Otterpool Park Update: Hidden Agenda’s and Fair Value

Ever since the first piece of land was purchased by the Council at Otterpool, in Dec 2015, for £5m from the Champney Brothers, the fair value of the land has risen by 540%, and is now worth £32m, according to the Council’s latest accounts 2021/22.

In Feb 2020, Folkestone & Hythe District Council purchased the racecourse from the Reuben Brothers. They bought it for £4m in 2016, and sold it to the Council for £25m in Feb 2020. This made the Reuben Brothers a whopping 525% profit for their offshore company, Cozumel Estates, based in the British Virgin Islands. Since the Council purchased the land, it’s fair value has risen from £25m in Feb 2020 to £61m as of the 31 March 2022; which is a 144% rise in fair value. And it doesn’t have planning permission yet.

But strange things are afoot with Otterpool Park; where the Council wish to build up to 10,000 homes, over a 30 year period.

At the latest Otterpool Park LLP – Members/Owners  meeting held on Tuesday, 18th October, 2022, at 12.30 pm, attended by Cllrs Carey (Con), Hollingsbee (Con), Monk (Con) & Shoob (Green), the agenda looked quite full until one double checked.

The agenda for the meeting made it clear that the follow was for discussion

Business Plan update

To receive an update from Otterpool Park LLP Managing Director, Andy Jarrett (pictured), in relation to delivery of the business plan.

Otterpool Park – Proposed Collaboration Agreement with Homes England

The report seeks approval in principle to entering into a collaboration
agreement with Homes England, relating to the delivery of the Otterpool Park project. Homes England purchased Lympne airfield for £7.5m in March 2018.

This agreement would mean a reduction in profits to the LLP and to the Council of circa £56m, It will lower the overall envisaged profit to between £190m – £215m, instead of £240m – £270m. In saying that yes Homes England get to share the profits, but they also get to share the financial risk and most importantly, it reduces peak debt to a level that falls within the approved budget – which is £60-65m.

Otterpool Park Stewardship
The report presents the approach by which it is proposed to deliver
the stewardship element the Otterpool Park new garden town development.

Finance Update
To receive the annual accounts 2021-22. A presentation will be given by Otterpool Park LLP Head of Finance – Mark Dodson (pictured).

Governance Framework

To receive a verbal update on:

Strategic Land Agreement / Phase Delivery Strategy
Funding Agreement(s)

To receive and note an overview of proposals for an Education Trust.

Strategic Risk register

This Strategic Risk Register for the Otterpool Park LLP (as at 30 September 2022) is presented for review, with attention to risks that have been reviewed / re-profiled.

Any other business

Investment Zone

However, the agenda items set out above were restricted by virtue of paragraph(s) 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972; which means in plain English, you’re not allowed to see this information. That said the Collaboration Agreement & the Stewardship of Otterpool Park have been released via the Cabinet meeting to be held next week.

Otterpool Park started off as a £2.7bn project. What with cost and borrowing increases, the project costs have risen to more than £3bn, and we are not allowed to know anything about the financial costs, the governance framework, or the risk Otterppol poses to the Council in the current economic climate. This project will risk billions of pounds of public money and the residents; who the Council say it will benefit, are not allowed to know anything as it is “commercially sensitive”

Given, we know the Council have misplaced £15m in their accounts and given all the other contractual and financial irregularities reported on by The Shepway Vox Team, are we right in saying that we belong to the Mrs Angry School of Local Government

The most important quality to have is an instinct for misinformation, and a deep seated suspicion of the way in which local authorities operate. Always assume the worst: you will almost always be right.

The Shepway Vox Team

The Velvet Voices of Voxatiousness

About shepwayvox (1725 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email:

1 Comment on Otterpool Park Update: Hidden Agenda’s and Fair Value

  1. AncientLBV // October 13, 2022 at 17:58 // Reply

    A certain Mr Bunnett seems conspicuous by his absence from all things Otterpool these days…..

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: