Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Austal 270 – WOW.

                                                   AUSTAL 270 (click here)
I have to admit to being very disappointed by the many failed starts of Euroferries, as I travel to France regularly and my preferred route would be high speed from Ramsgate to Boulogne-sur-mer.  I have to give EF full marks for trying to get this service up and running, their main problem appears to be obtaining a suitable craft for the service.

Their latest offering is the Austal 270, a state of the art Trimaran built by the Australian company Austal whose factory is in Henderson near Perth, Austrailia, where the said ship can be found on Marinetraffic.com. The company confirm a four year lease agreement on the vessel to EF, so we all await its arrival with bated breath.

I for one will be using the service, if or when it arrives next year. That will show real progress in Ramsgate Port

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dreamland or Paramount?

The high speed train service is attracting development into Kent.  One hour seventeen minutes from London is a proposal on a 16.5 acre site to rebuild Dreamland Margate as a Heritage Theme Park, it is not yet in for planning permission, but plenty of grant money for the construction has been pledged.

BUT just 17 minutes from the capital on an 872 acre site, also on the HS line, at Swanscombe in Kent is a proposal to build Paramount’s answer to Euro Disney.  Outline planning permission is already applied for and an estimated opening date of 2017 has been set.

So where does this leave Dreamland? Yes it is a heritage site not a futuristic attraction but given that theme parks are generally aimed at the younger generation can they be attracted to historic rides, or would they prefer to take a high speed ride on a train to experience the latest in high tech amusement? One interesting observation will be which opens first, if either gets off the drawing board.

Friday, 20 July 2012

A Walk in the Past.

On sale now !    In shops throughout the town (including Michael’s Bookshop) The Ramsgate Town Trail booklet, written and produced by the Ramsgate Society. It features seven seafront walks from Cliffsend to St George VI Memorial Park. The walks are continuous but can be taken individually, or as long as time and energy permit.

The walks will take you back into the grand history of this remarkable town, starting at a Viking ship called “Hugin”, on to see the work of A.W.N.Pugin, “God’s own Architect”, and then contemplate a sketch done by Vincent Van Gogh, maybe in his lunch hour, whilst teaching at Royal Road and living in Spencer Square.

Visit the most remarkable harbour in the UK, the only one with royal recognition, the guide explains how this happened and shows you the work of many famous people who crafted the Ramsgate we know today.

A wealth of bygone celebrities and architectural masterpieces jump out of the book and are displayed in real life before your eyes. You will walk past, squares, crescents, mansions, churches, lighthouse, waterfall, harbour, military installations, monuments, gardens and each one will tell a different story, from the past to the present.

The book is 80 pages, packed full with information about Ramsgate, together with a postcard attached to the last page which can be detached and sent to family or friends saying “wish you were here” and they will when they read the guide. Ramsgate Town Trail booklet costs £5.99 and is available from outlets in the town displaying “Town Trail on sale here” posters. All the proceeds will be re-invested in charitable projects about the town by the Ramsgate Society.

Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Thanet District Council for funding the initial project. Also thanks to Pomegranate for great work in designing and publishing this complex project. Brilliant job !

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Weak Euro or weak £

The graphs say it all, we may not be part of the Euro but we are tied into the system. I thought it was no coincidence when on the same day Euro rates were dropped, the Bank of England announced another £50 billion round of quantitative easing, so I started to dig deeper. Before Sept 2008 the Euro hovered between 65 to 70p, since the global bank crash of 2008 when UK interest rates dropped to almost zero, the Euro has maintained a value of 80p to 85p with the occasional spike to 90p..

News sources in 2012 would have us believe there is a Euro crash at the moment and we all assume from that they mean the Euro is weak but if you read the following extract written in April 2008 you will appreciate that an 80p Euro can be described as STRONG.


Q&A: Why is the Euro so strong????? (date April 2008)

Holidaymakers will find their pound does not go so far in

The pound has touched an all-time low against the euro - meaning that the eurozone currency is now
worth 80 pence.

Euro notes and coins were physically introduced in 2002, although the currencies of the initial 11 member countries had their values fixed in euro terms as early as 1999.

There are now 15 eurozone countries, with a total of 320 million inhabitants.

But why is the currency so strong now and what does it mean?

Why is the euro doing so well?

Put simply, the euro is an increasingly attractive currency for investors compared with its rivals.

The US dollar is in freefall because of problems in the
US financial system, driven by the credit crisis.

Interest rates in the
have been slashed in recent months, as the Federal Reserve tries to stave off a recession.
And the Bank of
England has cut interest rates in the UK to 5% from 5.25%.
(10 APRIL 2008)

Rate cuts generally encourage investors to switch to other currencies which have a higher rate of return.

As a result, there has been a flow of investments into the euro, as well as commodities such as oil and gold.

What will the impact be people taking holidays in

Well, your pound will not buy as many euros, making things more expensive for you.

The euro has been edging higher for some time.

But the price of a baguette at the boulangerie, an espresso on a
Milan pavement cafe or a beer in a Spanish bar may come as a shock for anyone who has not been to Europe for a while.

While a euro is worth 80p now, it was 71p at its physical launch in 2002 and 57p at its all-time low in 2000.

But how about the broader economy? What will the impact be?

Overall, a strong euro is good for the
UK economy.

It makes imports from the eurozone more expensive, while
UK exports become cheaper to those paying for them in euros.

This is clearly a boost to the
manufacturing sector.
"Given the eurozone accounts for such a large percentage of
UK exports, companies should be taking significant advantage of a weaker pound," said Jeegar Kakkad, senior economist at manufacturing group EEF.

"Whilst there is a twinge of concern about higher costs of imported raw materials, the benefits from greater pricing power should outweigh these."
The eurozone accounts for about 60% of UK exports.

Does the strength of the euro bolster the case for the
UK to join the currency?

This argument is shrouded in politics and patriotism, as well as economics.

One drawback is that the European Central Bank's interest rate applies equally across all 15 eurozone countries, whether their economic growth levels are sluggish or breakneck.

But the euro has many things in its favour, especially when it is at such highs.

It seems to be a safer bet than the dollar at the moment. Even the former head of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, has said that it is conceivable that it will one day "replace the dollar as reserve currency or will be traded as an equally important reserve currency".

There is also a strong argument that joining the euro would help lure more foreign investment.

And while many eurozone residents also expressed opposition to the euro when it was introduced, it is proving popular with citizens as well as business, especially those involved in cross-border trade.

So what is the truth? It would appear from the graphs that there is an inverse relationship between the value of the Euro and the level of UK interest rates. The UK rates are so low that quantitative easing is necessary to maintain a weak pound against the Euro and help exports, but a real Euro crash would not make a strong pound, just expose our weaknesses and send the pound into free fall. Sad to say, that the British public are being fed this mis-information as an excuse to leave the EU.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Phoenix rising

“Nothing ever happens in Ramsgate” was a common phrase frequently heard around the town in the last five or six years.  Is this now changing?  Is the Phoenix rising from the ashes?  Is having our own Town Council at last paying off?  There is definitely a link between things happening in Ramsgate and the Labour controlled administration at TDC. I have reservations about the “how and why” of Labour’s coming to power but I have to say it is paying off for Ramsgate.

We have our own Visitor Information Centre, we have progress on the Harbour master-plan, we have the Maritime Museum opening, we have a high speed train, we have promise of a boutique hotel in Albion House, Ramsgate tunnels possibly opening, a refurbished Madeira Walk and Westcliff rose garden, We have promenade shelters being renovated all along the seafront, we have commemorative blue plaques throughout the town, we have a Town trail booklet imminently expected and information boards to come on the sea front  Also just maybe a development of flats and hotel on the seafront by 2014 to attract new residents .

All of this is by no means entirely down to either Ramsgate Town Council or Thanet District Council but a new cohesiveness of effort for town improvement is now taking effect and such a momentum can only increase as the opportunities of Localism are more clearly defined.  Look out world - Ramsgate is on the map.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


“They are coming home”. The main phase of the shelters restoration is now well under way and Thursday of last week saw the return of a refurbished frame for the second of the three shelters East of the Granville Theatre.  
Other renovated frames will be following in the very near future. Work is happening on all the shelters, with only the two on the Paragon awaiting highway restriction agreements before they can be removed for a similar treatment.

The large shelter on Government Acre will be officially opened for public use on Friday 27th April at 1pm. A mystery guest will be cutting the ribbon and declaring it open for use once again. Any guesses who he or she is? 
                                         WATCH THIS SPACE

Thursday, 12 April 2012

“What a load of rubbish.”

KCC say only 150 homes will be affected by closure of Richborough Recycling Centre, although a petition with 3000 signatures was presented to them by Ramsgate and Sandwich residents..

It also says'”Do you believe it is reasonable to close the out-of-dated and expensive to operate facility at Richborough, provided services exist within a 20-minute drive-time of your home?” Is that a leading and biased question, or what?

When I moved to Ramsgate, some six years ago and first used the Richbrough Recycling Centre, I was most impressed by its modern, well organized facilities and the ease access from a straight dual carriageway. I thought, at last a County Council with the right approach to recycling. I had previously used recycling centres in various parts of the UK and rated Richborough as one of the best organized I had seen.

BUT NO!  Kent County Council have not got it right because they are proposing the closure of Richborough Recycling Centre, leaving both Ramsgate and Sandwich with inferior alternatives. Sandwich residents would have to travel to Deal and Ramsgate residents have to negotiate the congested back roads around Westwood Cross to get to the Margate Tip, which is already over subscribed and congested at regular intervals.

So, if nothing happens to change their minds our “out of touch” Kent County Councillors will close the best tip in East Kent by August this year, I think we should take this “load of rubbish” to the steps of County Hall, Maidstone, it is almost as easy to get there as to Margate tip.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

"Independents” my foot.

The defection of another local politician to the Thanet Opportunists Party is a sad reflection on the state of our local government. We now have one former Labour councillor, one former Conservative councillor and one former Independent/Conservative councillor making up the new Thanet Opportunists Party., in a blatant attempt to hold the Reds and the Blues to ransom for increased allowances (sorry I meant responsibilities)

We will now be able to see the real politicians in Thanet and those just there for the money and glory. It is incumbent upon our more experienced local councillors to sideline these money grabbing morons. How difficult can it be for the big two to work together and oust these self serving undesirable elements from the decision making process.

Surely a motion to prevent any councillor who has changed allegiance, without seeking re-election, to be granted greater responsibilities in the current session, would put paid to their empire building and be more use to Thanet than a vote on gay marriage. Or is that just too simple, any ideas?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Elf n Safely

I have read some interesting posts and commented on other blogs particularly Thanet Life and Thanetonline where the discussion has turned to aviation matters in preference to gay marriage. Interestingly I made reference to an air crash at Stansted airport in  1999  Had this plane taken off from Manston it would certainly have threatened the safety of Ramsgate. The attitude of other commentators seemed mainly to be “so what, it didn’t happen here" OK I accept it didn’t happen here but it could.

At Thanetonline the main concern seemed to be pollution of our water supply and some commentators used the “negativity” card to “dis” the post. Sometime ago, Michael, whilst on his favourite subject of Royal Sands, reported a large chunk of rendering which fell off the cliff face and crashed 20 or so feet to the ground, injuring nobody. The comments then I believe went along the lines “no-one was hurt, so what”.

My point in this is that we live in a world of hard hats, steel toe capped boots, cycle helmets, risk assessment, proof of insurance when holding an event on council land, cancelled firework displays because the correct H&S form has not been completed on time, but really dramatic events are dismissed as irrelevant because they are too disastrous to contemplate.

If you were building a town, would you site it at the end of a 747 runway? Or if you were developing a major regional airport would you have a town at the end of the runway? I sincerely hope the answer is NO to both those questions. So it seems to me that Ramsgate’s gripe about Manston expansion is not negativity , just reasonable self-preservation.on Health and Safety grounds.

Just watching a report on TV about the unsinkable “Titanic”, isn’t it surprising that human blind faith can delude itself into thinking all is “in the pink” whilst peering through rose tinted glasses.

Any way I am off to bed now but I will be sure to be wearing my hard hat in case a 747 drops in over night, and my steel toe caps in case some plaster falls off the wall. Second thoughts better do a risk assessment before I leave this sofa .and check my insurance clauses before using the stairs. You never know!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Leading Light.

On the 19 July 2012, the Olympic Flame will be travelling into Thanet on its way to the Turner Contemporary. The route for the day will start in Deal at 8.27 am and will enter Thanet via Cliffsend and onto Ramsgate. From London Road at 10.13am it will travel via Grange Road, St Augustine’s Road, The Paragon, Royal Parade, Harbour Street, King Street and exit the town via Hereson Road on its way to Margate.

For the full route throughout the UKsee here.

I am sure it will receive a great welcome from the residents of Ramsgate and let’s hope that it is a bright sunny day to cheer on the bearers for this momentous occasion.  See you there

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Richborough Down

Demolition of the Richborough Power Station cooling towers and chimney took place on Sunday morning 11 March 2012 at 9am. There was an extensive crowd assembled on the Westcliff Promenade at Ramsgate to witness the event. A slight haze in the air did not spoil the view and the Royal Esplanade became a linear car park for nearly an hour.

It was great to see such a large turnout early on a Sunday morning, to see this event, which shows that the town’s residents are interested in their surroundings. There was no sign of the expected warning rocket so the first cooling tower falling took everyone by surprise and extensive clapping after all three towers and chimney bit the dust would seem to indicate that the majority were happy to see the end of this industrial landmark or "blot on the landscape", depending on your point of view.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

What a difference 100 years makes.

Thanks to a lucky find on the internet and the generosity of Janet and Richard Mason, the owners of an internet site containing historic postcards of Ramsgate. Fine details of the original style of promenade shelters in Ramsgate could be gleaned from the picture taken circa 1912. This has enabled a faithful recreation of ornate ironwork on the restored shelters. The first of which is nearing completion following extensive research into the interpretation of modern materials to provide a building capable of withstanding the pressures of 21st century life.

These buildings are amongst some of the oldest seafront shelters around the UK and it is important they are preserved for use by future generations. A rolling programme from East to West of the promenade has now commenced to complete all the renovations before the deadline on the grant application of November 2012. Grateful thanks goes to the Heritage Lottery Fund together with Thanet District Council for facilitating the main Townscape Heritage Initiative grant for restoration. Also thanks to all the individuals and organisations in the town that sponsored and donated to the shelters project. Further donations and sponsorship will still be needed for completion.

You may be asking why we do this and the answer is “because Ramsgate is worth it”. Let us hope it is just the start of many good projects for the future of the town

Sunday, 5 February 2012

have your say TODAY

The Thanet District Council night flights consultation started last Friday and continues until 2 March 2012, details of which can be found here.

If you are concerned about de-restriction of planes landing at Kent International Airport between the hours of 11pm in the evening and 7am in the morning, please send your concerns into the consultation, by post or email, quoting your name, full address and postcode.

If you would like to know more details about some of the planning issues surrounding the airport please refer to my previous posts

A Section 106 agreement is NOT an ongoing planning permission

Night Flight Consultation Response.

Planning Loopholes.


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A Section 106 agreement is NOT an ongoing planning permission

The Section 106 agreement under planning legislation is used to define developer/owner/operator contribution to the local surroundings affected by a proposed development, if or when a planning permission is granted. It is not in itself an ongoing planning permission and is restricted to implementation in association with the granted permission

This raises the question as to whether it is appropriate to sign a Section 106 agreement in conjunction with a Certificate for Lawful Development (LDC) and that also poses a further question whether a previous Section 52 agreement attached to a real planning approval can be varied by a Section 106 agreement attached to an  LDC.

I do not profess to be an expert in planning law but from my continued association with planning legislation over 45 years, I have never experienced a Section 106 agreement used in this manner and quoted as the panacea for any and every change at Manston Airport.

If Thanet District Council don’t have the courage to challenge this inappropriate use of a Section 106 agreement, then I feel the residents affected by airport expansion should challenge the situation in court.

The Night Flight consultation commencing tomorrow is a good opportunity for local residents to make the local authority aware that they are not pleased with the way these planning matters have been handled and insist that the whole situation be regularised through the norms of the planning system.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Night Flight Consultation Response

It is astonishing that in the 21st century a substantial installation such as Manston Airport should continue to exist on the basis of planning loopholes. Namely, Certificates of Lawful Development (LDCs) which only establish that a certain planning use was subsisting at the time of granting the certificates. To intensify such a use over succeeding decades must surely be brought into question and subjected to open scrutiny in the form of application for planning permission.

Planning legislation states that “intensification“ can only be the grounds for a planning application if a “material change of use” can be proved.  In the case of Manston Airport the “intensification” is in the form of a night flying proposal which proposes to increase the number of flights landing between 11pm and 6 am. The stated use of such flights is to provide an opportunity for out of hours freight flights.

Passenger operations at the airfield are currently declining from the withdrawal of scheduled flights to Manchester and Belfast, followed by a withdrawal of the only remaining scheduled service at the airport, the Edinburgh route operated by FlyBe, coinciding with an announcement by Flybe that it will be ceasing operations from Manston in March 2012. With the reduction of passenger flights and an increase in freight flights, Manston Airport is changing from a commercial airport with freight services, as stated in their Master-plan and the original LDCs, to a freight airport with occasional passenger flights.  Each of these uses would fall separately into the “Sui Generis” planning use category and therefore constitute a “material change of use”.

A simple example can illustrate this fact. If a developer purchases an assembly room, normally used for the congregation of people and decides to change it into a storage warehouse for the congregation of goods, this would constitute a “material change of use” Thanet District Council is therefore within it's rights to insist on the submission of a planning application in support of the night flight proposal to examine the material change of use constituted by the intensified use of the airport for handling freight.

It is incumbent upon the local authority to take back the high ground in this planning matter at a crucial point in the evolution of Manston Airport. Unless this substantial installation which affects the lives of so many people in Thanet, is subjected to the same planning scrutiny as the normal householder, the impartiality of the local authority will always be under question.

A planning application in this matter would provide a suitable platform for the transparent examination of night flights, intensification, change of use, noise nuisance, noise monitoring, pollution, pollution monitoring, airport safety zones and the effectiveness of controlling an airport using a 106 agreement. This is what is necessary to satisfy affected local residents that their legitimate rights and concerns have been adequately considered.

Name of respondent………………………………………..

DUMMIES guide to employment in Thanet

Don't be a "Tester" at Dreamland.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Planning Loopholes.

Ramsgate is in the invidious position of being sandwiched between two planning loopholes and both affect commercial operations surrounding the town. The difference in the local population’s attitude to these is remarkable.

Port Ramsgate is constructed on reclaimed land and a great percentage of UK foreshore below High Water Mark is owned by Crown Estates, it is therefore exempt planning permission. One just rings up HM and says “Can I build here Maam” and she replies “One will consult the flunkies” and that’s it you construct a wind farm or two. Not quite that simple but you get the picture.  Ramsgate town seems quite unfazed about this and the London Array building sprang up with hardly a murmur in the local media or blogsphere. Everyone is happy.

The other planning loophole is Manston Airport which has been surviving on a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) since its conversion to civil use from a military base in the late 1990’s. A 106 agreement was negotiated at the time but with one of the parties to the agreement having the backing of the Ministryof Defence (MoD) the cards were somewhat stacked in favour of “driving a tank” through inconvenient regulations. I think TDC officers were probably held to ransom until they said “yes”, metaphorically speaking of course.

And so to the present day, night flights are proposed and we find out that no approval is required for them to commence. The pro-airport camp say “If you didn’t want aircraft noise day and night, you should have done your homework and not moved to Ramsgate, as the airport was here first,  we put up with it in the war when US jets flew day and night”.  Well, I have news for them. The war is over and times have moved on. Not only that but Ramsgate town predates aviation and has unique tourist features which would be ruined by jumbo jets overhead every 10 minutes. The Royal Harbour is unique in the UK, disused war time airfields are two a penny in SE England.

The people of Thanet really do have to decide what sort of environment they want for the future, overstated job opportunities from an unpopular under-used airport or numerous options to attract fresh tourism, with job opportunities, to this beautiful corner of Kent. I have always kept an open mind about the pros and cons of having a local international airport, but the more I learn about the facts of the situation and the misinformation being spouted, the more I think it would make a great site for Center Parcs.


No, this is not a new type of TV or computer screen. Many of you may have happened upon this abbreviation whilst reading the planning section of the consultants report commissioned by Thanet District Council about night flying proposals at Manston airport. The abbreviation stands for Lawful Development Certificate and is issued by a local authority when an applicant requests such a certificate based on a use which has been  established for at least 10 years and is subsisting on a site. The local authority is obliged to issue such a certificate if the necessary conditions are met.

This goes a long way to explaining the current unsatisfactory planning situation at Kent International Airport. Faced with a declining military use for Manston airport the Ministry of Defence applied for LDCs to support the changeover to civilian use, which had been happening in some parts of the airport in parallel with the military use. Faced with such an influential applicant, I think TDC conceded their position and relied on a loosely drafted 106 agreement in an attempt to control the situation.

Under normal circumstances an established use LDC and a 106 agreement would be sufficient to control any future development proposals. However in the case of night flights this is only an increase in traffic movements, not really a planning matter, as “intensification” can only be controlled if a material change of use can be proved. The 106 agreement does not even require approval of a night flying policy only that one is submitted prior to commencement. It therefore follows that Manston can commence night flying tomorrow, having submitted a policy, hence night flying for the Olympics and maybe after.

Infratil is not advertising this loophole however, because airport expansion inevitably requires new buildings.(see picture above). Any new building on the airfield will require full planning permission, which is best wrapped up in glossy expansion plans with a promise of many jobs to mask the transition from their established use on LDC, to expansion requiring planning permission.

For those of you interested in this subject you may like to read a previous post of mine on the same subject here, it would appear now that I was not in possession of the full facts at the time and the title should have read "Night Flying Consultation UNNECESSARY!"

Friday, 20 January 2012

Port Masterplan 2011

The Ramsgate Port and Royal Harbour Masterplan  2011 is to be discussed by the Cabinet Advisory Group on 26 January 2012. The plan is available to view here.

It is quite a good document which is directing Ramsgate waterfront in the right direction, it draws on some outdated planning policies but makes no reference to the long awaited Core Strategy document which seems to have disappeared into oblivion

The section on the Ramsgate Slipways is rather ambiguous, leaving the door open for some sort of development on the site

More pedestrianisation is recommended, with a rationalisation of car parking to reduce its impact on Military Road, Smeaton's Crosswall, Harbour Parade and Pier Yard. An events space is recommended for Pier Yard.and an improved pedestrian space at the Harbour Street / Harbour Parade road crossing.

Rationalisation of land in the New Port area is a welcome sign for maximising the commercial potential of the non-historical part of the port, including extending commercial opportunities onto the undercliffe area on the landward side of the port.

The document brings together most of the items which have been discussed in a fragmented way about the Port and Royal Harbour and is a good framework for taking forward a viable business model for the area.

It recognises the need for a prestigious building between the Western end of the Royal Harbour and the New Port and hopefully paves the way for something along the lines of the following sketch.
Inclusion of residential accommodation in the harbour is still mentioned but this should be treated with great caution as on many occasions objections about noise etc, by relatively new residents has forced the closure of long established commercial enterprises to the overall detriment to an area. Any residential development should be strictly controlled and only allowed in conjunction with a commercial and related marine use.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Mary Whitehouse

The “Blogging Hell” article on Big News Margate referring to yet another “disappeared” post at Worrow’s World, reminded me very much of the Mary Whitehouse days. Mary (now deceased) was a self styled “guardian of good standards” on TV. We now have a similar proposal for blogging and whilst I agree that bloggers must be ever vigilant for offensive material and comments, the current Thanet blogging scene is quite harmless and far less corruptible than many internet sites.

I remember that a “girlie” magazine received the title “Whitehouse” for obvious reasons, don’t think I will go there!

Whilst looking through other blogs I came across the “Lost Letter office” at Margate35mm and couldn’t resist posting the above photo which I snapped sometime ago, the sign has now been removed, but then this is “Fannit” and perhaps Ofsted complained

I totally agree with the sentiments expressed on Margate35mm that the best way of dealing with graffiti etc is to remove it immediately, perhaps that’s what has happened to Worrow’s World.

It occurred to me that with all these disappearing posts we may have a "Fannit Triangle" and they will all reappear at Roswell in 2045, just a thought.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Who nobbles the BBC?

Couldn’t resist the cartoon, following today’s news from Thanetland but I thought I would write about something interesting (to me)

I spend time in France regularly, so the “ EURO  crisis” is of interest to me and I keep a watchful eye on exchange rates. The BBC News 6pm  tonight (Friday 13th Jan 2012), headline  was “Euro in free fall as Euro crisis deepens”,   Hearing such news and with a  European trip imminent, I eagerly checked the Euro to GBP exchange rate only to find it had dropped only about 0.03p. Hardly anything to get worked up about but it suited the BBC because they went on to say that France’s Triple A” rating was in danger of being down graded.

Funnily enough in the previous week the BBC had been outraged by a French Minister’s comment that the economies of France and Britain had a similar fragility and that if France was downgraded, Britain shouldn’t be far behind. Looking at the exchange rate history I would say the French Minister certainly has got a point. 10years ago the Euro started life and was worth 62p, over the succeeding years the Euro has consistently gained strength against the pound, a few weeks ago a Euro was worth nearly 90p and since then it has been in slow decline to 82.5p, its present value. This is hardly a crash as suggested by the BBC, to bolster their story about the possible downgrading.

It is a great pity that we only get a very biased and one sided version of a story which seems designed to keep us all oblivious of the dire situation throughout the whole Western hemisphere INCLUDING BRITAIN.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Royal Sands – For Sale.

Brochures offering flats for sale in the Royal Sands development are available at the Visitor Information Centre in the Custom House, Ramsgate and details are also available on-line (here) an interesting website which claims that 15 flats have already been reserved and will be ready for occupation in the Autumn of 2013. I think that is a rather optimistic estimate but I suppose the construction programme can be speeded if or when sufficient demand has been realized. Anyway it will be good to see the end of a prominent building site “next year”

For those of you who are interested and have the necessary wonka the prices are quoted as:                          Prices
                                        1 Bedroom Apartments from £185,000
                                        2 Bedroom Apartments from £245,000
                                        3 Bedroom Apartments from £335,000
                                           Roof Top Apartments from £435,000

Just £2000 secures your dream property, plus two stage payments before completion.

One slightly surprising aspect of the very prestigious printed brochure is that nowhere does it mention the name of the development company. You would think that when offering such a prestigious development to the world, a developer would want to take maximum credit for the project, with maybe a “Barratt’s helicopter” or two.  Is this a job for the frying Doc.?

Anyway the website is overflowing with information about the developer and here it is in its entirety

The Developers – SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd.
The Developers for the Royal Sands development are SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd a UK based Commercial and Residential Development Company with experience in mixed schemes in both the UK and overseas.
And there was me thinking it was an off-shore company – should be possible to identify the directors now, anyone interested can start HERE.
I would love to know where their overseas developments are???