On the 15th Dec 2020, planning application 20/0690/FH – Sandbanks, Coast Road, Littlestone, New Romney, went before the planning committee. The applicant was Leo Griggs (pictured) of Livingston Homes Ltd.
At that time it was seeking conversion of the existing care home to thirteen 1 and 2-bed residential flats and the erection of a new building to contain six 2-bed flats; with associated landscaping works. At the last moment it was withdrawn from the agenda at the request of the Chief Planning Officer(CPO). This was due to the requiring further information on flood risk as the initial information sought did not address the issue sufficiently and as such the CPO required more time to explore these issues.
On the same day we noted in a blog post the Land Registry title deed stated, the property is owned by Belmont Sandbanks Ltd, but the title deed on the 12th Dec 2020 also stated:
(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.
We also note there was a charge on the property and the beneficiary of this charge is Livingston Homes Ltd owned by Leo Griggs
We note that the charge has not been placed on Belmont Sandbanks Ltd records at Companies House nor Livingston Homes Ltd, which is not usual practice.
On the 24 August 2021, the same day the two Princes Parade items go before the planning committee we note that Sandbanks will also be decided. The applicant once again is Leo Griggs of Livingston Homes Ltd. This time the planning reference is 21/0747/FH
We note at page eight of the report it states:
We also note the current sale and purchase by Livingstone Homes Ltd has enabled borrowing against the sale of Sandbanks, to progress the redevelopment of Madeira Lodge and ensure no interim void period of the 48 bedrooms.
However, the title deed as of the 18/08/21 still shows the owners of the property to be Belmont Sandbanks Ltd, so no sale or purchase has happened. Nor has the title deed been suspended which would indicate a sale/purchase is happening. This is very odd and not usual practice for the sale/purchase of a property.
We also note at Paragraph 3.8 of the officer’s report states:
In the interests of transparency, the applicant (Leo Griggs) is in discussions with the Council’s social housing team in regards to the possibility of purchasing the units for the Council for use as affordable housing stock. This has no bearing on the material planning considerations as set out below.
Now of course, none of the above is a material planning consideration.
What is strange is that once again Leo Griggs the owner of Livingston Homes Ltd and the developer of the Royal Victoria Hospital site, where the Council are to purchase flats from Mr Griggs, is set to sell flats from a development he is involved in to Folkestone & Hythe District Council.
Now given the Chief Executive of Folkestone & Hythe District Council – Dr Susan Priest, made it clear back on the 8th Sept 2020, the Council are approached by a good number of developers who wish to invest with the Council. However, that said, why do the Council always seem to accept Leo Griggs offers and no other developers to build and sell affordable social housing to the Council?
Why are other potential investors not getting a look in, given what Susan says in the video. Is there more to this than meets the eye? We’ll leave you to ponder that.
The Shepway Vox Team
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