Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Ramsgate Port O'Regan Concrete Block Plans Talks in Advanced Stage

Green Party Councillor and Parliamentary Candidate for Thanet South, Ian Driver, has warned that talks between Thanet Council and the O’Regan Group about the location of a concrete block manufacturing and waste wood processing plant at the Port of Ramsgate are “in advanced stages”. Driver’s comment follows a response to an enquiry he lodged with the council three weeks ago which stated that there have been  5 meetings between TDC, the O’Regan Group and its agents  on 25 June, 10 July, 12 September, 18 October and 12 December 2014.  The response also confirms that TDCs Corporate Management Team and the Labour controlled Cabinet have also discussed  the O’Regan Group   plans and that the Council has received a planning pre-application document from the O’Regan Group. Driver's request to see notes of the meetings with the O’Regan Group  and any other related documents were rejected on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. Said Driver “I am very disappointed that discussions with the O’Regan Group have reached this advanced stage. There are some extremely serious questions about their suitability to operate at Ramsgate Port, especially their involvement in pollution related court cases in Ireland. I find it hard to believe that senior Labour Councillors such as Mike Harrison, who is responsible for the Port, write letters to the press implicitly supporting the O’Regan Group plan after  a public meeting  attended by almost 300 Ramsgate residents was unanimously opposed to it. I will be joining local people in a campaign to oppose any move to permit the O’Regan Group  to
operate from the port. Their plans are simply too risky and  their track record inspires no confidence in me”. Driver said that a Green Party controlled Thanet Council would immediately launch a root and branch review into the future of Ramsgate Port with a focus on leisure use. 

Dear Cllr Driver
Thank you for this request and I apologise for the delay in replying.
I had to seek instructions before responding and I am told the answers to you request are as follows:I would be grateful if you could tell me how many meetings  Council has had with the O'Regan Group over the past 18 months.  I believe there were fiveCould you let me have the dates of these meetings and the names of those who attended including agents acting on behalf of the O'Regan Group.

25 June 2014- Ian Faupel (O’Regan Group’s consultant) Robert Brown10 July 2014 - Brett Aggregates, Ian Faupel, Louis O’Regan, Robert Brown, John Davison. 12 September 2014 – site visit; Ian Faupel, Lois O’Regan, Colin Browne. 18 October 2014 – Ian Faupel, Louis O’Regan; Chris O’Brien, Nikki Morris, Robert Brown. 12 December 2014 – JWDB Planning, Robert Brown, John Davison, Mike Humber. Could you also provide me with copies of minutes/ notes of these meetings and copies of any documents discussed at these meetings.These are not being released as they are presently commercially sensitive.I would be grateful if you could tell me if the Cabinet and/ or the senior management team have discussed the O'Regan proposals.Discussed as part of a wider update at CMT.The Action Points on the agenda for the following CMT on 18th November make no reference to O’Regan or their proposals as the discussion did not lead to any specifically identified action.Proposal discussed at Cabinet agenda meeting 5th January. This was in relation to a pre-application sent in by O’Regan’s agent.If so when and could you please let me have copies of any reports, notes, emails etc pertaining to such discussions. Copies will be released in the future subject to commercial issues. I would also be grateful if you could tell me whether there have been any discussions about rentals and costs which might have to be  paid by the O'Regan Group for use of council land at the Port or elsewhere.I don’t have any details of these

Could you also let me know if  the council has  adopted a view as to whether planning permission will be required for the O'Regan group to implement its proposals. As far as I am aware Iain Livingstone is still awaiting further information on the proposal before this can be determined.

Finally as the Green Party PPC for Thanet South and as a Ramsgate Councillor I would be grateful if you could keep me up to date with any ongoing discussions with the O'Regan Group or its agents about their plans for the port. I would also like to be notified as soon as the Council receives any planning application from the O'Regan Group regarding its proposals for the Port.
Cllrs get updated about applications received I understand
I trust this is of assistance. Many thanks.Steven Boyle


  1. So actually the planning application IS in! And the public has to wait until this fait a compli is established. Definately a vote of no confidence by the people of Ramsgate in RTC and TDC since in final decision making terms they are much the same people.

  2. As nobody in their right mind (if they have Ramsgate's interests at heart) would allow this to get so far, what gives TDC the right to let it. Is this going to another example that the "oh we are tied by commercial confidentiality" claims or "oh we can't find another way round the problem" excuses. Time is overdue on doing something right for this area.

  3. Yes here we go yet again Novices at Thanet Council negotiation and binding up the local taxpayers, but we cannot see what idiotic deeds they do because they quote commercial confidentiality yet again, like with Transeuropa and Euroferries. What about TDC's rock bottom track record? What about disclosure in the public interest so that some brains can look at what the novices are up to behind closed doors, and prevent more disasters, and avoid another tax subsidized business of no benefit to Thanet residents?

  4. Agree with both the above. We are being pushed into a fait accompli with this proposal only appearing a few weeks ago yet TDC knew of it on detail fro 6 months.

    Are the coiuncillors simply ignored or are they toothless?

    Is Harrison or Everitt responsible for the Port or they pass it around as they see fit?

    And how do we put a stop to this commercial confidentiality nonsense for FOI when the public interest is paramount. At worst the documents would be released with oneor two key costs censored. But even a councillor cannot see them?

    Iris seems to be keeping her head down before the election.

  5. Part of the problem is that officers at TDC do not live in the area.

  6. Whaaat!!!! No councillors know of the ORegan meetings despite 6 months of meetings? Which civil servant should have told them then?

  7. O'Regan group are no doubt attracted by the business opportunities presented by the planned 12,000 houses, as promised by Iris Johnson / TDC, and the 4 runway Airport City proposed by Coastal Airports / Winbourne Martin French / Pell Frischmann currently before the Select Committee with the tacit support of Sir Roger Gale / Tony Freudmann / RiverOak.

  8. There will not be a Green controlled Thanet Council. However, Ramsgate residents need to take action to stop this blight happening to the Port and to Ramsgate