We always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers. This one from Ventnor resident, Stewart Blackmore, relates to questions he raised at last night’s full council meeting.
Readers will remember that we got in touch with the council at the beginning of the summer asking whether something could be done to make the building look better over the holiday season. We were told that our suggestions were passed to the relevant council officer in Property service, but we haven’t heard back. Ed
On The Wight readers, and Ventnor residents in particular, may be very interested in the responses to a question I asked at the meeting of the Council on Wednesday last about the Winter Gardens.
I asked Cllr Brown, Deputy Leader, the following:
“With regard to the purported sale of the VWG to the Hambrough Group, has the sale been finalised by contract completion, and is the completion subject to any get-out clause if, for example, there is a negative survey report.”
Cllr Brown inferred nothing legally binding signed
Cllr Brown’s answer was very interesting. He said that the contracts were still with the lawyers, inferring that nothing legally binding on either party has yet been signed.
I went on to ask why the building had been allowed to look tawdry and unkempt and why the Council hadn’t insisted that it be given, at the very least, a cosmetic makeover pending building works.
No one’s responsible
Cllr Brown’s response to this was that (and I paraphrase) no one was responsible until the lawyers had sorted things out.
I can’t be the only one to find this state of affairs bewildering.
It seems to me that there is plenty of wriggle room allowing the Hambrough to walk away if the re-build costs escalate.
Has the Winter Gardens been sold or not? You couldn’t make it up!
We thought it might be helpful to give a recap of some of the background – Ed.
Details of the conditions of the sale can be found in the appendices to the Delegated Decision Report issued back in September 2011.
This states that “Completion is to take place within fourteen days of Satisfactory Planning Permission being obtained.”
Given that we have passed the 14 days of planning permission being granted (24th April) can we assume that the sale won’t go through until the revised planning permission is granted, ie. ‘Satisfactory Planning Permission’.