Local Council Due Diligence? Never Heard Of It!

We here in West Lancashire

know that WLBC did no due diligence checks whatsoever on Oakland Golf And Leisure Ltd (OG&LL), its Director, Jonathan Russell Snellgrove, who received WLBC Planning Permission for the Beacon Park Golf Course (BPGC) landfill scandal, or on the relationship Serco Leisure Operating Ltd (SLOL) had with any participant in the scandal.

Jonathan Snellgrove was, as we have pointed out, involved in the “Leeds based UK Sports Parks plc application for planning permission to develop their first multi activity sports and leisure facility on a 30-acre site near Gateacre and Woolton in Liverpool”.

Golf Business News

the “essential intelligence for the business of golf” described, in November 2007, the features and the men behind what turned out to be a scam. Liverpool based Chris Bennett, director of UK Sports Parks plc declared “UK Sports Parks plc is completing the golf course, angling lake and the 280 space car park ready for leasing by specialist operators. UK Sports Parks plc co-director Jonathan Snellgrove added “The mix of uses and activities is central to the success of the Sports Park. It is essential that we create a development that will attract as wide a cross section of visitor, throughout the day and week, as possible. The opportunities are limited only by your imagination”.

UK Sports Parks plc are also close to securing a second site in the North West and are actively looking for further opportunities Nationwide to expand the brand.

Jonathan Snellgrove continues by saying “Our Sports Park concept will compliment any regeneration plans that local authorities and development agencies may be considering and our early involvement ensures a balanced regeneration project that delivers sustainable Sports and Leisure facilities that do not rely on residential development to succeed”. And “At up to 54,000sqft we have an opportunity to provide purpose built space for large indoor sport & leisure activities that operators can’t find elsewhere on Merseyside” added Snellgrove.

Of course, it didn’t happen, and there was big scale VAT fraud involved as UK Sports Parks Ltd ultimately went into liquidation.

Moving on to the BPGC and we found Jonathan Russell Snellgrove and OG&LL all cosy with WLBC Leisure Services and SLOL. The pictures tell the story we relate so often, in an attempt to trace the landfill royalties, via the tipping trucks “ticket office” on the course. We know that Serco have admitted to receiving a chunk of it.

Moving on to 2018 and we have unearthed a Freedom of Information request to Liverpool City Council

from Mark price who asks “Please can you provide the following information: Any information held regarding the current state of land degradation with a focus on soil contamination. All communication to and from UK Sports Parks Plc. All meeting minutes in regard to the Fazakerley playing field transformation. Any information regarding the tender process used that resulted in UK Sports Parks Plc being awarded the project. A copy of the legal notices served to UK Sports Parks Plc. Results and conclusions of due diligence checks performed on UK Sports Parks Plc”.

The response “Liverpool City Council confirms that it holds information relevant to the terms of your request, our response being set out below –

“1. In response to this element of your request the City Council can confirm that the information you have requested is exempt from disclosure under section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

“This information is commercially sensitive at this stage pending seeking tenders for remediation works to the site concerned and its disclosure into the public domain at this stage would compromise our ability to secure the most appropriate commercial and financial solution to enable remediation to commence at the earliest opportunity.

“Use of Section 43(2) of the FOIA requires the application of a public interest test. The City Council has considered the following public interest arguments in respect of releasing the information: If the financial and operational details of our contractors were disclosed to the public it would place the organisation at a commercial disadvantage should they take part in any future contracts/negotiations as potential competitors would already be aware of their previous terms and conditions, thus placing them at a commercial disadvantage.

“As a result of Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 being a qualified exemption we are required to conduct a public interest test to determine whether or not the public interest in the disclosure of the information requested outweighs the public interest in withholding it”

There followed much bullshit from Liverpool City Council and you can read the whole matter below, but we point out that “Knowsley MBC Planning Service has confirmed that they have had a pre-planning application meeting with the prospective developer”.

And ultimately criminal charges we were made against Snellgrove and UK Sports Parks Ltd, leading to successful prosecution at Liverpool Magistrates Court, at which no attendance was recorded, leading to a conviction in absence. The conviction was never enforced. 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/460080/response/1176457/attach/html/4/572001%20M%20Price%20Response.pdf.html

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