Saturday, 2 March 2013

UKplanning – Pleasurama

Cllr Ian Driver’s recent post containing a “secret” document regarding allocation of the development site known as Pleasurama, Ramsgate, gives considerable credence to the notion that there is something untoward about this transaction. The report may or may not be genuine but it deals with a part of the timeline (2002-3) for this project which has interested me of late.  This was the period when the Audit Commissioner was preparing a report about Thanet District Council, following a complaint to his office by a member of the public, that scathing report was not published until October 2003.

During this period the Labour administration had been ousted by a Conservative victory in the 2003 elections, and reading the above “secret” report a planning application was eagerly awaited for the Pleasurama site. The earliest document I have seen for the SFP scheme on Pleasurama is one shown on Michaels Child’s blog here. This was prepared in 2002 by PRC Fewster Architects of Surbiton in Surrey and appears to be a preliminary scheme by SFP Ventures backed by Whitbread plc.

So, coming to the point of this post. I have examined the UKplanning documents for the Pleasurama development and what appears to be the same scheme at a more advanced stage, submitted on 4 Nov 2003 by the same architects, PRC Fewster of Surbiton, Surrey, states that the applicant for the site is Robert Leonard Group plc of Southend on Sea, Essex. They paid £22,000 for the privilege of submitting the application for approval.

Even more curious is that some 3 months later, the application was approved but the approval document carries the name of SFP Ventures Partners Ltd. The Robert Leonard Group would have had to advise Thanet District Council of a change of applicant and that correspondence should be on the planning file. It also means that The Robert Leonard Group must be aware of the identity of SFP Ventures Partners Ltd. This is particularly strange because the only UK based company which would have a "Ltd" suffix is SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd which was not formed until 2006.

P.S It has since occurred to me that a planning permission issued to the wrong applicant, who is in fact a fictitious company may be null and void


  1. Re: variations in applicant's name.

    This tends to be quite common - particularly with small builders who often set up a new company specifically for a development project and then randomly vary between using their own name or the company name.

    The planning permission relates to the land, rather than whoever applied for it.

  2. Anon 10.41 I would normally agree with your assessment of the situation, but to issue a permission in the name of a fictitious applicant must be questionable practice.

  3. As the entity in whose the permission was granted wasn't ficticious, then the point would appear to be moot. In any case, as the permission is granted on the land to to a person, it wouldn't matter if it was in the name of Donald Duck.

  4. John, You obviously have inside information, perhaps you would like to share with us why you think SFP Ventures Partners Ltd is not a fictitious company.

    Donald Duck would be fine because that could be the name of an individual, but to use the title "Ltd" when a company is not register at Companies House is illegal.

  5. " the permission is granted on the land to to a person, it wouldn't matter if it was in the name of Donald Duc"

    This may be so, but it matters a great deal if a public amenity and the economic well-being of the town is affected. One would expect a responsible council to satisfy itself that the applicant has the means and motivation to complete the works. It is clear that despite all of the councillors and officers employed at our expense, nobody at TDC protected the public interest. The Chief Executive responsible for this has gone. If he received a pay-off they should demand it back. As for the councillors it's wuite simple: anybody who voted for the current agreement should resign immediately.

  6. No inside knowledge Readit, just knowledge.

    Clearly SFP Venture Partners Ltd exists, are you going to try to show that it doesn't? What name is on the permission is utterly irrelevant, the permission relates to a site, and is not granted to an individual or a company.

    No Readit, it's not illegal to call any company whatever you wish. As (I believe) SFP Venture Partners Ltd was not a UK company, the "Ltd" simply forms part of the name. I LOVE it when people claim illegality, when they have no clue what law they think has been broken. Tell me, what law do you think has been broken by a company not registered in the UK?

    Anon 22:20, I salute your entertaining use of hindsight to second guess actions which clearly could not/were not foreseen, can you perhaps let me have the lottery numbers before Saturday, as letting me know them on Sunday will clearly be irrelevant and as unhelpful and pointless as your protestations about this issue.


  8. Part 4

  9. Just "knowledge" of your own private imaginary world.
    I just love it when they have no clue.

  10. Thank you for that AR. It seems Mr Hamilton is not as knowledgable as he would have us believe. He is suffering from a severe case of his own bulls............