April 23, 2008

April fools day has been and gone and with “all the will in the world” we always seem to avoid catastrophies from any point of view and indeed if planning authorities are anything to go by then they must be “having a laugh”!! No clients rang to cancel their mega events and so another Fools day has been and gone and all is well!! Well, well that is not necessarily so!!!

With our expected expansion in to opening a 4th and 5th venue in London i.e. Hallam and America Square we have a glitch!! Planners seem to want to convert listed meeting space into residential space even though, Yes I did say it is listed, all we are doing is cosmetically up grading the existing space, now what’s wrong with that you say??? Using an existing listed building for what it was built for in the first place now what is wrong?? Good question!! To turn a listed building into residential space one would have to do major construction works and this would have a massive detrimental effect on the area and on the building itself! We want to appease our clients and our neighbours by doing no more than using an existing space, bringing it up to date in current century standards and taking no more than 16 weeks to achieve this turn about!! Oh no no there is opposition to this and the local residents seem to want years of construction turmoil to a few weeks of gentle cosmetic up-dating and that’s before planning permission is even sought to turn it to a residential building and what building contractor would take on a listed building with internal restrictions???? Who am I to take on the might of the planning authorities being a simple Conference organiser????!! Why why why why why what what what what..I just can’t get my head around this opposition to progress!!

It would be nice to be able to have a plan and be able to move forward knowing that there are future careers for some people but until we know where we stand with the planning authorities we can’t move forward to recruit and who ends up winning???? Well I think we all know who ends up ultimately better off and that ain’t the conference centre !!!!

I have to say I am pleased that with our City venue, construction work has already started even though we only signed it on 5 months after our listed building!!!

And this is supposed to be progress !!!!!!

WE will open on time though that I am conviced of!

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