In 2002 a naive bunch of councillors including Hart, Poole and Johnson voted to approve that SFP become the preferred developer for the site formerly known as Pleasurama, once Merrie England.
With their Swiss Bankers behind them, they were all set to make Ramsgate the new Brighton. The development would create a unique strip of commercial accommodation that lies directly behind one of the most beautiful beaches in England.
Everyone would prosper! Yeah right!!
What actually happened eleven years later we are left with a bomb site, with no shops, no houses, no hotel and a cliff wall that will probably fall down due to the water ingress trapped behind it.
What do the people of Ramsgate have, NOTHING.
There has been no development.
There has been a history of questionable decisions, bad officer advice and rumoured nefarious dealings - from both sides of the house. The 2009 agreement seems to have only benefited the developer and it shows the administration under Ezekiel could ramrod a decision through TDC despite officer advice.
But we now come to the final day - 28 Feb 2014. Three and a half months away. For this is the day that TDC can begin to get the land back from the developers. The development agreement will terminate.
And what does Alan Poole say? "We have an arrangement". I hope that arrangement is simple - you telling them to arrange their things and leave.
We should not be working with these people. Half of the town agrees - SFP. Out. Out. Out.
But this is not what TDC is doing. They are saying they are still in negotiations. Do you think they may be able to knock it up in time then Alan?
Some suspect that TDC are working with the developers because they fear what the costs could be.
We could have to pay back £5M or more for that site. On top of the £3.4M from TEF, the possible £1.4M from the court case over animal exports, the £??M for Dreamland, the coffers are beginning to look empty.
So does this mean that SFP may well be our only choice? Because what does it matter really. It’s only Ramsgate, eh?