Risks Which Cannot Be Sensibly Ignored.

Risk is a clear and present danger. There is a risk that Shepway District Council (sdc) have bought a pig in a poke with regards to Biggins Wood (Cheriton) There is a risk that Princes Parade will be called in so allowing the Planning Inspectorate to either prevent or allow development on Princes Parade. There is a risk that Otterpool Park will not be able to find enough GP’s to man the surgeries built into the design. Nor enough teachers. And as home ownership falls there is a clear and present danger that not enough people will have the money to purchase homes to be built on Otterpool Park.

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Otterpool Park

Non-native invasive plants have been identified on the site, all of which will require mitigation. Species identified during this first stage are Japanese knotweed, Virginia creeper, New Zealand stonecrop and Parrot’s Feather, all of which can be addressed, but at a cost and to who?

“The ability of the construction market to deliver the volume of development anticipated for Otterpool Park presents a key risk to the delivery programme and viability. The construction industry in the UK faces significant challenges, not least because of the shortage of available skilled labour.”

There are flood water risks as indicated in the Stage 1 Feasibility and Capacity Study

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which will have to be mitigated.

The Otterpool risk register makes it clear that the risks are high across many areas, regarding the site. The risks are real and cannot be sensibly ignored. Yes some can be mitigated, but others are beyond SDC and Cozumel’s control, eg the economy, Brexit etc.

And the word risk appears 144 times in the Stage 1 Feasibility and Capacity Study

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Biggins Wood Site – Cheriton

Shepway District Council Local Plan Policy U10a (Shepway District Local Plan Review (2006) Policies Applicable 2013 Onwards) is relevant in this context and is reproduced below:

When development is proposed on or near a site that, has been used for the purpose of waste disposal; is known to be contaminated; or there is good reason to believe that contamination may exist, the applicant will be required to carry out a site assessment and submit a report of the findings in order to establish the nature and extent of the contamination.

Development will only be permitted if practicable and efficient measures are to be taken to treat, contain and/or control any contamination so as not to:

1. expose the occupiers of the development and neighbouring land users, including in the case of housing the users of gardens, to unacceptable risk.

2. Threaten the structural integrity of any building built or to be built on or adjoining the site.

3. Lead to the contamination of any watercourse, water body or aquifer.

4. Cause the contamination of adjoining land or allow such contamination to continue.

Any permission for development will require that the remedial measures agreed with the Authority must be completed as the first step in the carrying out of the development.

The risks at Biggins Wood site are real as the methane and carbon dioxide levels are higher there than they were in Walsall; which has left Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council with a bill of £2.5 million or more.

The risk to human health are across both reports, considered to be high/very high in a number of areas in relation to human health.

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Princes Parade

Shepway District Council Local Plan Policy U10a (Shepway District Local Plan Review (2006) Policies Applicable 2013 Onwards) is relevant in this context and is reproduced below:

When development is proposed on or near a site that, has been used for the purpose of waste disposal; is known to be contaminated; or there is good reason to believe that contamination may exist, the applicant will be required to carry out a site assessment and submit a report of the findings in order to establish the nature and extent of the contamination.

The last time Shepway tried to develop Princes Parade it went to the Planning Inspector who clearly stated there should be NO DEVELOPMENT on Princes Parade and amongst other reasons such as “one of the finest vistas in the area” there is a” deficiency of open space in SEABROOK” and as there is no alternative public open space in the area for residents to take it away would be a great loss to residents and their well being .

Princes Parade like Biggins Wood is a former landfill site

Moderate risks identified potential for made ground and landfill material which could act as source of hazardous gas. Cannot rule out fuel spillages as source of vapours. It has only been tested once for gas once in 2015.

Princes Parade is considered to be an Amber 1 site with regards to Carbon Dioxide levels so will need membranes across some if not all of the site.

As we have said many of these risks can be mitigated at a price to the local tax payer. Many though are not in the hands of SDC.

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Openness & Transparency

All to often SDC have held meetings behind closed doors regarding Otterpool Park, Princes Parade and Biggins Wood and hid behind “commercial confidentiality”. The question is whose commercial confidentiality are they protecting?

There is a public interest regarding all three sites and disclosure of information relating to them is in the public interest as it will assist the public to discern if local democracy  is functioning properly and whether or not we are getting value for money; which we believe at present we are not.

The risks associated with the three sites are risks which cannot be sensibly ignored having due regard to the gravity and feared harm of the loss of these open spaces which have been with our communities for so long. We should be willing to fight the public-interest battle on a case-by-case basis. And if it means challenging SDC either via the planning inspectorate or the courts, if it merits it, then that is what should be done.

At present the average for people per hectare in Shepway is 3.03 – page 12, by introducing another 26,292 homes, means that the denisty of people per hectare will increase, is this something we want?

We accept that houses need to be built, we just do not accept they need to be built in the areas where they are not locally led or locally supported.

The Shepwayvox Team

 

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3 Comments on Risks Which Cannot Be Sensibly Ignored.

  1. As a GP who is just about to retire from a practice in Shepway, I do not see how SDC will entice GP’s here, when wages are higher elsewhere.

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  2. As a newish teacher, I decided to stay as a supply teachers as 1 I earn more, 2 I have less responsibilities and 3 when I came to visit a school in Shepway, I realised I could earn more elsewhere, so now commute and do precisely that. I too do not see how teachers will be attracted to work in Shepway when they can earn more money elsewhere. Something else which is beyond SDC’s control

    Like

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