Otterpool Park Update: Council set up two new companies to deliver the project and land registry docs show deal to buy racecourse still not completed.

Folkestone & Hythe District Council have set up two companies which will look after the delivery of the 10,000 homes Otterpool Park development.

The first company incorporated on the 15 Aug 2019 is named OTTERPOOL PARK DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LTD. The sole director at the present times is John (Buy me a car) Bunnett, Development Director for Otterpool Park. The person with significant control is Folkestone &  Hythe District Council.

This second company, also set up on the 15th Aug 2019 is OTTERPOOL PARK LLP. The two directors of this company are Otterpool Park Development Company Ltd and Folkestone & Hythe District Council. They are also the persons with significant control of the LLP.

On Feb 6th, the council claimed it had purchased the site for £25 million from Cozumel Estates Limited – the Reuben Brothers company registered in the British Virgin Islands. However, according to the land registry, the site has NOT been purchased as yet. The Title Deed as of today – 30th April – still shows Cozumel Estates Ltd as the owners of the racecourse. Also the title deed shows the deed was suspended on 27 FEB 2020 at 12:23:33; which would indicate a sale is going through, but has not yet completed. Furthermore, the PWLB data shows the Council has not drawn down any of the £100 million it requested and received at full council in Nov 2019.

Last Thursday 23 April 2020 at 11 am, the Otterpool Park Working Group met via a Zoom Meeting. Those present for the meeting were as follows:

  • Councillor Working Group Members:  Gary Fuller (Lib Dem), Jim Martin (Green Party, David Monk (Con), Terence Mullard (UKIP) David Wimble (Ind).

  • Cllrs Ian Meyers (UKIP), Connor McConville (Lab), Tim Prater (Lib Dem) and Lesley Whybrow (Green Party) where present as leaders of their group.

  • Officers:  Andy Jarrett (Chief Strategic Development Officer), John Bunnett (Development Director), Amandeep Khroud (Assistant Director), Sue Lewis (Committee Services Officer), Susan Priest (Chief Executive), Charlotte Spendley (Director of Corporate Services) and Jemma West (Committee Service Specialist)

According to the draft minutes members received a draft cabinet report which makes recommendations regarding the corporate structuring and initial activities of Otterpool Park LLP (the “Delivery Vehicle”), the Council’s delivery vehicle in relation to the development of the Otterpool Park garden town (the “Project”). The documents presented to the Cllrs were deemed commercially sensitive and as such not for viewing by the public.

All the opposition parties made it clear they were against the development of Otterpool Park prior to their election in May 2019.

Here’s what the Shepway Green Party said:

Screenshot from 2020-04-30 13-39-15

The Folkestone & Hythe Liberal Democrats have said:

Screenshot from 2020-04-30 13-42-04

And the Folkestone & Hythe District Labour Party said on the 19th April 2019:

Screenshot from 2020-04-30 13-45-03

Opposition Cllrs (Lab, Lib Dems, Shepway Green Party) stance on Otterpool Park changed substantially once they  were elected in May 2019.

The draft minutes show that voting for the recommendations in the report were fully approved by all five Cllrs who sit on the Otterpool Park Working Group; whose parties once opposed Otterpool so vociferously. Councillors:  Gary Fuller (Lib Dem), Jim Martin (Green Party), David Monk (Con), Terence Mullard (UKIP) David Wimble (Ind) – Voting: For 5; Against 0; Abstentions 0.

There is a stench that pervades much of what is said and what is enacted in Folkestone & Hythe District politics. There are two particular types – the hypocrisy where Cllrs pretend they care about something and then do nothing, and the one where they say something and do the opposite. WE don’t expect this to change anytime soon.

The Shepwayvox Team

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2 Comments on Otterpool Park Update: Council set up two new companies to deliver the project and land registry docs show deal to buy racecourse still not completed.

  1. Slurry-Kent // April 30, 2020 at 20:40 // Reply

    We remember them all very well espousing their opprobrium at demonstrations across the district. ‘No Otterpool’, Dodgy Council, blah blah blah.
    What’s that expression? GO GROW A PAIR.

  2. The only people who will benefit from this are the councillors, for whom this is their retirement pot.

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