Survey work takes place at former Pleasurama site

Workmen on site at Pleasurama

Survey work and the erection of new fencing has taken place today (April 17) at the former Pleasurama site on Ramsgate seafront.

Last month significant control of the company which owns the freehold of the site on Ramsgate was taken over by local businessman Martin Rigden.

According to Companies House Mr Rigden, also a director of Blueberry Developments, took control of Ramsgate Development Company on March 19.

Blueberry Homes is responsible for high-end developments such as luxury apartments Ravello Broadstairs and Barletta Broadstairs

Cardy Ramsgate Ltd completed a £3.515 million payment to Thanet council for the site freehold  in July 2016. This amount is listed as £3 million by Land Registry.

The plot has been empty since a fire in 1998.

Photo Leo Murray

Originally planning permission was given to James Godden, now deceased, for a shopping centre on the land but, in 2001, when it became clear this was not going to materialise Thanet council bought the site by compulsory purchase.

In 2004 planning permission was granted for a 60-bed hotel, 107 residential apartments, leisure facilities and retail.

The deal was headed by development company SFP Venture UK but work never got underway.

In April 2013, Thanet council rejected a bid for SFP to buy the freehold of the site before project completion.

Photo Ian Driver

SFP said it was unable to secure the necessary funds to complete the scheme under the existing development agreement.

In February 2014 cabinet members agreed to axe the development agreement with SFP, but were unable to reclaim the three 199-year leases for the site because they had no long stop date in the deal.

Talks with Cardy Construction to take over the project by buying out SFP were revealed in September 2014. Cardy Ramsgate Limited purchased 100% shares of SFP Ventures.

Contracts, which TDC say included a long-stop date, were signed with Cardy Ramsgate Ltd – an independent company created for the scheme – in March 2015. Cardy Construction went into administration the same month.

Michael Stannard, then the sole director of Cardy Ramsgate Ltd, resigned his role on August 15, 2016.

The firm was renamed Ramsgate Development Company Ltd.

Documents on Companies House revealed two people with ‘significant control’ of the Ramsgate Development Company as Colin and Robbie Hill.  They are involved with the Panama-based  Mintal Group, which has a £3million charge on the seafront site.

Robbie Hill resigned the role in 2016. Colin Hill resigned on March 19 this year.

Rides on to the site

Last year Blueberry Homes applied for  a temporary change of use to site a funfair on the ground.

Mr Rigden has been asked for comment.

4 Comments

  1. I have written to both TDC Council Leader Bob Bayford and also Paul Carter, leader at Kent County Council, and have requested that the site is made secure. I’m appalled that the site is so accessible. I received a response from Paul Carter. TDC must take action to make the site safe.

  2. We also want our prom back. It is an outrage that substantial parts of the prom have been licensed to the builders, and fenced off from the public, for years and years.

  3. TDC it’s your bad administration over all these years. You compulsory purchased and leased out on 199 year lease but now you have no control on enforcing anything being done with it. You should have put a time restriction on it to stop all the land banking and administration ups and downs. Find a way of taking back control and action over what should be done with it. Too much time has already been wasted along with income from the site for whatever is put there. Even a funfair would provide some sort of income short term. For the past decade or longer there has been zilch, just an eyesore like many other post-Godden sites.

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