So Otterpool Park gets the go ahead, but did anyone really think it wouldn’t get the nod? We’ve always said the Reuben Brothers (left) never buy a pig in a poke. They must be delighted. Remember they are the owners of Millbank Tower, home of Conservative Party headquarters.
But we want to take you back a bit, well back a year roughly.
On the 2nd Nov 2015 SDC Andy Jarrett Head of Strategic Development Sites (left), sent an email to Savills SDC’s agent acting for and on their behalf regarding the land at Otterpool.
The email says:
I am meeting with the Council’s Chief Executive tomorrow morning, it would be helpful if you have made any progress with HB
Thank you Andy’
On the 3rd Nov 2015, Andy Jarrett, receives a return email the next morning from Savills , who were advising SDC. Anyway. the email states:
We have spoken to Hobbs (Parker) and made it clear we have a client who is serious, can perform and wants to move quickly. We did not discuss figures at this stage and they have advised their are a number of interested parties. It is complicated given that two brothers are selling and own a combination of the lots. We understand they don’t particularly get on hence two agents acting. Our initial thoughts are that £3.5 million would not take it (the land) out of the market.
I attach some of the title information and happy to speak later.’
What was attached were to title deeds from the land register, K864794 & K864795
So £3.5 million was not enough to take the land of the market.
The valuation advice from Savills came in two parts. The first concerned the making of an offer that would persuade the agents of the sellers to take the land off the market, (and deal with SDC only) the second is advice on the potential residential value of the site.
Now SDC do not wish to release the second part of the advice and we think this is wrong. We think it is wrong because this is money which will at some point go into SDC’s coffers and we are not allowed to know. Thankfully Andrew Lainton informs us that the land value will rise to over a billion pounds
Lainton states in his post
‘Shepway really grasp the principle of land value uplift as they bought it at agricultural value in January which must make the original farmer the stupidest man in Britain.‘
Now we know that SDC were intent on buying & developing the site long before they declared an interest as both Dr Susan Priest’s & Jeremy Chambers expenses make clear.
We know the land has been rented out, we know SDC have hired an army of consultants and are busily developing their plans behind closed doors. We know the first round of consultations will be in December 2016, and we know SDC will not be telling us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They will be holding their cards close to their chests, and we the people of Shepway, will once again be denied, Openness and Transparency, but then that’s nothing new when it comes to SDC, is it?
There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in this blog post have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly.