Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What could the councils reason for their devotion to Persimmon possibly be?

When the MP and Solicitor General of this country Vera Baird, has called the Coatham scheme a disaster on radio, when the leader of the council George Dunning, has called the planning process for the scheme tainted in the local paper, when there is no funding for any leisure and all of the leisure facilities that were in the scheme originally have all been dropped apart from the leisure centre and pool which the council is hoping to be built by them borrowing millions of pounds and raising peoples council tax (something that the council and the MP always said that they could never do), when this only last remaining leisure facility in this disastrous, tainted scheme has nothing to do with the building of Persimmons houses and when even those houses themselves are not going to happen, not just because recession ravaged Persimmon are sinking faster than the Titanic, but because of the whole area in Coatham being so expensive to develop it would make the whole scheme unviable in any economic climate, why is this council still desperate to tie us to Persimmon Homes PLC and this whole mess?

This council over a period of four and a half years since our campaign began, have made a whole host of inexplicable decisions that have in every case, tied us more and more to Persimmon.

They have committed public money to being spent paying for Persimmons legal fees and consultancy fees when we had a £12,000,000 hole in our councils budget and Persimmon were the richest builder in the country?

They have never asked Persimmon to sign a 106 agreement so tying Persimmon to providing any leisure facilities as part of this scheme, when it was advertised in 2002 as a leisure scheme?

They have changed the Environment Agencies planning condition regarding the building of a £14,000,000 sea defence to benefit Persimmon when they hadn't had the consent or authority to do so?

They have given the scheme full, cross party backing last June when it had already been described by the MP and Leader of the council as a disaster and tainted?

They signed the development agreement for this scheme, so tying us to Persimmon, two days before the local elections last year and before any possible change of administration who would drop this scheme. They signed this agreement not only two days before the local elections, but weeks before G.O.N.E had even made any decision as to whether or not they were going to call it in? No wonder this council are now using LEGI money to fund local clairvoyants!

And now officers of this council have once again, under delegated authority once again, extended Persimmon homes planning permission without bringing it before the councils planning committee, when the council are starting to develop parts of the site themselves without any involvement from Persimmon and when the only leisure facility from the original scheme that the council want to provide, they are hoping to provide through borrowing millions?

Why is this council hell bent on tying us to a developer and their housing scheme, when that builder and that housing scheme isn't benefitting this town in any way at all and when they aren't providing one single leisure facility?

Why? why? why? Could the answer to these questions lie in the fact that this council and Persimmon were involved in Coatham a year before it was even advertised as a leisure development in 2002? It certainly looks as if the councils and Persimmons' decision to press ahead no matter what, was made long before the scheme was even advertised. All we need to know now is why?

Only a thorough independent investigation will provide us with the answers.

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