Otterpool Park Update: Land Assemby for Otterpool Park cost £37.7 million to date

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On the 4th Feb 2020 it was announced Cllr Ian Meyers (UKIP) had stepped down from his Cabinet position “to allow him more time to care for family members.” However, this simply was not true. Cllr Meyers stepped down because he had released details of the amount the Council intended to pay for Folkestone Racecourse to a third party.

The council were miffed to say the least, that a Cabinet member had released this information to a third party, so they brought in Kent Police to investigate Cllr Meyers.

Kent Police recently presented evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service, who decided  that it was “not in the public interest” to charge Cllr Meyers for disclosing confidential information. It is now left to Folkestone & Hythe District Council to determine any punishment, Cllr Meyers might face. We suspect the Council will NOT do anything, given their record of investigating Cllrs for misconduct.

On the 16/12/2019 the Council paid a £50,000 deposit to Cozumel Estates  which gave them exclusive rights to purchase the racecourse.

On 04/02/2020 the council paid the balance for the racecourse to Cozumel Estates Ltd. This was £26,189,500; which brings the total paid for the racecourse to £26,239,500. These figures were supplied by the Council while the accounts were open for public inspection.

Screenshot from 2020-08-06 10-23-35

According to the draft statement of accounts the total cost came to £27.6 million

Yet the title deed for the purchase of Folkestone Racecourse by the council states the price was £25 million.

The difference can be explained as follows: £1.2 million on stamp duty taking the price to £26.2m. Then £1.4m to the lawyers and consultants, bringing the total cost to £27.6.

So Land/property assembly has costs the Council £37.7 million to date. We add the prices for the land options to purchase farm land from the farmers, Richard Price, Jo Butcher or the Walkers is NOT included in the table.

The council did not use the Public Works Loans Board to pay for the racecourse, nor their reserves, according to the draft statement of accounts 2019/20.

We know the council have borrowed £34m – from where though we are not certain –  to cover the costs for the racecourse. The interest rate would have been much higher on any loan from a commercial bank; and the time needed to pay back the money much shorter.

So does this £34m come from the £100 million full council gave to allow Otterpool to progress in Nov 2019?

Finally, on the 19.05.2020, the Council purchased Red House Farm, Ashford Road, Newingreen, Hythe, CT21 4JD for £1.2 million; which brings the total for land assembly for Otterpool Park to £37.7 million.

The Shepway Vox Team

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2 Comments on Otterpool Park Update: Land Assemby for Otterpool Park cost £37.7 million to date

  1. All sounds like good business to me

  2. @ANOther, yep the man who did the deal bought a car for an employee and sanctioned £1.1 million of illegal overtime, while Deputy Chief Executive at Thanet District Council.

    https://shepwayvox.org/2020/01/28/john-buy-me-a-car-bunnett/

    With him in charge of Otterpool, I suspect there’s a lot of people who’ll get a slice of pie, but perhaps not as they should.

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