Some Nuns, a Porn Baron and Folkestone & Hythe District Council

How are a bunch of Nuns, a former Porn Baron and Folkestone & Hythe District Council [FHDC] related to each other?

Land, that’s what links them.

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The nuns are the nuns of The Trustees of Our Lady of Fidelity Charitable Trust Incorporated of The Convent of our Lady of Fidelity (Nuns of Convent pictured), Central Hill, Upper Norwood, London, SE19 1RF. The nuns operate in six countries. Belgium, Burkina Faso, Croydon (UK), France, India and of course Italy.

The Charitable trust owns and/or leases land or property. Some or all of this land or property must be used for the charity’s purposes, according to the charity commission website.

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And who is the Porn Baron? Well that is Ralph Gold (pictured), former shareholder of Birmingham Football Club and co-founder with his brother of the sex empire (he was formerly a shareholder in Ann Summers and Knickerbox too). Throughout the Seventies, the brothers expanded their pornographic publishing empire, but eventually Ralph wanted out of this line of work and finally moved into property. So Ralph along with a family member and two others set up Gold (St Mary’s) Ltd. The company was Incorporated on the 6th March 2014 according to Companies House and Ralph holds 55 shares of the 100 available, so making him the controlling shareholder.

Now according to the Land Registry  a transfer of the land took place on the 1 July 2014 and was made between (1) The Trustees Of Our Lady Of Fidelity Charitable Trust Incorporated and (2) Gold (St Mary’s) Limited and contains restrictive covenants.

An Overage Agreement dated 1 July 2014 was made between (1) The Trustees of Our Lady of Fidelity Charitable Trust Incorporated and (2) Gold (St Mary’s) Ltd which contains an obligation to pay further money in the circumstances therein mentioned. So if Ralph got planning permission on this land, like he did on Broadfield Road and Ravenslea Rd, Folkestone, he would pay the nuns charity some more money.

So where is the land we are talking about? Well in late spring, summer and early autumn, boot fairs are commonly held on this land which is or has been known as St Marys College Playing Field, Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2PG, you can see below, marked in red.

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On the 7/06/2016 according to the Land Registry the then named Shepway District Council [now FHDC as of 1st April 2018] acquired the the near 2 acre site for an undisclosed sum.

Now we have scoured Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s website and found 3 documents which mention the site the Council acquired.  The first is the Shepway Open Spaces – Sports & Recreation Report 2011 which states at page 25:

  • The transfer of the playing fields of the former (independent) St Marys Westbrook School – which has been fenced off for several years – to Shepway District Council will open up a new park of approximately 0.8 ha (approx 2 acres).

So it begs a question. If the land was transferred to Shepway in 2011 as the report states, how then did the nuns come to transfer the land to the former Porn Baron turned property developer, Ralph Gold and his company? And how much, if anything, did Ralph sell the land to Folkestone & Hythe District Council (formerly Shepway District Council)?

Land 2

The second is the Grounds Maintenance Service plan 2017-18, where at page 2 it states:

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And the final document is the SDC Corporate Plan Delivery 2017-2020 where at page 10 it states:

  • Explore options for newly acquired open space at St Marys Westbrook.

Have they reported to the Corporate Management Team (CMT) and Cabinet yet? If so what is on the agenda for this site? Housing, a playground, a new Civic Centre? We don’t have an answer yet, but we’ll keep digging and soon as we discover anything substantial, we’ll let you know.

The Shepwayvox Team

 

 

About shepwayvox (598 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

2 Comments on Some Nuns, a Porn Baron and Folkestone & Hythe District Council

  1. Thanks for making my day, I spat my tea out when I read that headline. Cheers

  2. Oh dear just 9 days old and Folkestone & Hythe District Council are already embroiled in sleaze.

    FHDC acquire the land, FHDC seemingly pass it back to the nuns, who then appear to pass it onto Gold (St Mary’s) Ltd, who then pass it on back to FHDC.

    Where are the minutes for the acquisition on both occasions by FHDC?

    I have checked and found nothing. Surely this would have needed to be discussed by Cabinet and minutes taken?

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