Friday, 28 February 2014

End of an agreement

The development agreement between Thanet District Council and SFP Ventures (UK) Ltd, signed on the 20th October 2006, finally runs out today.

Quote "The agreed build programme required the development to commence in May 2008 and be substantially complete by January 2012" (from the 2006 agreement)

This development agreement was varied in the Autumn of 2009 to change the £5.6M bond to a £1M surety and the practical completion date was changed to the 28th February 2014 (TODAY).

As no development has taken place, bar the tombstones , and Friends of Ramsgate Seafront had been campaigning against the developer and TDC, the Council decided to set up a committee to look into this sorry situation. The Task and Finish group met for the 1st time 25th June 2013.

This committee decided that the developer was in material breach of the 2006/2009 agreement and asked a leading Law firm to look at these agreements with a view to terminating them and so in October they forwarded a brief to Pinsent Mason for a legal opinion.

Pinsent Mason have concluded that:

SFP Ventures (UK) ltd are in breach (obvious really as they haven't built Royal Sands)

The Development Agreement, drafted by Eversheds, did not contain a "conventional longstop date" which means the Council does not have an "unconditional right to terminate the Development Agreement" and further they say "This is a material defect in the drafting of the Development Agreement"

In Lawyer speak they are saying someone made a mistake!!!

This mistake has meant that the developer must be given an opportunity to remedy the breach (the breach being the building of the development) albeit under conditions.

These conditions are what TDC refer to in their recent statement which says an expert will draw up a schedule with specific dates for completion of each stage which will provide opportunities for SFP to complete the job assuming they have the will and the money, Should they fail to get the work done then, and only then, will they forfeit the site.

The Task & Finish Group also had another stipulation that Eversheds are contacted to see why they so clearly failed in their "duty of care" towards the Council in the drafting of two legal documents.

The question that needs answering is did they, in 2006 and in 2009, make a huge error of judgement or where they instructed not to include a "conventional longstop date"

Because of this error the People of Ramsgate will very likely be unable to have a say on Pleasurama for at least 2 years or if they build, ever.

When will the "Fat Lady" be singing?


When will we get to see the back of this inept developer and move on in Ramsgate?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

OK whoever was instucting Eversheds from the TDC should be asked the question as to why the "conventional longstop date" was omitted. I work for a law firm and they wouldn't just drop the clause without first explaining in detail its repercussions. The decision would have been made at TDC level. On another subject - has anyone done an audit trail of the where the money has gone here?

Anonymous said...

Now that the decision has been taken to terminate I assume that ALL documents relating to Pleasurama can be placed in the public domain. There can hardly be an issue of commercial confidentiality.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick question on the Cliff Face that I noticed in a previous blog of yours: if its in danger of coming down on the proposed development - isn't it in danger of coming down on whatever else that might be put there? So really that's a silly point. If the engineers and HSE says its safe (which they have I assume..No govt body would sign off on a residential development if they didn't think it was 110% safe) then lets move on and get this built! I for one will welcome the extra jobs it will provide during the construction (especially to young job seekers) and the boost it will give the local economy once built. With more jobs and extra tourism. Surely no one in their right mind could argue that's a bad thing. As for what's going up..well the flats have to pay for what's going underneath and give a profit. The last time I checked we didn't live in a communist society. That's capitalism baby. Don't like that fact? Well come into the real world please. I have also researched Cardy Group and if they are indeed going to build the thing then I can see they have been in business for at least 70 years with a great track record. And also are local. So another plus.. Who cares honestly. Lets get it built and start enjoying this site.

Barry James said...

Anon 13:12 You make some interesting points however they are spoilt by not providing some context as to you expertise or experience.
point one if you had taken the time to research the point about the cliff both on here, the internet and on Thanetonline (link to the right) you would understand that the issue isn't it coming down (though that would be an issue) but this development only provides for a 4m zone to protect the buildings. Another proposal can take this into account.
2nd main point I have never said anything concerning the builder if you had taken the time to read all the blogs including Michael's you would understand the issue is the developer please do not get confused between the two as they are not the same Company. Further any development on the site should include a Flood Risk Assessment especially in view of the recent weather conditions which seem to have caused tremendous damage all along the South coast. This alone might cause residential property some issues with insurance companies.

Anonymous said...

Of course the agreement can now be ended without any delay. TDC have waited until 28th February and worked stopped months if not years ago. SFP/Cardy would be laughed out of court if they said they could finish the development - and they now have TDC refusing to support them.

Let's have the site cleared asap. No more delay.

Anonymous said...

The fat lady is still singing !!!