Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hey Mr Dunning, please be big enough to tell people the truth.

Please look at the Northern Echo Article above.I knew it wouldnt take long before the misleading leader of our council started trying to apportion blame for this disastrous scheme on the people who are against it, and who are doing most to ensure that the full facts and truth about it are known.The only thing is, he's so wrong with his 'facts',that once again he has left himself wide open and looking absolutely ridiculous.

He blames the friends of Coatham Common for the £600,000 worth of renovation works that were going to be carried out on the boating lake,not being carried out.He claims that it’s because we were threatening Judicial Review. What an absolute Silly Billy George is. In a council press release that was published on the 16th of March this year, it clearly states, and I quote,

“Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council is starting work on restoring the boating lake to its former glory ,including the creation of a shingle beach to an island for wading birds.”

“The project, A SEPARATE BUT COMPLIMENTARY INITIATIVE to the proposed Coatham Links development, will install new seating ,new footpaths, a new perimeter wall, improved planting scheme, and night-time lighting.”

“ The designs for the work, which do not need planning permission, have been drawn up after consultations with Natural England, to ensure the value of the lake for birds can be maintained and enhanced.”

“The council’s cabinet member for Culture, tourism and leisure Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: We believe this scheme is another example of how we are bucking the national trend by improving our seaside resorts, rather than see them go further into decline.”

“The overall aim of this work is to improve the quality of the public realm areas surrounding the lake, to increase the use of the space and restore the area to its former glory as a public space.”

“Material at the edges of the lake and island will provide wading birds with the habitat they require, while the beach will add interest to the island and provide opportunities for wading birds.”

“Councillor Fitzpatrick added: we’re delighted with the scheme and the addition of lighting to the area will ensure night-time interest and safety within the area.”

“Council engineers are investigating the state of the boating lake’s footbridge,with a view to organizing repairs.”

The important thing to note in the council article, is that they clearly state that the PROJECT IS A SEPARATE BUT COMPLIMENTARY INITIATIVE TO THE COATHAM LINKS DEVELOPMENT, WHICH DID NOT NEED PLANNING PERMISSION!

Not only is George Dunning’s statement in the Northern Echo newspaper article blaming us for the work not being started completely inaccurate, it’s wholly UNTRUE! Because the renovation of the boating lake is a completely separate issue from the scheme in Coatham and our Judicial Review proceedings are about the Coatham scheme and the planning meeting and decision that George Dunning himself has gone on record as calling tainted.If they havent started work on this renovation of the boating lake then that is down to them not us.The carrying out work on the boating lake as you can see from the press release above,has nothing to do with the Coatham scheme and consequently nothing to do with our Judicial Review proceedings!

The press release above was published on March 16th.This was TWO WEEKS BEFORE the Coatham Planning meeting.The plans for the boating lake were not part of the planning application. Yet now, even though the boating lake renovation was separate from the Coatham scheme and even though it wasn’t even mentioned at the Coatham planning meeting, it has somehow, according to the councils “People, pride and passion” magazine now found it’s way into the first phase of the development along with 102 houses and the leisure centre and pool, which has always been a part of phase one of the development has, once again according to the same council magazine, been pushed back into the second phase of the development not due to start till at least June 2009!

It is obvious that because there has been no 106 agreement signed between the council and Persimmon tying Persimmon to providing ANY LEISURE, and because the council have no money to provide the leisure centre and pool because of a £12,000,000 black hole in their budget, they have moved it back to phase two of the scheme. If Persimmon had any obligation to provide the leisure centre and pool then surely it would still be in phase one of the scheme?

It is obvious that because of the financial mess that the council are in,they don’t have the £600,000 to renovate the boating lake either, but rather than be big enough to admit that, George Dunning takes the easy way out and blames the group of people that are fighting the hardest to ensure that all the facts and all the truths about this disastrous scheme are known, and who are trying to stop what is basically a housing estate being built on our coastline.

Shame on him and the misleading statements that he has spun, in order to put the blame onto somebody elses doorstep.

However,we intend to make sure that the public know the truth.

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