So, Cllr Clive Goddard, Chairman of Folkestone & Hythe Planning Committee recused himself and did not vote on either of the planning applications related to the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) site, owned by Leo Griggs.
Cllr John Collier (Con) (below left) Cabinet Member for Property Management and Grounds Maintenance declared an interest, as his son is working on the RVH site.
He was followed by Cllr David Wimble (Ind), Cabinet Member responsible for Economic development, regeneration, tourism, heritage (conservation), business rate relief and Planning policy, who declared he knew Leo Griggs as a former Parish Cllr and the fact his company – Alliance – advertise’s in his publication.
Then comes Cllr Clive Goddard, who made it clear he started working on the RVH site in early June 2020 and recused himself. For this we applaud him.
Both planning applications submitted by Leo Griggs
20/0530/FH – 1 Radnor Park Road, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 5BW
20/0532/FH – Royal Victoria Hospital, Radnor Park Avenue, Folkestone, CT19 5BN
This means the first application 20/0530/FH will provide a total of 14 affordable dwellings on land at 1 Radnor Park Road Folkestone. This is very welcome as there is an real shortage of affordable homes in the district. However, Cllr Jim Martin made it clear from his years of experience working in the construction/development industry, single block affordable housing as offered by Leo, does nothing for social cohesion.
Also the controversial The Leas Club, Folkestone, CT20 2DP – 20/0579/FH – received planning consent.
CGI – Guy Holloway Architects
We note that many of the members expressed concern regarding Oportunitas – the Council’s wholly owned company – and requested that it be made clear when the company has skin in the game – as it does on the RVH site – it be declared openly and transparently at the earliest opportunity. Let’s hope that happens as it will go a long way in preventing the plausible suspicion of a conflict of interest.
We congratulate Cllr Goddard for recusing himself as it demonstrates a level of integrity. However, that said, we’d ask him now to get on and change his register of interests, as it is out of date.
The Shepway Vox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent