Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In TOTAL Disarray!


Hey! Have a look at this press release issued by the council today. What an absolute mess! Strange that Persimmon should be doing 'site investigations' into locating and monitoring gases under the land in Coatham? These investigations or 'tests' should have been done three years ago along with the tests that showed that there were contaminants like Aresenic and Cyanide, in some cases at surface level 2.5 times over the safe limit.

These tests should have been done three years ago along with the tests that were done that showed that there were potentially hundreds of unexploded WW11 land mines present below the ground in the Coatham Enclosure.

These tests for gases should have been done and the results added to the planning application, long BEFORE the planning application was even submitted and more importantly, BEFORE the planning application was GRANTED PLANNING PERMISSION in April this year.

The results of any investigations into the prescence of any gas should have been part of the planning application, along with the results from the bore tests that showed that contaminants and UXO were present so that the planning committee could consider them. It's even more strange that they are only doing these tests now when you consider that they were supposed to be issuing contracts for the work next month and that work is supposed to be starting on the first phase of the development in just 3 months time!

What is going to happen if the results from these tests show that there are poisenous or dangerous gases under the land in Coatham? Are the council and their preferred developer and partner Persimmon, just going to simply drop the whole scheme?
Perhaps they already know that there is a strong possibility that with the contaminants and UXO that are present, harmful gases exist beneath the land, which is why no tests were done for the prescence of gas and no results added to the planning application BEFORE it was submitted last July/August. If tests or investigations for gas had been done and harmful gas was known to be there, then the already massively flawed scheme, would surely have had to have been denied planning permission by the planning committee. Doing things retrospectively as they are doing now, means that they dont have to worry about this because planning permission has already been granted. Why have they suddenly deemed it necessary to locate and monitor gas beneath the site now?

We have already been approached by a man who informed us that the land which is now Majuba Rd car park, was at one time the site of a tip where toxic materials and waste were dumped. This man has already stated this publicly at the MP's public meeting in October 2005. Is it any coincidence that this is part of the area that Persimmon want to test for the prescence of gas?

Could I also bring to your attention that in council/cabinet minutes from the 27th August this year, they refer to the appointment of a "CONTAMINATED LAND OFFICER" (TEMPORARY) for one year with a salary of approximately £37,000!!! Now this came as a shock to me in one way but not in another. Because last year when we exposed the prescence of UXO and contaminants in the land in the Coatham Enclosure, the council told me that a contaminated land officer was going to be appointed then. It would appear that this has only just happened two weeks ago.
But the thing that dosen't surprise me is that they have appointed one. Because these lying, uncaring bastards have known since 2004 that the land was contaminated and that it was home to potentially hundreds of UXO, BUT SAID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING UNTIL WE MADE IT PUBLIC. If we hadn't made it public would they have said anything at all? In the appointment of this officer, the council are admitting that they know they have a massive problem with contaminants and UXO and now perhaps gas too!

And lets not play things down, it is now an absolutely massive problem. Because although the council and Persimmon at the time tried to deny the prescence of these things and say that we were scaremongering and lying, even though we had taken the information straight from their own planning application, the fact is that they ADMITTED that these things were there in the ground in the Coatham Enclosure at the planning meeting and they said that they would deal with them.

How can they successfully deal with them when in doing so, when in clearing the whole area of mines alone, would be so costly as it clearly states in their own application, that the scheme would become unviable?
And this isn't even taking into consideration the removal of 2ft 6" of contaminated soil from the ENTIRE site and the clean capping of the entire site with 2ft 6" of clean top soil, something else stated in their own application! A measure that Gary Cutter from the Environment agency has already told me would be insufficient because the contaminants would come back up through the soil in time and contaminate the gardens of the houses built on top of it!

So now, on top of contaminants over the SGV and UXO, they are facing the prospect of gas being present under the land in Coatham. When the clearing of mines and the clean capping of the site would be so costly that the scheme would become unviable, then how will they deal with poisenous or dangerous gas if it is there? How much further cost would that add to this already floundering scheme? How is it possible to deal with these things when doing so makes the scheme a non starter?

Yesterday film maker Craig Hornby and I went over to the site where the new houses are being built on Kirkleatham Lane/Hambleton Avenue. We spoke with residents there who have not been listened to and who have been ignored by this council and who told us on film that their community and their quality of life had been destroyed by the council allowing Persimmon to build on the field opposite their homes. Whilst we were talking, a JCB type of vehicle emerged from the site/new housing estate with a large number of scaffold poles about twelve feet in length and held about fifteen feet in the air and turned down Hambleton Avenue towards Low Farm Drive at speed.Children were playing on the pavements and peoples cars were parked at the road side. The people we were speaking to complained to the driver and then to a very angry and abusive foreman (all caught on film) about the that this type of flagrant disregard for public safety and for their property.

If Persimmon/Bellway are disregarding safety issues on a small scale like that, then how on earth are they going to do the things that they have to to just make Coatham safe enough to build on when doing so will make the scheme unviable? And this isn't even taking into consideration the fact they have to build a FOURTEEN MILLION POUND SEA DEFENCE!

I think you'll find, that they have no serious intentions of doing what they have to to make the land in Coatham safe at all.

P.S, What did we say last week about this council trying to use the Atonement 'premiere' to try and make out that everythings on the upward spiral in Redcar. Read their press release and see for yourselves.They're so predictable!

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