The meeting was called to discuss Thanet Council’s Planning Committee rejection of EKOs application to build 550 houses on land owned by EKO at the New Haine Road Ramsgate. It has been alleged that in order to secure planning permission for this development improper influence may been brought to bear upon Thanet’s planning processes. This is a very serious allegation which is now subject to an independent investigation.
My estimate is that it cost somewhere in the region of £250,000 - £300,000 to prepare and submit the EKO planning application. Much of this cost has been picked up by council tax payers who fund EKO. EKO knew along that their massively expensive planning application would not succeed. Thanet Council’s planning officers told them so on more than one occasion. But the fools who run EKO pressed on with their futile efforts knowing full well what the result would be.
On 21 October 2013 the inevitable happened. EKOs planning application was rejected to the delight of many Labour councillors who were aware that their, leader Clive Hart, had been playing a double game and supporting the EKO application whilst his party policy was to oppose it.
How did EKO respond? Well instead of cutting their (our) losses they held a meeting on 14th November, which Paul Carter attended, at which it was decided to appeal against Thanet Council’s rejection of the EKO planning. An appeal has now been submitted and I understand that will take the form of a week long public enquiry in October. This will cost somewhere in the region of £100,000 maybe more, of our money!.
Why spend approaching £500,000 in public money on a futile planning application and appeal? Well the answer to this is because Kent County Council spent almost £6 million on building the New Haine Road right through the middle of the EKO land. They can only recover this investment by forcing through a planning application for housing on the land by fair means or, allegedly, foul!
So I think it's probable that Councillor Paul Carter attended the EKO meeting to reassure himself that all means possible were being used to try to recover KCCs road building money. I am 100% certain that as boss of KCC Cllr Carter wants to ensure that his council's money is properly managed. I am 100% certain that in pursuing this honourable aim Mr Carter would not have countenanced or encouraged some of the shenanigans and misconduct that are alleged to have surrounded the submission of the EKO planning application, which may or may not have breached the EKO membership agreement.