ING and Selling the Family Silver?

The Town of Hayle has been subject to a lot of interest by four supermarkets. Cornwall Councils Strategic Planning Committee will have to decide which application, if any, gets the go-ahead. These plans are scheduled to be presented to the Committee in September. It is a slight understatement that feelings are running high, and for better or worse  the future of Hayle will be decided.
The preferred application by Cornwall Councils Planners (although disputed by the opposition) is the development of South Quay which includes the building of a supermarket and housing.
In the first half of 2011 ING announced its intention to move fully out of property. I thought nothing really of it until today when I stumbled upon a press statement by CBRE Investors. In that press statement it announced the acquisition of all of ING’s Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) businesses in Europe and Asia for £960 million.
This statement made me pause and then check where Hayle Harbour sits in ING’s portfolio. Has it been included in the sale of the REIM’s? After a few checks and the odd phone call I found out Hayle Harbour sits in a Real Estate Development (RED). Generally, a non-completed project sits in a RED before it is transferred to a REIM once the project is completed. This sounds logical enough until you realise ING has sold its REIM’s.
The question is what will ING do if it gets planning? Could there be a real possibility, and danger, that once planning has been obtained ING will sell the harbour off for an enhanced price because it has planning? It already has planning for development, but this has been touted as ‘not viable’ in the current climate. After all it has said its intention is to get out of property.
If (and it’s a very big if) ING sell it on, will the new owners stay with the current plan, or modify or change, or start again from scratch. Where will this leave Hayle? I have blogged before that Hayle has been let down once too often in the past. Will it happen again? I guess only time will tell.
Do you think ING has told Cornwall Council? I doubt it very much.

7 comments

  • mellenoweth

    Presumably (if the timetable at http://hayle.net/ is right we might find out on 25th July (the Hayle Supermarket page at Cornwall Council seems out of date again).

    It's seemingly hopeless expecting their 'communicative' website at http://hayleharbour.com to make any sense or encourage any dialogue – sums up their attitude all along – tell tell tell and when we say we're worried ignore us.

    Many people have been worried ING is only interested in a quick buck – letting the harbour wall collapse quadruple in size, installing car park ticket machines but not filling pot holes, and of course the ever disappearing bridges and sluicing and now the dumping of the Pioneerium the one positive distinctive item left – doesn't make us feel any better and strengthens the Tesco rumours too.

    The latest image at http://hayle.net/ has no bridges at all (Masterplan promised three, two for South Quay) but still a whacking great supermarket and we're still asked to believe that changing 300 apartments for 300 parking spaces won't change the number of traffic movements – have they ever stood outside a supermarket carpark!!? especially if it's 24 hours and with a petrol station?!

    Don't believe the five months has been spent in listening or consulting – the image and info on hayle.net is less than a week old and the first thing I've seen in that five months!, and the projected image confirms little has changed sadly. Such a waste, especially when compared with Par's ideas.

    Hayle deserves better.

    A proper harbour regeneration – water trips and access, fishing and fish landing, seafood shops and restaurants a real waterside space for all the community and some good undercover activities to encourage visitors and locals to enjoy the fabulous harbour views.

  • Graham Coad

    Where has Mellenoweth been?
    The ING website was thrown into disarray after February's deferral, but there was nothing to post online until the new architects and heritage consultants had done their work and a refreshed version of the plan started to come together.
    There has always been a button on the website to "ask us a question"… did you?

    ING Real Estate Development company exist to make profit, it's what business for, and it's hardly a "Quick Buck" considering the expense of running the loss making Hayle Harbour Why would anyone be "worried" about a property developer making a profit?

    "Harbour wall collapses quadruple in size"? That is simply wrong. Breaches on South Quay and East quay have remained the same size for many years and have been tested and are 'stable'. The seaward end of South quay was in fact in danger of collapse, but ING have secured and rebuilt it.

    Sluicing never ‘disappeared’ it was always in the S106 agreements of the 'master plan' that received outline consent that it would be investigated and consultation with other agencies carried out, ING have simply responded to local concerns and consultation to bring it forward to be included earlier with the current South Quay development application, due to lobbying from a variety of local groups and individuals, including Save Our Sands Hayle and, I believe, the Hayle Harbour Users Group.
    Parking Ticket machines at areas that had become used for car parking over the past years of neglect has not been a bad thing, other developers in other places often merely fence off such areas and exclude the public entirely, ING opted to continue to allow public access and use but with a charge, thereby asserting their rights and ownership as proprietors of the land.

    The Pioneerium idea sprung from within Hayle, from enthusiastic locals seeking an opportunity for Hayle to achieve something on its own. ING came onboard to an extent, recognising from the Pioneerium ambitions the appetite of Hayle residents for the cinema aspect, yet they were doubts as to the viability of a cinema in Hayle. Regardless, the insistence of English Heritage that in filled quay and slipways be unearthed reduces the area of South Quay, so the space for a cinema has been lost from the latest plans.

    The existing (granted) outline plans are not JUST for '300 apartments' but included retail units and other traffic generating commercial and service facilities in addition to the that generated by the users of the apartments, THAT is why there is unlikely to be any change in projected traffic.
    Bridges across Penpol Creek have come and gone from the plans over the years, most recently I believe at least one bridge was thought desirable by the people at Cornwall Traffic, to integrate South Quay with the existing Foundry shopping centre, but there were objections from boat and harbour users with vessels that have any type of mast who would find a static bridge to be an obstruction.
    Again ING have listened, and a bridge is not yet firmly set in the plans, while ongoing consultations continue.
    On the subject of the image on hayle.net, that is perhaps a little bit "naughty", as it is only ONE of the possible design ideas, and not complete, more options for public consultation may well be available once the presentation ready for public consultation

    As a councillor I know there HAS been five months of consultation. Through my role I’ve had briefings from local groups and bodies that have been involved, and sit on one of the groups myself. Groups and individuals have been invited, and as far as I know anyone who has felt left out has been added to the list of invitees.
    I'm sorry Mellenoweth has not been involved in consultation, but it has been there for the asking!
    Even at this late stage, if Mellenoweth or any body he/she is a member of would like to be involved, I'm sure they would be welcomed.
    Graham Coad

  • mellenoweth

    Where have I been? Where have you been? Though it's nice to get an answer from ING as I've yet to receive one by any other means – including their websites and feedback cards.

    Their website is not 'in disarray' it is moribund – as I have personally pointed out to them on more than one occasion (including telling them when they were hacked which they hadn't noticed over a month later). I design, build and maintain websites and it really isn't hard to put a new post up explaining and to modify the 'new' plans to show they're not any more. Look at the brilliant blogging job Cllr Wallis does. Sites are moribund only if people don't care and ING don't care about communicating. I didn't create the web site as my showpiece to keep us informed – they did. It is telling they don't bother keeping it up to date and sums up their attitude better than I ever can. As of today it STILL doesn't have a single word about the new plans or any answers to any of the questions submitted…. I think it's more than reasonable to draw a conclusion from a failure to do that.

    John Bennett (hayle.net) has illustrated that there was plenty which could be done to keep people updated between February and now. Indeed there's been information on ING's consultants sites which they haven't felt fit to tell us. Welcome to be involved? Hardly!

    ING are in the news again today – they claim a 'partnership' with Sainsburys', Sainsburys' say they are talking… honest and open ING misspeaking again? Like they did about the Rugby club? Like they did about gifting South Quay to the town?

    Hayle harbour makes a loss because of the 'strategy' of how it has been run recently – local fishermen tell me it's unnavigable (as does ING's own harbour website), they've allowed the decay of the harbour and moorings, failed to invest in facilities for the fishermen and it's not making money. Surprise surprise. It's almost like it might suit them to ditch the Harbour responsibilities.

    As to the quays – I measured the East breach seven years ago and it is considerably larger.

    … contd – can't seem to post as one comment?

  • mellenoweth

    … contd

    Sluicing has disappeared – it isn't happening – and 'investigated' is worthless. I'm pleased to see it's back now and ING are boasting about it's return which I think confirms I was right in my original point.

    Parking Ticket machines 'not such a bad thing' – that's why the car parks which used to be used and popular are empty? Well, I suppose ING don't see that as a 'bad thing' – clearly people in Hayle do.

    The Pioneerium could easily have been accommodated across the road, in the centre of the quay, on North quay (as ING are now discussing with commercial cinemas). Obviously ING doesn't see that but inconveniently that doesn't make it true.

    The traffic movements will rocket with a supermarket and the current 2011 plans have a grid lock built in with the old pedestrian crossing untouched, and the current roundabout untouched – so, going west that's a roundabout, traffic lights, crossroads and pedestrian crossing in 300 yerds with supermarket traffic levels and articulated lorry service vehicles – and fire engines and ambulances will get through that – let alone the poor pedestrians accessing the new ISIS gardens? And when there's a fire in the restaurant at the end of the quay? The traffic just doesn't work.

    The three supermarkets all did a professional job of consulting and changing their plans as a result of consultation and addressing traffic issues. ING keeps _telling_ what we're going to get and how grateful we'd better be. The last plan was terrible – on a Heritage site which is a Harbour there was nothing which acknowledged either – not even water access which is in this version at least.

    Bridges – my point is ING wrote the masterplan and promised three bridges. I'd like them to deliver what they promised. Simples.

    I'd also like to refer you to the quote _on their website_ http://hayleharbour.com/q-and-a.htm from their Simon Clarke is National Acquisitions Director of ING RED UK "Q: Is the footbridge still in the plans? A:Most definitely." Why should I (or anyone else) not hold them to that?

  • mellenoweth

    … contd

    As for anyone who has felt left out – well I know a few and we certainly haven't been invited nor has any of the feedback provided at any of the shows been properly incorporated.

    Starting the mammoth job today of looking at the 'new' plans – though obviously not on ING's site that would be too obvious right? I see most of http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/our-work/cabe/design-review/1/south-quay-hayle-harbour/ remains unaddressed and that's just for starters.

    The quay deserves to be alive – it deserves vibrant little shops, seafood bars, cafes, ice cream parlours, perhaps even market stalls it's Hayle's pier and could be fantastic.

  • mellenoweth

    … contd
    I do see some improvements – but again at a cost, the bridge and the pioneerium and still the ongoing gridlock issues. I am not against any development of South Quay – and am really cheered to see that despite many who said if we turned down the last plan we'd get nothing we have got something an order of magnitude better – proving it _was_ possible to improve the plans all along and if ING didn't keep springing them on people it might even be possible to do in a timely way. Why haven't they brought the draft plans to the town BEFORE formally lodging them with the Council (in the middle of the summer holidays), why not put them on their website and allow comments – like Cllr Wallis does here? I wonder why.

    I also find it interesting you've completely ignored Cllr Wallis's question!

    The question is what will ING do if it gets planning? Could there be a real possibility, and danger, that once planning has been obtained ING will sell the harbour off for an enhanced price because it has planning? It already has planning for development, but this has been touted as ‘not viable’ in the current climate. After all it has said its intention is to get out of property.

    If (and it’s a very big if) ING sell it on, will the new owners stay with the current plan, or modify or change, or start again from scratch. Where will this leave Hayle? I have blogged before that Hayle has been let down once too often in the past. Will it happen again? I guess only time will tell.

    Do you think ING has told Cornwall Council? I doubt it very much.

    It's a really good and important point especially as ING have once again left most of the important 'details' to the Section 106 agreements – the Harbour management, Footbridge(s), legacy. Will agreements with RED be binding if they sell out?

  • Anonymous

    From Graham Coad, Hayle.

    Phew! Rather than answer your lengthy epistle point by point while my hair grows greyer, I would remind you and any other reader that ING are holding an open and public "Hayle Harbour Information Evening" next Tuesday, Sept 27th from 6-9pm at the Passmore Edwards Institute, Hayle Terrace, Hayle.

    There all your questions can be answered by their team so you can get it 'from the horse's mouth'

    I hope to be able to attend, see you there?

    Graham Coad. gcoad@btinternet.com

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