So three applications before the planning committee tonight Dec 15th. One is a sequel, another is for a well know burger chain and last is an application by a local Tory donor, who owns a property by the sea.
Some sequels just don’t live up to expectations, but tonights will, as it highlights the inadequacies of the council’s planning department again.
Y19/0016/FH – Land adjoining 86-88 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent has been before the planning committee previously on the 20th Oct 2020. However, on that occasion the decision could NOT stand as the financial viability assessment was not placed into the public domain for residents or cllrs to comment on.
Because the Council had “technical issues” uploading the financial viability assessment to the planning portal, it found itself in a hole. The first law of holes states:
“if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging“
But it didn’t just stop there. Oh no! It turned out there were issues with the s106 agreement as well.
It is made clear at Point 2.7 (1 – 5) of report DCL/20/39 before the planning committee tonight 15th Dec 2020, why the previous decision had to be quashed.
The recommendation for Y19/0016/FH is “planning permission be granted subject to the conditions set out at the end of the report and the applicant entering into a S106 legal agreement securing payments towards Folkestone’s GP provision, community services and off-site contributions towards affordable housing and that delegated authority be given to the Chief Planning Officer to agree and finalise the wording of the conditions and the legal agreement and add any other conditions that he considers necessary.“
Moving on, McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd (20/0983/FH) with the blessing of its mother company, registered in Delaware -a known offshore tax jurisdiction, which the Economist commented stood for:
Dollars and Euros Laundered And Washed At Reasonable Expense.
have made an application to erect in Tesco Car Park, Cheriton, a freestanding restaurant with drive-thru facility, car parking, landscaping and associated works.
In excess of 40 objections have been received by the Council from local residents, including one from the Labour led, Folkestone Town Council; which is why it has been called in for the committee to discuss. Eight locals support the application most of them citing job creation.
The recommendations set out in Report DCL/20/40 say that “planning permission be granted subject to the conditions set out at the end of the report and that delegated authority be given to the Chief Planning Officer to agree and finalise the wording of the conditions and add any other conditions that he considers necessary.“
If you are a betting person, what do you suspect the odds to be on this application being passed?
Our old friend Leo Griggs, the Tory donor, and employer of the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Cllr Clive Goddard, and who advertises in the Cabinet Member responsible for Planning, Cllr David Wimble‘s publication, brings planning application – 20/0690/FH– Sandbanks, Coast Road, Littlestone before the committee.
The recommendation is that planning permission be granted to convert the existing Sandbanks care home to 19 one- and two-bed residential flats with associated parking.
Now according to the Land Registry, the property is owned by Belmont Sandbanks Ltd, but the Title Deed also states:
(07.04.2020) UNILATERAL NOTICE in respect of a Contract for Sale dated 7 April 2020 made between (1) Belmont Sandbanks Limited and (2) Livingston Homes Ltd.
And of course, Livingston Homes Ltd is owned by Leo Griggs
Will this application be rejected, we doubt it, as it appears from the reports there are no sensible reasons to do so. Plus the New Romney area needs flats. However, we do hope both Cllr Goddard and Wimble recuse themselves from any decision the committee might take.
The Shepway Vox Team
Not owned by Hedgefunds or Barons