Thursday, August 23, 2007

No 106 agreement...whatever next?

The council have stated from day one that Persimmon were going to provide the leisure centre and pool in return for the houses being built in Coatham.They even stated this at the Coatham Planning meeting in April this year.Yet they have known from day one that this wasnt the case.They have known all along that there were no private developers interested in signing up for the leisure facilities,they have known all along that there was no interest or support from any local government bodies, and I dare say that they have known all along that borrowing money was the only way that a baths was ever going to be built in our town.

The line thats been constantly fed to us that "we have to have the houses is the only way to get a baths" has been totally untrue.Yesterday,under the official secrets act,the information that we already had was confirmed, THAT THERE WAS NO 106 AGREEMENT EXISTING BETWEEN THE COUNCIL AND PERSIMMON HOMES. With no 106 agreement existing between them, Persimmon homes have never had and have no obligation to provide any leisure facilities in the Coatham scheme.Never mind the baths/leisure centre,has everybody forgot that the council have been touting a £14,000,000 visitor centre with iconic tower,an interpretation centre,a single screen cinema an extreme sports centre etc etc,blahdeeblahdeeblah.

It has all just been utter spin to get the people of this town and borough to blindly agree to our Coastline being covered in Persimmon homes,as Chris Abbott says in one his early posts on Redcar,net,"OVERLOOKING ONE OF THE BEST BEACHES IN THE COUNTRY!"

Thats what this has all been about.Houses and greed.It has never been about leisure despite all the councils attempts to make people think otherwise.They have never told the real truth that ultimately they were going to borrow the money to provide the baths because that would take away their carrot to dangle,because people would then say well...if were borrowing the money why have the houses?

They have stated that they were going to borrow to provide the leisure centre/pool.This is now unlikely with such a huge black hole in the budget.There is no 106 agreement tying the developer to provide anything in the way of leisure.So what was the council getting out of letting the countries biggest and richest builder, build houses on OUR coastline? It has constantly been argued that £5.6,000,000 for a 35 acre site of coastal headland is way below value,and besides the council were going to use that to implement the infrastructure for the development new roads,junctions,etc.So with no 106 agreement that ties Persimmon to providing anything other than houses,and no benefit of the capital receipt,just what exactly was the incentive for elements of this council going directly against their own leisure brief in 2002, to sign as their 'preferred developer' the countries biggest house builder who werent providing any leisure at all?

Why have they fallen over backwards,despite massive public outcry and opposition,despite having no funding for any of the leisure facilities,despite knowing that the version of things that they have been spoon feeding to the public is completely untrue,have they pressed on and on and on with this botched and tainted scheme? What is funniest about this is that in an early post on, Cllr Chris Abbott states that if there was a negative public reaction to the scheme, then Persimmon would be more or less be ousted and replaced,because he wanted the best scheme delivered possible.Well look at the opposition to the scheme and look at the councils response over the last three years? They have totally IGNORED thousands of people objecting.Why?

Why has this council, who are in a desperate financial state, committed PUBLIC MONEY to pay for half of the consultancy fees,ALL of the legal fees and even the errection of a seven foot high steel fence among other things,for the richest PRIVATE builder in the counctry with a six monthly profit of TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTY ONE MILLION POUNDS to make more profit,when the council arent going to gain anything by the developer building on our coastline because theres no 106 agreement tying them to anything?

Why has there been so many lies and so much deceit?

Why has a tainted planning meeting and decision gone uninvestigated?

This whole episode is dragging our council and our borough further and further down into the mire.It is about time that a full,independent investigation was started immediately.Before one more officer of this council who has been connected with this sham is allowed to 'retire'.

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