Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just what is going on?

A month or so ago, unconfirmed reports were given to me from a source close to the council, that stated that Persimmon homes were about to pull out of the Coatham Enclosure scheme. When you receive unconfirmed reports like that, you have to treat their validity with caution. However, there are things unfolding which, on the face of it, would suggest that these unconfirmed reports are possibly more than just idle banter.

Firstly the Coatham Bowl, which was due to be demolished as part of the Persimmon scheme, has had a face lift, its leaking roof repaired and are taking bookings until at least the end of 2009. Why is that if what has been stated in the latest election literature for the Kirkleatham ward is to be relied upon, namely that work is due to begin on the Persimmon scheme next Spring?

Secondly, the refurbishment of the boating lake was originally going to cost approximately £60,000 and this sum was going to be contributed to by Persimmon themselves. Now though, the figure to refurbish the boating lake has risen massively to £700,000! Not only this, the decision to spend PUBLIC MONEY was made under delegated authority by the councils officers and it is not being suplemented in any way, by Persimmon. Why is that and why has the cost risen so steeply?

Thirdly, we have had for a while now, the councils agenda for their meeting on the 28th of this month. It shows that the council themselves, have already applied for funding to build a leisure facility of some sort themselves, on the site of the old swimming baths. In the document it states and I quote
" This project will provide state of the art facilities and equipment for arts and media, which will be used to deliver High quality, innovative programs delivered by skilled professionals and accredited through the Arts councils Arts award scheme. This project will provide young people with a safe place to meet, opportunities to get involved in positive activities and access to the help and support they need..."
In the Persimmon Coatham Enclosure scheme, this site has always been known as the D2 leisure site. It has, over the years changed from being designated for a casino, to a bingo hall to a bowling alley. What is significant about this, is that the council have been telling people for years, that all of the funding was in place for all of the leisure facilities in the Coatham Scheme. But yet here they are now, applying for funding for a leisure facility under delegated authority once again, that they want to build themselves? If all of the funding is in place and has been since at least 2006 when Colin Moore and Vera Moody made a public statement to say so, why are the council applying for funding, to fund a leisure facility of their own, on that site?
More than this, this D2 site has always been an intrinsic part of the Persimmon scheme and yet now it appears as if the council are trying to develop it themselves. Why is that?

It would appear, that more and more the council are attempting to take control of the enclosure and develop it themselves and it would appear that less and less, Persimmon are being involved. I will leave you to make of that what you will.

But when the country is now officially in recession, the housing market stagnant and when Persimmons own shares have fallen so drastically to just £4.00 in September to just around £2.00 this month, bearing in mind the massive obstacles that have to be overcome just to make this site safe to live in, would it really be a surprise if what the unconfirmed reports that I received in September, were actually true?

All I would like to know now is why, when the council have another plan on the table for a full leisure scheme, submitted by Redcarpet Developments, if Persimmon are no more,are they seeming to try and do things themselves?

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