Monk gets his own private fishing lake. The Council have spent £51 million so far, and not a single house has been built. And a transport report concludes Otterpool is being built in the wrong location.
Cllr David Drury Monk (pictured), Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council is using the small lake at the centre of the Folkestone racecourse to do a spot of fishing, and allowing his mates to tag along. Afterwards they withdraw to Westenhanger Castle for a beer or two after a hard day on the lake.
As we understand, the general public do NOT have the right to use the lake at present, so Cllr Monk is using his privilege of being leader of the Council to allow himself and his friends the right to fish the lake.
Members of the team have witnessed the building of a pontoon which will be placed on the lake to allow better access for fishing. We wonder who might be paying for this?
Surely, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander? The public ought to have the right of access to fish the lake (pictured above) too. The council could easily set up via it’s website a way to purchase a day license to fish the lake.
Moving on, the racecourse is currently undergoing archaeological excavation with many trenches currently open, but nothing of importance has been found yet.
In November 2019, we made it known that £18.875 million, had been spent on property and monies set aside to progress the development. When one adds in the contracts awarded for Otterpool, it brings the total to £25,399,633, then add on the price for the race course £27.6 million and legal fees and this brings the total spend to date to £52,999,633 million.
Now according to the land registry this morning, the title deed still says the owner of the racecourse is still Cozumel Estates Limited, the company owned by the Reuben Brothers. However, it does appear a deal is going through as the title deed was suspended on the 27th Feb 2020 at 12:23:33.
Last week , Transport for new homes and the Foundation for Integrated Transport released a report titled: Garden Villages and Garden Towns – Visions & Reality. Otterpool Park is mentioned three times.
The report concentrates on the new ‘garden communities’ which are envisaged by government as offering a solution different from the usual car-based dormitory estates that we are so used to seeing. The authors of the report discovered via their visits and research there is an enormous gap between the garden community visions presented by government, consultants and local councils, and the developments likely to be built in reality. The problem centres they think, on building in the wrong location and around the wrong kind of transport. The two problems are of course, interrelated.
The report concludes that we need housing, but we need to build in the right place and in the right way. Housing numbers and targets are not everything. The report suggests the government should commission an urgent re-assessment of every one of the garden villages and towns in terms of funded sustainable transport to underpin the visions portrayed, and the assured delivery of the visions that each has presented to the public.
This is all the more important with the government’s legal duty to lead us to net zero carbon and to build around active and less isolated life-styles for the future.
So to conclude, Cllr David Drury Monk Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council has now got his own private lake to go fishing on; which we believe is an abuse of his position. The Council have spent £51 million on Otterpool to date and the transport report makes clear, Otterpool and other Garden towns are being built in the wrong place.
The Shepwayvox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful