Tuesday, 29 October 2013

[Reposted from Dec. 2012] Questions for Ealing Councillors ahead of their meeting with Clean Power Properties Ltd [which the developers then cancelled!]

From Triangle Island Residents Association:

Q1 – Ealing Council participated in the draft 'West London Waste Plan' which assessed 116 potential sites for waste treatment and shortlisted 24. Given that the site chosen by Clean Power did not make the shortlist, on what technical grounds does Ealing Council now think the chosen site is suitable for development?

Q2 – Given that the Health Protection Agency has yet to publish its research into the effects of incinerators on communities, have Ealing Councillors been supplied with independent, long term studies into the impacts of pyrolysis (incinerator) plants on residential communities as part of Clean Power’s submission?

Q3 - Has Clean Power given council officers or councillors a detailed plan of how it will commission the anaerobic digestion units in the site as well as train personnel to minimise safety risks, given that there have been fatalities from explosions at poorly commissioned AD plants in the UK and Europe?

Q4 - What evidence is there that Councillor Atallah Said has reviewed documents, attended meetings or corresponded with council officers relating to this proposed development and on what basis could his role to date satisfy requirements for an East Acton councillor to give due consideration to a developer’s application? 

Q5 – Given that North Acton & Harlesden residents have regularly been troubled for years by odours from ancillary activities at the nearby Powerday waste processing site – waste-carrying vehicles causing vibration in homes in or near Old Oak Lane, odours from such vehicles not being adequately cleaned before leaving the site and odours from site buildings’ doors being left open – what written and auditable plans does Clean Power have in place to address and resolve odour management issues that can be expected from the site traffic / ancillary activities associated with its planned waste processing?

Q6 - The Localism Act 2011 creates an obligation for developers to “publicise the proposed application in such a manner as the person reasonably considers is likely to bring the proposed application to the attention of a majority of the persons who live at or otherwise occupy, premises in the vicinity”. Since Clean Power’s own site emissions modelling shows that as well as North Acton residents, people in Harley Road, Harlesden less than 300m away, could be affected, on what basis has Clean Power’s consultation met the act’s requirements?

Q7 – The London Plan’s Objective 4 is to: “Improve the public realm and connect green
spaces and other areas, providing a clean, safe and well-managed environment with high quality buildings and design.” On what grounds does Clean Power’s development meet this objective, given its own environmental assessment (EIA) anticipates PM10 / NO2 pollution, odour, noise and vibration hazards from its development?

Q8 – How will Ealing & the Environment Agency guarantee to prevent odours and pollution hazards from Clean Power’s development, given that the agency has demonstrably failed to control these issues at the nearby Powerday site since it opened in 2005?

Q9 - Clean Power representatives did a door-to-door survey of local residents in October/November to attempt to gain some support for the development – or possibly  “energy recovery” in principle.  On what basis does this exercise fit into the required consultation process as described in the Statement of Community Involvement (required by the Localism Act) and when are the survey results to be put in the public domain?

Q10 – Can Clean Power or the councillors provide the details - subject to required privacy constraints - of any North Acton resident that is in favour of this specific development?

Q11 – Are Ealing councillors aware that the Clean Power Plant will be only 400-500 metres from the existing Powerday waste processing site which will mean odour issues for North Acton people from both directions?

Q12 – Have Ealing council officers met Clean Power company directors at any point in the application?

Q13 - Since Clean Power is an offshore company, assembled to develop this and other sites, whose directors it is understood have not met local residents, what reassurance can councillors give that company directors’ development and management of the site will act in local people and the local environment’s best interests?

Q14 – The London Plan’s OAPF addendum states that “The wharf at [Powerday] allows materials to be transported by water as well as by road and rail.” Given that Powerday has never used the wharf for material transfer by water, and that waste material will go into Clean Power’s site entirely by road, on what basis do councillors think this situation will not cause odour and environmental hazards for residents along access routes in North Acton and Brent?

Q15 - As the Channel Gate Road off the A4000 Old Oak Lane is the only access road to the Freightliner site and it already carries additional HGV traffic - because the Mitre Bridge serving Scrubs Lane hasn’t been upgraded - on what grounds does the Council think it is acceptable for Clean Power’s supply vehicles to be allowed to access this road on a 24/7 basis? 

Q16 – TITRA learned in November that the Tarmac company that uses the Freightliner site was unaware of the details of Clean Power’s application. On what grounds do councilors think there has been adequate consultation of the Freightliner site’s users and tenant companies?

Q17 - Since TITRA has been unable to determine definitively the number of vehicles movements (even using FOI requests) to and from the Freightliner site over a 24-hour period, on what basis does can Clean Power claim in its application that overall vehicle movements will decrease?

Q18 – How can Clean Power’s claim of reduced traffic from operations be credible when TITRA has learned since its original objections submitted in November that the Freightliner site will attract additional traffic from developments such as DB Schenker’s own planning application and potentially from the High Speed 2 project’s interest in securing the clear for tunnelling waste removal operations?

Q19 - Given that Clean Power cannot provide credible estimates of site traffic, and since TITRA residents have been troubled for years by other companies’ vehicles already accessing the Freightliner site, on what grounds does the council think the Clean Power site operations will not cause a continual environmental and noise nuisance to residents, or operate with acceptable environmental standards?

Q20 – By what means did Ealing communicate and consult with Brent Council over the Clean Power application and in what ways does it meet the requirements of the Localism Act requiring co-operation between neighbouring local authorities?

Q21 – Given that Harlesden town centre will soon be converted to “shared space” zones for vehicles and pedestrians, on what basis do councillors think that adopting Clean Power’s proposal and allowing waste lorries to travel through Harlesden would not cause additional safety hazards to the town’s residents and not be considered a failure of consultation over developments between the two boroughs under the Localism Act?

Q22 - Given that the North London Waste Plan is now being revised to make it compliant with the Localism Act and Ealing’s West London Waste Plan partners intend to do the same, does Ealing Council now consider that it will be logical and better - for all Ealing residents - to resume this strategic option for treating the borough’s waste, rather than step outside it by adopting the non WLWP-compliant Clean Power development?

Q23 – At a meeting with residents in June, Clean Power representatives said that, to assist environmental monitoring of its planned site emissions, Ealing Council was ‘seeking funding for the first three years of the plant’s operation.’  Does the council agree that it is acceptable that:

a)    the taxpaper could end up funding the regulation of a potentially hazardous industrial site, run by a company retaining its profits offshore?
b)    at a preliminary stage in an application, the developer is could be attempting to offload aspects of its legal and operational responsibilities to Ealing Council, which is planning to make £85 million in overall budgetary savings by 2015?
Q24 – Given the high proportion of gas produced by anaerobic digestion processes, the high resulting proportion of recyclate for disposal, and the long term – and as yet, incompletely assessed – pollution risks to local residents, does the council think that allowing this plant is the most intelligent approach to avoiding landfill use in the borough?

Q25 - The UK government is to tighten the rules on offshore companies using locations such as the Isle of Man to avoid paying tax. Do councilors consider that Clean Power will be able to successfully complete the development of the site without asking for public funding from Ealing Council, given the resulting reduction in revenues that these future changes will most likely bring about?

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