White
I look forward to meeting you and discussing the latest set of approved plans next Wednesday.

Once again I ask you, please could you post me a copy of the latest (3rd set of plans, the only ones I don't have on paper) and any related documents, particularly those about tide and storm damage, so that I can familiarise myself with them prior to our meeting.  

Could you please also send me Mr Browns findings, when he looked into The question of Shoreline Management and the views of the Environment Agency regarding this development for me some months ago, as detailed in your previous email. You may find this unusual but he didn't communicate his findings to me.

I have attached a few pictures of the sea below the east cliff in Ramsgate to illustrate my point. These were taken at not a particularly high tide, during not a particularly heavy storm. Otherwise the vehicles would have been washed away.

I would like you to consider that if the information I have gathered about tide and storm damage is correct, people in the proposed building may be killed or injured, when a combination of the two occurs, this can't be a legacy the current planning department or administration wish to leave us. Of course if I were wrong I would have made a fool of myself, something I would happily do for you or any other decent local resident.   

Finally I would like you to appreciate the value I would attach to a straight answer to this email, something I would happily treat in confidence if you want. You can imagine the difficult position I am in when the replies I receive seem to have little relationship with the email I last sent. I will publish this and the other emails, that I haven't been asked to keep confidential on the internet, as I am receiving a considerable number of enquiries from people who want to know what is going on. I will also attempt to cc it to as many of the councillors as I can, so you will receive it more than once so you know who I have sent it to.

Kind regards Michael Child.





Subject:
Former Pleasurama Site
Date:
28/02/2007 10:06:00 GMT Standard Time
From:




I am pleased that you agree to meet and look over the approved plans. Because Thursdays are unsuitable for you, can I suggest 10 am on Wednesday 7 March. Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I look forward to seeing you, at your business, then.



Regards,



B J White

Head of Development Services

Thanet District Council



Brian White

Head of Development Services

Thanet District Council

www.thanet.gov.uk

Direct Dial: 01843 577007

Fax: 01843 298610

Subject:
Pleasurama development
Date:
27/02/2007 13:55:53 GMT Standard Time
From:
To:
CC:
 dgreen.home@btinternet.com





Dear Mr. Samuel
I still haven't had any reply, to my emails asking for the last set of plans and any related documents that you are able to send me, for the Pleasurama development, prior to my discussing the matter with Mr. White.
I should like to point out that if I haven't heard anything resembling a constructive reply by Friday I will feel obliged to issue a formal complaint, something that wastes all of our time.  
I should also like to point out that it was only when I received paper hard copies of the previous set of plans that I noticed that the sections were higher than the elevations, i.e. it was bigger on the inside than the outside. You have to appreciate that I have only viewed the latest set of plans online and I think it would be useful to everyone concerned, if I spent a few hours with them and a scale ruler prior to discussing them with Mr. White.
As this whole issue relates mostly to the height of occasional extra high spring tides, and my researches into the matter show that during the last 100 years on about 20 occasions a spring tide has reached a level about 1.5 Meters above the proposed ground floor level of the building. They have also shown that on one occasion the tide reached a level considerably higher than this, can I ask you do you disagree or agree with me on this? If you disagree could you tell me by how much, both in terms of the height of the water and the frequency of the flooding.
Thank you in advance for your help Michael Child







Subject:
Re: Former Pleasurama Site
Date:
23/02/2007 13:45:24 GMT Standard Time
From:


Dear Mr White
As I have not had any reply to my email of a week ago I am presuming either you didn't receive it, my previous experiences with TDC email would suggest that this is likely, or that in view of the fact that you haven't refuted any of the things that I said, you are broadly in agreement with what I have said, but have been persuaded not to voice your opinion.
I have some updated information about the two most recent serious floods in Ramsgate. Apparently the flood of about 20 years ago was not caused by a high tide but by water backing up behind the Harbour street tidal defence after an exceptionally heavy rainstorm.
The last really serious tidal flood, although there were numerous occasions since when the pavilion has had an inch or so of sea water covering the floor was in 1953. during the 1953 floods the prevailing wind was from the north so most of the damage and loss of life was on the north Kent coast, the damage in Ramsgate being relatively minor received little publicity. As far as I have been able to ascertain, mostly on the basis of a little old lady who remembers the shop sales, of water damaged goods in the town and other similar hearsay evidence, the water reached the bottom of the high street.
The other thing I have enquired about is if this tidal flooding only happens during a northerly wind, as this would mean there would be little danger of the building being severely damaged. I am afraid that the results of my researches are problematic for you.
The spring tidal surges are not caused by the wind but the variations in air pressure, over the sea, as large variations in air pressure are associated with storms it means that sooner or later we will have tidal flooding accompanied by a strong westerly wind, looking at the first an second set of plans that I have, it would seem likely that this would damage or even demolish the building.  
Could you be kind enough to confirm that you have received this email, if I don't get confirmation that you have I will send it to an even larger number of recipients.
I really don't quite know what course to pursue now, I see you and your colleges in the planning department as over worked civil servants who know that a major local project is pretty much unbuildable, I visualise that TDC would very much like to get the cash to be realised from the sale of the site, so there is considerable pressure to go ahead with the project. I don't want to go down the road of an official complaint and the LGO as it would just waste more of our time, so please reply to me this time.
Kind regards Michael Child.
Dear Mr White
How kind of you to reply to me.
After Mr Brown looked into Shoreline Management and the views of the Environment Agency regarding this development, I was happy to give up and let you get on with this rather unsuitable development when in the course of investigating Ramsgate history for the books I publish I discovered that the pavilion flooded, this was at the end of January. I wasn't here 20 years ago when the town last flooded (not very seriously). Previously it flooded very badly, I think it was in the 50s I'm not exactly sure when, I was born in the 50s even if I had been here I wouldn't have remembered.
I gather from some of the older residents, one of whom worked with Dick Brimmell, one time borough surveyor in Ramsgate, that the large hump at the bottom of Harbour Street is the towns tidal flood protection and that this was last breached severely in the 1950s apparently there are valves that are supposed to be maintained to stop the water coming up the sewers on the town side of it. During the flood of 20 years ago although the height of hump was not exceeded, as it was in the past, these valves had not been maintained, unpleasant.
If you wish me discuss the plans face to face could you please send me a current set of plans on paper to study, you will remember it was me that pointed the flaws in the previous set, so that they had to be changed.
I will also need to be sent copies of the storm and flood protection provisions. I will need to see the provision for global warming. Now I am aware that tides in the past have reached the bottom of the high street, and come in extremely quickly. Global warming will make this considerably worse.
On some occasions people have not had time to sandbag the existing buildings and the damage has been considerable. I spoke to an ex Ramsgate town councillor who had to raise the money to repair the damage to the pavilion during the 1950s flood. I will also need some sort of draught document showing possible solutions to the points I have already raised, otherwise I of course won't be able to discuss them properly. In short if you think that I am wrong on any of the points that I raised, I need to know on which points I am wrong, I will probably need time to consult the academic in civil engineering that I checked my information with, before I talk to you.
I also need to know if I have miscalculated the parking provisions, or missed any plans to reinstate the one-way status of the road, and with it the majority of the parking that was lost.
Because we are now working with the third set of plans, which may be wrong I am very concerned, that the developer or architect is incompetent and I would like to know of their track records. Twice could be a coincidence but three times makes this unlikely.
I need the check the track records and credentials of any civil engineers, architects or other experts that you have consulted. I have placed mine in the hands of a senior conservative government consultant, because the individual concerned doesn't want to be associated with an impossible project, which they suspect is some sort of scam.
I don't trust the answer that the alternative developer was found to be financially unsound, as the other developer was engaged in a major project in the area. I checked their backers' credentials at my own expense. I went as far get confirmation that you had received this information. If you feel I am wrong about this I would like to see some document proving me to be wrong. It is fairly serious to suggest a major company may be financially unsound and when all of this information becomes public, they may seek litigation, which we will have to pay for the council to defend.
Of course I will, both charmed and delighted to meet with you when I have something more useful to contribute. But just as I will expect him you study the information I have provided you with, I need the information that you hopefully will provide me with me with.
Kind regards Michael Child.
Mr White this bit from here on is not intended for publication on the website, I would however with your permission, like to publish your email with my reply above. You may wish to suggest changes to either mine or yours first. Many people have been looking at the website and are aware that I have asked all of the councillors, and some council officers for their comments to publish on the website so that they can see what is happening.
Frankly your reply is about the only one that doesn't make the sender look stupid, it hasn't even got any spelling mistakes. I will of course get she who must be obeyed to check our grammar before publication. A glance at my comment on Dr Moores blog will show you why. http://birchington.blogspot.com/2007/02/my-everlasting-valentine.html  the same lad pointed out that politics is about debate and that if no one changes their minds, ever, what's the point of it all, and why is the media so keen to blast anyone bright enough to accept an idea different than their own. 15 the youth of today? Thursdays are a bad day for me as I am often away any time the shop is open out side the school run times is fine for me
Best Michael

Dear Mr Child

Further to your correspondence with the Chief Executive of the Council,
I would welcome a meeting with you to discuss your concerns.

The question of Shoreline Management and the views of the Environment
Agency regarding this development are not new issues, and I recall my
colleague, Mr Brown, looking in detail at the approved plans for you
some months ago.

May I suggest that we meet at your Ramsgate premises to look over the
approved plans and discuss your points, with the scaled drawings in
front of us.

Next week my diary is full committed, excepting 12.30 - 2.00 pm on
Thursday, but the following week is easier.

I look forward to hearing from you.

B J White
Head of Development Services
Thanet District Council


Brian White
Head of Development Services
Thanet District Council
www.thanet.gov.uk
Direct Dial:  01843 577007
Fax: 01843 298610