Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The future of Northdown House despite weeks of speculation, is still looking bleak, as far as I can guess for two reasons, one I reckon Sandy Ezekiel's Tory administration has some unpublished agenda which favours, local property speculators and secondly compliant council officers who seem to lack any inclination to advise political masters on right and wrong.

The key point about Northdown House is that, use of the property is covered by covenants on the property, which preclude any use other than, that which is open to the local community use.Perhaps Richard Samuel the council Chief Executive could spell it out to the great leader.

I see that "plain jane"(Jane Wenham-Jones) will be concluding her interview with SandyEzekiel, which started last week in her Gazette column , with a rather easygoing sympathetic meander through Margate in the company of Sandy, this weeks episode will apparently include China Gateway, and Northdown house. Lets hope plain jane steps up a gear and asks some pertinent questions, like why is the council so vague about Northdown House, why did his colleague send me an email which seems to conflict with the truth.

As I understand it, and no council officer has denied this to me, the council have told Thanet Leisure force they can no longer take bookings for the property after the end of the year, so why not confirm this and then give us taxpayers a reason why Northdown House, which currently makes a small profit will from the start of the year become a liability.

The impression I get is that Thanet's political leadership think they're so bloody important they can ignore legal niceties, and despite the legal obligations of the Council, will ignore the public out of spite and ignorance. Rather than maintain the status quo, local tories will spend a fortune (yours) before they comply with their legal obligations.

This whole episode seems odd, just why would anyone want to sell off Northdown House to some get rich quick developer?


  1. They've got no cash although spending money doing up Cecil Square offices!?
    If they hadnt spent £4million on M and S building they might have some realistic idea what to do about Northdown house?

  2. In the minutes of a recent committee meeting, it also said they were going to spend a small fortune replacing all the windows at TDC HQ in Cecil Square. Probably fitting bullet proof glass!

  3. Tony, that was very well put and I agree with you 100%.
    I still have concerns over the attempted sale of land at Dane Park, TDC took a bit of a bloody nose on that one and I am sure in the future they will come back on that one.

  4. Tony, I think you're hearing nothing from TDC because this is the 'real' local politics story and once details are revealed battle lines will be drawn. China Gateway was always going through (with conditions) because Planning Law made it impossible to turn down; Northdown House is a local issue and public opinion could really make a difference. If you can find the time I think this is the story to follow (Gateway enthuasiasts will ensure its candle continues to flicker).
    Could I suggest that to avoid accusations of 'scaremongering' etc once the war of words really starts that while details are unknown you don't make accusations about it going to developers? There are a lot of other options, just as bad for local people, but I worry that you might be sidelined by going in the wrong direction too early.
    Just a thought, great blog.

  5. We do know from the consultation evening that they have had plans drawn up for flats/appartments in the upstairs so Tony isnt Scaremongering on that, the original idea mooted was to sell these off to pay for the redevelopment of the ground floor, or so "they" purported.
    Rumour has it that senior officers are planning to move to Northdown house lower floors, maybe to escape the noise and draughts of window installation?
    Why Cecil Square neccessitates money spending on it when there are other council owned properties in greater need of repair i cannot imagine?

  6. Thanks, I didn't know about the 'flats' idea already being underway. Who'd want to live on top of some council offices? Forget worrying about scaremongering then!

  7. Tony, you havent mentioned that they also had plans drawn up for the outbuildings by Thanet mind to be turned into houses and also the coach house aka coach house museum, but seems they cant remove a sitting tenant from the latter, no sign of any museum there either?

  8. Redundancies about to be announced at TDC. Some workers have already been told.

  9. See Jack our Sandy talking about Northdown house and flats in the Gazette. Not sure where figure of £30,000 comes from i think that is the entire leisureforce subsidy not just for Northdown house?