Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Illegal? Demolition Ramsgate High Street Pt2

The saga of the possible illegal demolition works on Ramsgate High Street continues, When I first reported the matter last week the Council's Chief Executive told me that an agreement had been reached with the developers, a company called Panther Securities?, that they could remove the roof because it was unsafe.
Well it seems as though the developers have done a lot more than this. Over the course of the weekend  they have totally demolished another building. An action which appears to breach the agreement with the Council. I understand that the developers may have also unlawfully tampered with the electricity and gas supply on the site causing some residents to lose power, These matters have been reported to the proper authorities who are investigating. If this company is flouting planning, and any other regulations, which on the basis of the evidence I have seen might be possible, then it should prosecuted and the highest possible penalties imposed. Here are some pictures of the demolition at the site over the weekend.  There a lot more including video. I have written to the Council's Chief Executive asking for an update and requesting copies of documents.

Dear Ms McGonigal
Further to your letter of 23 October I am writing to express my concern that the works being carried out by the developers or its agents appear  to have  far exceeded the permitted limits you described to me. I have been advised that the developers or tis agents have now demolished property beyond the roof and gables including the total demolition of another building. This additional  demolition work has been filmed and photographed.
Please provide me with an urgent briefing as to the situation at the site. 
In addition under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act I wish to know 
1.The legal/ procedural grounds on which the demolition of the roof structure to the outbuilding was permitted, including copies of any letters or e-mails sent to the developer or its agents about what the Council permitted it do on the site and copies of any notes of  meetings with the developers or between council staff on this matter.
2. Copies of communications (letters/ e-mails,  notes of meetings note of telephone conversations) with local residents about the Council's decision to allow the demolition   of the roof structure to the outbuilding and the dates of these communications.
Local residents are very concerned about ongoing developments and I look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.
 Yours sincerely 
 Cllr Ian Driver  

Dear Councillor Driver,

Thank you for your emails regarding the works being carried out at High Street Ramsgate. I have now received updates from the officers dealing with the case and can now advise you of the current position.

The work that is being undertaken, being the removal of the roof structure to the outbuilding, is not considered to comprise development under the Planning Acts. Planning consent will be required before any further demolition works beyond the roof and gables can take place, the need for Conservation Area consent has been removed by a recent change in national legislation.

This work is considered to be necessary due to the unsafe condition of the roof structure and both the developer and the demolition contractor are fully aware of the limitation on the work.

The work itself is being overseen by the building control section, appropriate notices have been served by the developer and regular site visits undertaken, including out of hours to reports of alleged danger. Issues that have been raised by local residents have been addressed including those of site security, but those relating to the Party Wall Act and the site safety of workers undertaking the demolition are outside the remit of this authority. The HSE have been notified of the unsafe working practices and are currently investigating and the immediate neighbours have been advised to seek advice from either a Party Wall Surveyor or Solicitor regarding any lack of notice under the Act.

I hope that this clarifies the current position.
Yours sincerely,
Dr Sue McGonigal
Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer
Thanet District Council

Here's a song probably in bad taste

"Panther  waiting planning  for far too long
Now they gonna  dance  to a different song
They gonna scream and shout and  talk dissent  
Gonna smash  up Ramsgate  High Street without Planning Consent


  1. Yet again McGonigal is listening to her goons and accepting what they say. When she says there is no requirement of conservation area consent to demolish that is because there is now a requirement for a full planning application to demolish anything over 115cu mtres.

    After coming out with another load of worthless guff the developer has now compromised her as well. Just brilliant.

  2. AS usual Driver jumps on any bandwagon going without knowing the full facts of anything -he should look in at Northwood sometime to see how he stacks up with his electorate -he will find out he is a complete joke -and will end up a very sad ex Council Clerk with a very big axe to grind -sad man

  3. Is this site in the ward you represent Mr Driver?

    1. No but I will help anyone who contacts me with a problem.