At 20:37 on Dec 6th 2017, Dr Susan Priest, then Corporate Director – Strategic Development of Shepway District Council (SDC) – now Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) sent a text from her BlackBerry phone which stated that Homes England made an acquisition. The acquisition related to land at Lympne airfield.
However in a strange turn of events there was no acquisition by Homes England of the land at Lympne Airfield on or by the 6th Dec as Dr Priest states in her text. Rather the business case for the acquisition had been finished. Contracts had NOT been exchanged and nor had the land been transferred according to Land Registry.
So let’s go back to the 14th Sept 2017 when
The committee approved the “proposed acquisition” of the site on the 06/09/17
However, in an FoI response from Homes England it states:
So the question is when was the approval given for the “proposed acquisition” of the site? Wednesday 6th Sept 2017 or Thursday 14th Sept 2017?
The next thing which springs out at us is that SDC, now FHDC said on the 16th March 2018 in their press-release:
However, Somerston Capital Ltd were only the Vendor’s representative and the land was NOT “bought from” them, but rather from Phides Estates (Overseas) Limited for £7.5 million plus £1.5 million VAT.
And the exchange and completion of the land took place on the 16th Feb 2018, according to the FoI response from Homes England.
However, the title absolute was registered on the 21st March 2018, due to the novation of an electricity substation
So there you have it. If you need the FoI response from Homes England you can download it here ⇒ Homes England FoI response Redacted
Finally, as a heads up for you all, at the Cabinet meeting on the 12th Sept 2018, Cabinet will discuss behind closed doors the following:
The Shepwayvox Team