July 2007 | home thanetonline.com michaelsbookshop.com Click here for books about The Isle of Thanet Dangerous cliff ?
this link takes you to the rest of my Pleasurama site this link takes you to my previous correspondence
July 2007 | Thanet District Council press release | Pleasurama update 6/6/2007 another years delay! | The temporary railings | Ramsgate | latest news | heads embedded in the concrete | Simon Moores Thanet life | Michael Child | Latest views | Details from the latest plans | Pictures 2007 | April 2007 | April replies | Replies to my email about the new introduction January 2007 | David Green | pleasurama update | Seafront site ready for rejuvenation | Companies House Search | correspondence | prompt replies | Action | Riddles | Committee | more | Follow up | councillors | councillors revised | spam your councillors | Councillors responses | Economical with the truth | The Member Portal | Taking the member out of the portal | Ken Gregory | Gerry O'Donnell | survey | May 2007 | Cracks over the voids | Engineers report on the condition of the cliff | more report | election results
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.
I have been sitting down today 27/1/2007 looking at the most recent Pleasurama details to see if there is anything that needs adding, you will find it below. This was really sparked off by a conversation in the shop with one of the residents further along Marina Drive who reminded me that when we get an unfavourable combination of storm and tide the sea comes up to his house. Both he and I remembered the waves lapping at the doors of the old Pleasurama building.
Although the datum line on the plans for the new development is difficult to accurately determine it would appear that the car park and ground floor level of the hotel shops restaurant conference centre have been lowered to 1.5 meters below the floor level of the old building, in order as to make most of the top of the new building lower that the cliff. It is possible that this is a sufficient reason for the developer to wish to keep the address of his company secret.
I gather from the council that there is no law to prevent the floor of building being 1.5 meters below the flood line as this part is not residential.
The Robert Leonard Group Plc, the company who were going to build the development, about inconsistencies in the plans. When I last phoned them they said that they had pulled out of the project. I have to admit that as they seemed to be the only people involved in the project with a reasonable track record in building developments I was somewhat concerned.
Over the last few weeks I have tried to gain some more information about the developer, my concerns are that all may not be well as it would appear that no one seems to be able to agree as to who they are. I have always been worried that SFP Ventures had something to hide; I have tried to find out if they had ever built anything before. Certainly no one who understands companies and finance seems to have anything encouraging to say about Virgin Islands Companies and the consensus of opinion is they are only used to cover up financial dealings.
TDC had a press launch early in October 2006 the two local paper articles I read The Isle of Thanet Gazette article by Kathy Bailes and The KM Extra article by Chris Denham came up with two completely different SFP Ventures.
The Isle of Thanet Gazette has SFP Ventures as a Virgin Islands Company with a director called Shaun Keegan.
The KM Extra say “Developers SFP Ventures UK Ltd are based in Britain and are behind developments in Felixstowe and Ipswich, as well as a marina site in Lowestoft”
With the renewed activity by Thanet District Council and the developer and the interest in the media I have been trying to glean information from the council to update this site. The links above allow you to view my correspondence with various members of the council.
Councillor a and councillor b are answering questions about the Pleasurama development, one councillor always lies the other always tells the truth; but you don't know which one always lies and which one always tells the truth. You want to know if the development stands above the cliff top, what question should you ask them? Well if only life was this easy, with a bit of thought you should be able to work it out, if not send me an email and I'll tell you the answer.
When the plans for the new Pleasurama development first appeared some aspects of them worried me. The developer seemed never to have produced any other development and I wondered if they were competent to produce a viable complex.
The parking for the conference centre restaurants and leisure facilities seemed non existent, to this time I have never had any answer as to how there businesses are supposed to survive without even disabled parking facilities nor how the existing businesses on the seafront can survive without the main beach car park.
The height of the building was greater than that of the cliff top and what ensued was an emperor's new clothes situation where everyone knew it should be below the height of the cliff top but the people who had made the mistakes that had allowed planning permission be granted for a building that was just too high didn't want to admit it.
Then new plans were submitted, these were very strange, to put it in simplified terms; when looked at from one direction it was below the cliff top but when looked at from another it was above the cliff top it was above.
I had a long correspondence by phone and email with the various people concerned; the email below between the panning officer and me is just an example.
Doug Kind of you to reply. this is the gist of what I have told the architects.
The height the reduction of 1.75 Meters seems to have been achieved by a mixture of lowering the base of the building and flattening out the v shaped gull wing roofs. I have looked at the revised 18.1.5 plans and have a couple of concerns that I hope you will examine. One is section AA if you compare it to the rear elevation you find that the maximum height from the surface of the car park to the top of the roof is 17 meters whereas the same height on the rear elevation is 16.5 meters. Obviously both heights can't be right I know that half a Meter sounds insignificant however in practice because of the position of the building this makes a considerable difference. For instance at the lift end where the new building extends 0.75 M (2ft 6ins) above the cliff top if the plan of the rear elevation is right if section AA is right this becomes 1.25 M (4ft 1inch) you have to appreciate that at this point the front (away from you directly towards the sea) of the roof you would be looking over the top of is 45 M (160 ft) away from you.
The other factor that concerns me is that the plans are drawn in such a way that it is not possible to tell where the base line is relative to any existing structure at the bottom of the cliff. This makes it impossible to find the base line accurately on the site survey, this would of course give some way of checking against the two conflicting heights at the cliff top.
I think that in many ways the a reference point on the lower level is the most important factor.
The architects have asked me to wait until Wednesday to give them time to find out where the error lies. I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything.
I have started to publish the amended plans in thanetonline.com if you have image files of them could you please email them too me so I can do a better job of it.
Hope you like the picture its about 1905 I've attached in case it doesn't show in your email
Kind regards Michael
In a message dated 28/01/2005 17:03:33 GMT Standard Time, Doug.Brown@thanet.gov.uk writes:
Re your phone call of the 24th. I agree, the building should be below
cliff top in section A-A, I will contact the architects. I understand
you may already have done so.
Anyway a third lot of plans eventually appeared which do indeed show the building being below the cliff top from both directions. After all this I am still concerned about the competence of the people involved and therefore not entirely certain that any of them can be sure of the height of the building relative to the cliff top or its effect on the view.
I still remain convinced that the council should get an outside expert to look at the plans and ensure that there are not other things wrong with them.