SAGA Enbrook site intended for future housing.

Updated: 08/02/23  @ 17:55

No doubt you’ve heard, and possibly read, SAGA is to close its Kent headquarters at Enbrook (Sandgate) due to the changes in working patterns following the pandemic.

Saga will close the offices at Enbrook on March 17.

But that is not the whole story.

The current owners of the SAGA Enbrook site are Saga Group Limited, according to Land Registry Documents. This company is ultimately owned by SAGA Plc. Sir Roger De Haan is the company’s current Chairman. He is also a significant shareholder in the company. 

In 2021 SAGA received ‘prior approval’ to convert the Enbrook building, into 60 flats. The whole Enbrook site covers 11 hectares (27 acres)

At the AGM of Go Folkestone – 9/11/22, it was made clear by Sir Roger De Haan to our public face after the meeting had ended, SAGA wish to re-purpose the site; which included development of the site with new homes/flats.

As we understand SAGA intend to put out a call for unconditional offers to develop the site, meaning any developer nationally, can apply to build new homes/flats at Enbrook.  We believe after visiting the site their is potential for up to 300/400 homes/flats on the site.

SAGA expect any potential developer to drive the full value of the site; which according to a variety of experts we’ve spoken to, is no more than £25m at present. An overage agreement will be entered into according to a variety of sources.

An overage agreement is where a buyer (the developer in this case) agrees to pay the seller (SAGA) extra money where the value of the site increases in the future, ie after planning permission has been achieved. This places all risk on the developer, so they’ll need deep pockets.

At present the National Policy Planning Framework makes it clear that up to 22% of any major development be given over to “affordable housing”.

The SAGA Enbrook site sits in a conservation area. We suspect the Sandgate Society, The New Folkestone Society and other like minded bodies, who wish to protect conservation areas from being developed, might have something to say about the plans afoot.

Cllr Tim Prater (pictured), one of the District Cllrs for Sangate will be disappointed as he wants “to see all existing green areas of Enbrook Park retained, maintained and respected.” will probably not happen.

One must not forget, SAGA turned up in the Paradise Papers in 2017.

Update:

In 1977 the building and grounds were purchased by Saga who worked there until 1987, by which time, with a staff of 600, the old Enbrook House building had become too small.

In 1987, on the 30/06/1987 SAGA Holidays PLC submitted a planning application for the Enbrook site for bungalows and three storey flats, by the war memorial and in Enbrook Rd. Also a further 177 flats in blocks up to 8 storeys high behind St Paul’s Church, under SH/87/0766 – 0779 inclusive. It was Approved with Conditions on the 12/10/1987, according to the Council’s website.

In 1988, Wimpy purchased 18 acres of Enbrook Park for £6m, and they too submitted a planning application to build flats and houses.

The drop in the housing Market, due to Black Wednesday, stopped any further development, and in 1993 the grounds were sold back to Saga who, having obtained permission for delisting the building, demolished it to build the present Saga building. In doing so SAGA threatened to quit the town if it didn’t get its way to build the new Enbrook House, according to the local newspaper.

In 2015/16 when Lance Bachelor was Group Chief Executive,  Saga Group Ltd had issues paying their business rates. This meant Shepway District Council raised a liability order and passed it on to bailiffs to collect. Of course Saga settled the outstanding amount.

SAGA have been contacted for comment but at the time of publishing there had been no reply. If we receive a response we will publish it in full.

There are legitimate uses for offshore companies and trusts. The inclusion of a person or entity in this blog post is not intended to suggest or imply that they have engaged in illegal or improper conduct.

The Shepway Vox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful

 

About shepwayvox (1685 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

4 Comments on SAGA Enbrook site intended for future housing.

  1. Look out more DFL’s coming to Folkestone and what a joke this ‘affordable’ tag they put in .
    Please can someone tell me what is classed as affordable? because that is all these Councils and developers keep going on about but we still have hundreds of families in rental accommodation because they cant afford starter homes .

  2. Thanks for info but its so annoying when developers keep saying how they are providing affordable housing …. And dont

  3. Mr De Haan must be rubbing his hands with glee at prospect of getting extra millions in his off shore bank account.

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