Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pinocchio Dunning...A cartoon leader in charge of a desperate council part 2.

In Pinocchio Dunnings response to our press release, he states that he has had a meeting with Persimmon and that the scheme is still going ahead despite the country plunging head long into recession.

Despite the IMF statement today which followed the Bank of Englands panic cut in interest rates, stating that of all the countries in the world, Britains ecconomy will contract the most and be hit by recession the worst, mainly because of what they described as the housing bubble that grew too big, George Dunning and Persimmon homes still reckon that although work all over the country on their sites has all but stopped, 2000 people have been made redundant, their shares have dropped from £15.00 to just £2.30 and the value of their land bank has dropped by £600,000,000 Coatham is going to go ahead, all being well, in April?

But despite this glaring, nonsensical, contradiction between what mess theyre in and what they are saying publicly, here are a few other things that 'they' aren't bringing to the public's attention and a few questions that a lot of people would like to have answered.

1. If Persimmon are hoping to be on site in April next year, why have officers of this council, under delegated authority, without consulting even the councils planning committee, extended Persimmons planning permission for an unspecified amount of time? I mean, planning Permission lasts for three years. As it stands now, Persimmons' permission for Coatham would last until May 2010, so if they are going to start work in April next year, why have officers of this council extended Persimmons' planning permission beyond 2010? If they are going to be on site hopefully by next April, then theres no need to extend Planning Permission.

So why have they? What is so special about Coatham that makes Persimmon want to go against their own policy of not starting work on any new sites?

What is so special about this development that makes Persimmon, according to pinocchio Dunning, want to risk so much by starting work on this development as this countries ecconomy contracts more than any other in the world, when no-one can get a mortgage, when the cost of having a mortgage is rising and when the housing market is stagnant?

2. If Persimmon is going to be on site next April, are they going to start work on the sea defence now which has to be in place before any houses can even be built? Even if they started work on the sea defence now, how is it going to be completed in just five months ready for work on the houses to begin?

3. If Persimmon are going to be on site next April, are Persimmon intending to address the 47 planning conditions that have been set down, the conditions that they haven't even starting addressing? Are they going to start the clearing of landmines and contaminants before or after April?

4. The demolition of the leisure centre and Bowl to make way for the new leisure centre, pool and doctors surgery paid for through prudential borrowing, was always going to be part of phase one of the development. If Persimmon are going to be on site next April, why have the council spent thousands and thousands of pounds repairing the roof of the Coatham Bowl and leisure centre and giving it a facelift when if what Dunning has said is true, it is only going to be demolished in four months time? And why is the bowl taking bookings up until the end of 2009?

5. Why was the boating lake development reported in the Gazette in late 2006 as being a complimentary development to the Coatham scheme, to then be included as part of the Coatham Scheme at the Coatham Planning meeting last April, to now once again be described as a complimentary development once more?

6. Why has the cost of this 'complimentary development' risen from approximately £60,000, a sum that Persimmon were going to contibute to, to a whopping SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS that Persimmon are contibuting absolutely nothing to?

7. Why are the council wanting to build a youth and media centre on the site of a building known in the Persimmon plan as the 'D2 building' a building which the council have already told us is going to be a bowling alley and something that they have already stated publicly in 2006, they have acquired the funding for?

8. If Persimmon are starting work in April on the Coatham scheme, why have the council sold the caravan park, which was always an integral part of the scheme because it was going to provide car parking for the whole site, to Lido leisure? Lido leisure were leasing the site from the council. In 2006, the council stated publicly that they were not going to renew Lido Leisures lease. Court proceedings began and Lido leisure even contacted us for information in preparation for their high court hearing early in 2007. Then like a bolt from the blue, no high court action is taking place and the council have suddenly sold the Caravan site in Coatham and another in Saltburn that Lido Leisure also run, to Lido Leisure for an undisclosed amount? Why is that?

Can anyone see Pinocchios nose getting any bigger yet?

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