The Long Read: The White Lion Pub, Cheriton. Application Y16/0439/SH

White Lion Pub Sept 2017

SAM_0710The former White Lion Pub in Cheriton (pictured) is owned by Kenty County Homes Ltd, according to the Land Registry, Title Deed. The price is not stated but it is known it was bought from Shepherd Neame on the 22/02/2007.

Kent County Homes Ltd is owned by Redforge BVI Ltd. It’s sole director is a one Mr Nicholas Brown of Hillcrest Rd Hythe. The Address given for Redforge BVI Ltd is PO Box 146, Trident Chambers, Wickhams Cay, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, appears in the Panama Papers..

Kent County Homes Ltd has had a Legal charge on the former White Lion Pub, since 8th Jan 2007.

The site would have been developed by Atlas Partners Group Ltd ( APG Ltd), owned by Mr Nicholas Brown. APG Ltd was only registered on the 20 May 2016, according to companies house, so has no accounts. Mr Nicholas Brown is the person with significant control of the company and he is the same person who is the sole Director of Kent County Homes Ltd.

So who is Nicholas Brown?

Pic 1

He is the Chairman (pictured) of APG Ltd and a “former partner in Associate Design & Management Services procuring investment funding partnerships with off-shore investors over the last 30 years. Nick is responsible for the negotiation of acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures and works closely with Guy Hammond who is responsible for procuring the finance and the investment.

Nick’s Managing Director at APG Ltd is Mr Guy Hammond (pictured)

Pic 2

“Guy Hammond has considerable experience in the banking and property development sectors and a key understanding of their individual requirements. His first class relationship with Senior Directors of the lenders will remove the uncertainty that often accompanies commercial loan arrangements and ensure borrowers benefit from competitive terms, a swift application procedure and after-care service. The aim is to take the uncertainty out of commercial borrowing. Guy will also provide mezzanine finance, access to institutional funds and family wealth offices.”

APG Ltd are so proud of their inclusion in the re-development of the former White Lion Pub, that have put it on their website, and other developments as well

APG Ltd state on their website that the Gross Development Value for the former White Lion Pub will be circa £3.5 million.

  • The former hotel will be converted into 15 studio flats, with communal areas for residents to enjoy. We will also build five new family homes at the back of the former hotel for ex – service personnel with families.

The APG website was registered on the 10/06/16, twenty days after APG Ltd.

APG Ltd even state in documents supplied as part of the planning application, they “will provide around 20% of the costs required to run the “Hostel” “.

Pic 3

Now as you may or may not know, the former White Lion Pub, Cheriton (pictured), was up before Shepway District Council Planning & Licensing Committee on the 29th Aug 2017.

The Application Number was: Y16/0439/SH.

The address given was: White Lion, 70 Cheriton High St, Folkestone.

Permission was refused because there was no “robust evidence of local need for this type and scale of hostel“. The vote was 10 against 1 for and 1 abstention.

Within all the planning documents supplied to Shepway District Council on the 9th March was a report – setting out the “additional supporting statement“. This document is very revealing.

Pic 4

It gives us the names of the companies who would have been dealing with the running of the “Hostel”.

So lets start with the first company revealed; which is Reveille Homes Ltd, a company incorporated on the 25th March 2014. The only accounts the company has submitted are those for a dormant company.

Reveille Homes Ltd has had two directors.

Pic 5

Mr Philip Rodney Carter (pictured)  of the Leas Folkestone, according to Companies House and Mr Nicholas Brown, (pictured above)  the sole shareholder, and owner of APG Ltd and Kent County Homes Ltd owned by the British Virgin Island company Redforge BVI Ltd.

Philip Rodney Carter was appointed a Director on the 23rd March 2015 and resigned as a Director on the 15th March 2016.

Now for those of you who do not know, Mr Philip Rodney Carter (pictured below middle) was a former leader of Shepway District Council and a former Mayor. He has recently been pictured in the papers with his dear friends, Leader of SDC Cllr David Drury Monk and Mr Damian Noel Collins MP.

Pic 6

The next company to be mentioned in the “additional supporting statement” is Reveille Community Homes Ltd, (RCH Ltd) incorporated on the 25th March 2016. RCH Ltd has three directors; they are:

  1. Mr Philip Rodney Carter

  2. Cllr John David Ferrers Collier

  3. Mr Damian Noel Collins MP.

Pic 7  Pic 8  Pic 9

So the links are simple. Nicholas Brown links to Phil Carter. Phil Carter link to Cllr Collier and Damian Collins MP. And there is an offshore involved in all this.

What else is very revealing in the “additional supporting statement” are the Principle Terms that single ex-servicemen would have had to sign up to to get a place in the “Hostel”. They are, we personally believe, very stringent.

Pic 10

Is it any wonder then that the SDC officers recommendation was that the scheme be “recommended for refusal.”

Reveille Community Homes Ltd (ex SDC Leader Carter, Cllr Collier & Collins MP) will be advising APG Ltd (Nicholas Brown) of its agreed costs to run the “Hostel” once we have the full building costs agreed with the contractors who will be providing a “turnkey development” for Reveille Community Homes Ltd

Pic 11

So behind the scenes are Nicholas Brown & Guy Hammond who between them purchase and acquire properties. Nicholas “procures the investment funding partnerships, with offshore investors”… and Guy is “responsible for procuring the finance and investment from offshore investors.

Then comes Phil Carter (ex SDC Leader) who is connected to Nicholas via being a former director with him in Reveille Homes Ltd and via APG Ltd who will give 20% of the funds for the “Hostel” and will work with Reveille Community Homes Ltd – (Carter, Cllr Collier and Collins MP).

For the first time, in a long time SDC Planning and Licensing Committee got it right by refusing permision, in our humble opinion. We note too that the Committee did not take to kindly to being “threatened” by the applicant, as raised by Cllr Michael Lyons and Cllr Alan Ewart-James.

Moving on, we note with alarm that The Folkestone & Hythe Express never mentioned these facts and connections. In fact, the Express on August 30th 2017, pg 5 states the landowner to be, “Atlas Cheriton”. That is not the case. Atlas Cheriton was the name on the planning application and a quick search of Companies House shows no such company exists. Three pounds would have told the “Reporter” of the piece on pg 5, Kent County Homes Ltd and thus the British Virgin Island Registered Redforge BVI Ltd were ultimately the owners of the former White Lion Pub.

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A “Reporter” from the Herald was present in the Council Chamber up to and including the former White Lion Pub Application.

In the public gallery sat the former SDC Leader & Mayor, Mr Philip Rodney Carter, a former Director in Reveille Homes Ltd with Nicholas Brown; and a Director in Reveille Community Homes Ltd. So a man with an interest in seeing the application succeed.

After the application was refused, Mr Carter took to his heels and held court outside the Council Chamber. The Herald Reporter followed along with a number of others. The Herald Reporter has mentioned “Rebellion Homes” in their article in The Herald on the 31st Aug 2017 pg 3. Rebellion Homes is not mentioned in the application at all. They also mention that the project has the “support” of Damian Collins MP. However, they fail to mention he is a Director in Reveille Community Homes Ltd along with Cllr Collier and former SDC Leader & Mayor Philip Rodney Carter.

A lot of the facts and the connections we have set out above have not been mentioned by the Herald or the Express.

Why are the so called local press, owned by the Illiffe Family (Express) and Trinity Mirror Group (Herald) not including the full facts in their articles? Lack of research, churnalism; or something more worrying?

It raises grave concerns about the quality of the reporting and; it raises the questions of whether the absence of a lot of the facts is deliberate, so keeping the facts from public view.

But as we have said before: Why let facts intrude into history?

Pic 13

Finally, we commit a first because we have to give credit where credit is due. We applaud each and every Planning & Licensing Committee Member who abstained or voted against the White Lion Pub planning application. SDC officers are to be applauded to for their tenacity in seeking further information; and their recommendations to refuse the application.

The Shepwayvox Team

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; unless found so by a Court of Law.

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9 Comments on The Long Read: The White Lion Pub, Cheriton. Application Y16/0439/SH

  1. Wonderful piece of investigative journalism.

  2. All of this deeply disturbing. Wonderful journalism

  3. Extremely thorough reporting, thank you

  4. An excellent article… Thoroughly researched and well written… Well done SV…

  5. We need more of this when local officials are guided by their pockets and not the interest of the local community who they represent.

  6. The main question must be has Mr Collins declared his interest and his directorship in this property in the House of Commons Register of Interests? If not, why not?

  7. I wonder if Mr Damian Collins has registered all his business interest with the relevant department of parliament.

  8. Wow. Didn’t know my mate John Collier was tied up in all this!

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