SDC and its elected officials think we are fools, we know they are in private talks with Arena Racing Company (Arc), the company who own Folkestone racecourse, but what is it Abe Lincoln said:
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.“
Well with regards to the 150 acre Lorry Park, to be possibly built near Stanford (A, Below) Otterpool Park Site (B, below)
Which came first? And this is not a Chicken or the Egg Question. There is an answer.
The Lorry Park was announced on the 25th November. We know Damian Collins MP
along with all other Kent MP’s meet with the Chancellor on Nov 5th 2015.
— Damian Collins (@DamianCollins) November 24, 2015
“The Chancellor’s announcement will help bring an end to the misery caused to local residents and businesses by Operation Stack and the increasing problems caused by lorries backing-up on the A20 as they head in to Dover…” – Cllr David Monk, Shepway District Council.
(Who vowed to fight Op Stack lorry park plans ‘every inch of the way’) At its meeting on Wednesday (16 December) Shepway District Council’s Cabinet agreed that a site at Stanford West is the best of the two options put forward by Highways England to help find a solution to Operation Stack.
On the 22/01/16 Dr Susan Priest Corporate Director of Regeneration for Shepway District Council,
along with Cllr David Monk, Shepway District Council and Damian Collins MP were part of a Public Meeting held at Westenhanger Castle.
On the 18/10/2015 the tender for the land at Otterpool Lanewent live on Hobbs Parker system and closed on the 20-11-15 prior to both the Autumn Statement and the SDC’s announcement about their ‘preferred option’, they, SDC, had placed an offer via informal tender for £5.2 million on the land at Otterpool Lane.
With what intention did they buy the Land? Of course they had a plan and that was to fit it into the Otterpool Park plan, which already existed.
SDC have tried to build on the 220 acre Racecourse previously and were turned down by the Govt Planning Inspector. Arc, who maintain the racecourse, are in Private Discussions with SDC. They said “Shepway’s plans were at a very early stage and nothing had been determined regarding the future of the course.We have been approached by the council and are in discussions with them,” said Arc spokeswoman Susannah Gill. “Several options continue to be discussed with Shepway District Council on behalf of the racecourse owners. These discussions are at an early stage and we will make an announcement if and when there is anything further to say.”
The 200 acre Racecourse site; which received outline planning permission a couple of years ago for housing, owned by the Reuben Brother(below), (who we think wouldn’t buy into a pig in poke.)
via an Offshore Company and of which our former MP, Lord Michael Howard Of Lympne (below)
was a Director , is,as we now know, included in the Otterpool Park Plan and the company who manage the racecourse Arc are tied up in discussions with SDC.
So when SDC said that their ‘preferred option‘ for the Lorry Park was Stanford, they had no other choice available to them, as the plans for Otterpool Park were all but concluded/decided (you chose). Chris Lewis of SDC Planning Dept, had been put on ‘Special Projects’. SDC’s Bag Man had brought the news about the Garden Parks Scheme, to be announced by the Govt in the Autumn Statement.
So, Could the Lorry Park Site ‘preferred‘ by SDC have gone anywhere else? The simple answer is No it could not.
So on that Cold January evening at the Public Meeting, (chaired so well)
at Westenhanger Castle, Damian Collins along with his SDC Cohorts; holding his shirt tails, knew about the tender and the land at Otterpool Lane. Knew about the plans for Otterpool Park and made the people of Stanford and its environs participate in what we could easily be considered a worthless and an expensive ‘Public Consultation’.
Yes the people have been consulted, but they have not been listened to, nor will they be probably. The Officers and Elected Officials of Shepway, including Damian Collins MP, and the Reuben Brothers all knew what outcome they wanted. And that is beyond all reasonable doubt.
Do they really believe that they could fool the wise people of Shepway? Their scheming, their smoke and mirrors game, their secrecy and their lack of transparency does nothing to safeguard against dishonesty and corruption. SDC, like Damian Collins, both believe in Transparency & Accountability, but unfortunately neither of them appear to practice it to well.
Ladies & Gentlemen, Residents of Shepway, this is why it is not a chicken or the Egg question. We know Otterpool Park came first, the Lorry Park site was second, as there was no other place to put it.