Tag Archives: Environment Agency

DAY GROUP INQUIRY: THE COMMUNITY SUMS UP

IN THE MATTER OF:

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITTING REGULATIONS(ENGLAND AND WALES) 2016

AND

AN APPEAL BY DAY GROUP LIMITED AGAINST THE REFUSAL OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL PERMIT FOR AN INSTALLATION TO TREAT INCINERATOR BOTTOM ASH AT AVONMOUTH, BRISTOL

___________________________________________________________________________

CLOSING STATEMENT OF IAN ROBINSON

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Sir,

I would like to open the closure of my arguments at this inquiry by reaffirming my desire or if preferred, my wish or wishes for you, acting in the capacity of Inspector, to deny permission to the Day Group to start operations at the illegal and unlawful structure that is currently dominating the skyline at the northern end of Avonmouth Village and ruining our amenity. I can no longer see ships docked with the sun setting behind them or, as I understand it, ever sit in my garden again without smelling ‘fresh’ plaster should you permit this further abrogation of my rights.

Further, I call on you as Inspector to require its demolition and the site cleared and returned to a good order and surface at the expense of the Day Group. I charge you sir, upon your office and the oath I’d expect you to have sworn when accepting this case as a public servant or commencement of your employment, licensed and empowered, to respond formally and upon your liability in these matters to the points below, encompassed and explained fully within your written judgement.

The point has been highlighted – and stressed by the appellant’s representative and their experts – that I have not expressed myself clearly or failed to grasp the meaning of a word in my submission of documents to this inquiry. I apologise for my misuse of the English language and my inability to transcribe my thoughts into suitably acceptable Legalise, as I understand the term, bastardising and twisting the English language into the language of contracts where words actually mean different things to what common folk understand.

I’m pleased to say my life, in the main, has taken me in a different direction than the law. That is until I was forced to gain a rudimentary understanding of the lies, half-truths and machinations of public servants by moving next to the Port and discovering, to my cost, the flexible nature of ‘law’ when applied to the rich and poor. Rich people get to attend inquiries, apologise and get forgiven for oversights; poor people get bankrupted and or prison and their lives ruined.

As these proceedings seek to legalise illegal and unlawful acts to which I am not party and derive no benefit from and in the interests of avoidance of doubt: I do not accept the Day Group’s assertion that they have the right, or permission to build this plant. I do not accept the Environment Agency claim for jurisdiction in granting a permit or Bristol City Council’s claim to have issued any form of permission which has been subsequently admitted as unlawful.

Just how – what I shall now refer to going forward as ‘the monstrosity’, or if you prefer – the ‘cube of doom’ came into being, seems to be a subject that the fantastically qualified and, I’d imagine, the eye-wateringly expensive David Elvin QC took great pains to try to keep out of the inquiry by opening his case referencing this very subject. For those that follow comedy and are familiar with the work of Frankie Boyle, I believe this is the legal equivalent of ‘the racist door’. Not being one to waste an opportunity, I thank him for letting me step through it.

Bristol City Council in 2014 granted a lawful use of land certificate to the Day Group which, subsequently, was withdrawn in 2015 after BCC and I had a discussion about ‘permitted development rights’ at the Port. The Day Group were informed by the North Bristol Planning Manager Mr Chick that the erroneous and, as I see it, without any force in law certificate did not provide permission for the construction of the ‘cube of doom’. The Day Group chose to ignore this advice and started construction whilst, as I understand things, ‘operating at their own risk’ in 2016. This was the second such permit issued ‘in error’ by planning officers for the site.

I contacted BCC and my MP Charlotte Leslie in October 2016 to request action. As, I had identified – between dust storms and explosions – that the permitted development rights enjoyed by the Port did not extend to industrial operations. Subsequently BCC issued a Planning Contravention Notice to the Day Group. The fact that BCC chose not to act further against the Day Group after serving the planning contravention notice for erecting the plant highlights the complicity of BCC officers and therefore the council. They assisted not just an entity that they had a statutory duty to prosecute a case against, but also an entity that just – co-incidentally – was a tenant and lessee of a corporation that they own shares in and upon whose board sits a Cllr serving as non-executive director.

Many questions arise that need answers around the timeline of contract negotiations with the Port, BCC and the contractors that gave birth to this bastard child of greed and entitlement, which now squats on my skyline. We need these answers before the Day Group should be able to claim any form of liability against the taxpayer for any costs of construction, or loss arising from their egregious manipulation of preferred partners, public representatives and the frameworks of both common law and modern statutes to achieve their aims. Despite – and in spite – of any impact to myself and the wider community of Avonmouth.

Questions, incidentally, that have not been answered in this inquiry. Essentially the Day Group, I believe, have acted without good faith and are liable for their own costs in all of their dealings regarding their development.

The Day Group and the Environment Agency conspired to end these proceedings before they had even begun. Sending out a communication at 7:30pm on Monday 27th stating that as far as they were both concerned there was no need for the public to be afforded the courtesy of examination of their little business venture and we should all just go home. Especially me, it would seem, as upon arrival into this building – after skillfully dodging the ‘gatekeepers of the poor’ in the car park and witnessing the spreading of ‘poor person itch horror’ amongst the staff and besuited denizens of this beautiful structure – I entered the inquiry room to find I was expected to sit on the floor or in the public gallery.

After finally being afforded the courtesies extended to the other parties, Mr Levin QC opened his case by intimating that the Inspector could, should he so wish, just save us all some time because the big boys have had a nice little backroom discussion and between themselves had carved things up very nicely indeed thank you. To your credit, sir, you recognised that this really wouldn’t be on or indeed cricket and decided that we could continue. Albeit with a reduced focus on the activities between the Day Group and the Evading Agency as they are known in circles aware of, and impacted by, their woeful and inept attempts to regulate the markets they create. Primarily, it would seem, to facilitate nice sensible gals and splendid chaps, sourced from approved institutions, entry into the highly lucrative public sector industry of drain cover painting and water quality testing at some of the most beautiful and expensive parts of their ‘jurisdiction’.

Immediately it was mooted and decided that the members of the public – who had booked leave or wasted a day of their weekend and had undertaken tortuous journeys across the city via our laughable public transport or by other means to, probably, the most inconvenient and remote part of the city (far removed from the community the ‘monstrosity’ impacts) – had to basically shut up and bugger off until Thursday 30th before they could speak. This despite the point being agreed at the pre-inquiry meeting and subsequently published to the residents of Avonmouth and the wider area that that day one would be utilised for public comments. I could argue that these factors diminished the attendance of the public and the engagement of the community of Avonmouth and therefore negates the lawfulness of the inquiry. If the inquiry had been held local to Avonmouth then the public would have been able to pop in between school runs, zero hour contracts and doctors’ appointments for treatment to their boils, rickets, lice and suchlike to keep up with developments and express an opinion on the matters at hand.

I believe the Inspector should take these points back to the adminisphere for further processing so that the public are not as effectively silenced and their views completely ignored as they have been under the guise of the expediency of this inquiry and resulting in the detriment of mine and the public’s interests and rights.

Further I’d recommend that inquiries going forward should have provision for hearing loop users, full wheelchair access, monitors to display the complicated maps and tables discussed for members of the public to view and braile support. This inquiry failed to do most of these things. This has led to an avoidable incident whereby a person who attended this inquiry with significant hearing issues requested a witness to speak up and was curtly informed that the testimony was loud enough for one of the parties and the citizen rudely directed that they should stand further away. All documents should be hosted in a portal for electronic access by citizens to browse and interrogate without the need for small forests to be razed.

The case at hand highlights perfectly the issues we have as ‘service users’ when dealing with EA and BCC around developments at the Port. Jurisdictions are blurred and each agency claims or denies responsibility when either accepting a fee or responding to a justified complaint. The public gets handed between agencies and nothing gets resolved. This matter was taken up by Charlotte Leslie when a serving MP dealing with ‘Flymaggeddon II’ which made national news and resulted in questions in Parliament to David Cameron when he served as Prime Minister. Charlotte highlighted both the public and her own frustration at being passed between agencies with no individual entity owning the problem, no accountability of officers for either their actions or inaction and no method or instruments for redress for the affected parties.

The investigation ended after myself and other residents met with the then Sec State For Environment Liz Truss. She assured us that she took on-board our collective concerns and that the government and the Local Government Association would work together to appoint a lead agency to manage problems going forward. She also said that the Environment Agency would take seriously and mitigate any concerns affecting or impacting the public from waste treatment operations at the Port and within the wider community and, lastly, that BCC would be held to account for planning issues.

Liz didn’t quite get to the level of passion and engagement that she exhibited in her speech on cheese, yet she managed to clearly identify herself as incapable of anything but finger painting and story time. None of the promises that she or David Cameron made, agreed with the agencies and public representatives, have been delivered to date and pollution has gotten worse where I live.

The assurances of the EA that they will robustly manage issues with the operation of the monstrosity going forward carry no weight with the community of Avonmouth, or indeed it would seem with any community where their management frameworks exists. No liability is attached to any officer directly if acting Ultra Vires or without due diligence. None of the enforcement action makes any tangible difference to the problems experienced. None of the fines are distributed to the people impacted. None of the officers involved live day in and day out with the impact of their omissions or oversights.

The Day Group made much of the fact that the problems highlighted in my submissions with regard to dust emissions were nothing to do with the Day Group and were on a different site with a different operator. Testimony presented to the Inspector has highlighted that this, in fact, is a half-truth and the answers to my questions regarding Boomeco and the issues arising from their operations on the site concerned have shown that the Day Group were aware of problems. The public had reported them directly to senior management; had identified that the tenant had breached their agreement or – as I’d describe – contract for use of the land and yet no action was taken to correct this breach that the Day Group are prepared to substantiate. This calls into question the Day Group’s fitness, willingness or capacity to operate a facility of this type in the unique locale of Avonmouth Port and their compliance going forward. Agencies’ willingness, capability or capacity to manage any issues experienced must also be questioned.

BCC’s shameful performance in enforcement of the law regarding the unloading and loading of ships providing feedstocks to the Port, which are outside of the EA’s claimed jurisdiction, give effective legal wriggle room. This allows the EA to claim responsibility only for the Day Group site and not the end-to-end journey of the product. This approach, illustrated by submissions from expert opinion, takes no account of the ‘product journey’ from ship to shore. The Day Group’s expert Dr Cockroft seems to think that lorries thundering up and down the road at 3:30 am with the associated noise of loading and unloading has no impact on people sleeping 50 metres away. My full, personal liability and expert opinion – not the testimony of a limited liability organisation – should take precedence in the Inspector’s consideration of these matters. I am a live person, a human being and not a corporation. The Day Group, EA, BCC and Port are not providing any individual prepared to accept personal liability for the plant’s operation and therefore have no rights.

The Port itself uses antiquated and unsafe methods to load and unload ships. This gives rise to pollution from both a noise and dust perspective. Regular shipments of thousands of tonnes of dusty cargo is moved via grab or bucket grab to lorry using the ‘best available technique’ (BAT) of dropping from a great height utilising the freely available force of gravity, without any form of mitigation, on a dockside regularly blasted with stormy winds and rainfall. The collective ‘we’ are not aware of the strengths, variability or historical patterns of weather affecting the dockside at Avonmouth. This is utilised by BCC, EA the Port and their lessees and tenants when making applications. Their experts will present data sourced from other elevations, aspects and even counties to generate models that bear no relation to the actual conditions on the ground. These models are then accepted as baselines from which other fantastical creations are calculated, pop into being and are relied upon as truth within the caveat of ‘variabilities’ and excluding liabilities.

As I understand things, BAT should encompass the size, resources and profitability of the organisation making the application in relation to the task or problem at hand before consideration is given to other factors thus deriving BAT from the whole. As the Day Group seem to have a hand in deciding BAT through their relationship with the regulator and their membership of the professional bodies and associations seemingly advising the regulator I’d suggest that a re-evaluation of BAT, in this case by an independent working party that reflects the justified concerns of residents, be undertaken before any permits are granted.

The residents and members of the public who have shared their statements with you have given accounts of the huge impact that the cumulative effect of the individual registrations based at the Port and surrounding areas have on the health and wellbeing of people who live here. Harrowing accounts of constant chest infections and breathing problems in the young and the old, noise problems that impact across the face of the clock and not just site licensed hours and the dramatic effect these problems have on individual mental health. We do allegedly have protections within Article 1 of the first protocol: 1998 Human Rights Act and I dare say under lots of other acts and statutes and the framework of common law, which must be enforced by the various authorities due to the UK’s undertakings. However these ‘rights’ seem negotiable when the Port is involved and the purposefully toothless regulators have to extract a digit and cease polishing the seats of their chairs.

The cube of doom has generated more input from all sections of society and the self-styled political classes than any application I have experience of. The public at large, residents, local Cllrs and even the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, have written to oppose the construction and permitting of the structure. The weight of public opinion far exceeds the numbers of people able to respond to the whims of the Day Group and various agencies pushing for its acceptance and I have been genuinely moved by some of the messages of support and promises of action should this plant go ahead. Civil disobedience is the duty of citizens who have no other remedy.

Do not permit this activity. It’s in the wrong place, not wanted and has been constructed illegally.

I’m done, soon to be dusted.

Ian Robinson, resident, representing 140 souls, Avonmouth Community Action Group.

RHAPSODY IN GREY: THE INCREDIBLE IMPLODING INQUIRY

Grey

An entirely predictable establishment carve up at Engineers’ House in Clifton yesterday as posh men in grey suits reached a DEAL on the first day of the public inquiry into Day Group’s efforts to get an environmental licence for their waste processing plant at Avonmouth. A plant that should never have been built.

The Environment Agency (EA) had been refusing the plant, which has NO planning permission and needs to be pulled down, a licence to operate citing concerns over dust pollution. However, when everyone sat down at 10.00am to start the inquiry, the EA announced they had agreed to grant a licence the previous evening following SECRET NEGOTIATIONS between Day Group and the EA. This effectively rendered the inquiry – into whether this licence should be granted – totally pointless.

The EA cave-in was wholly predictable to anyone who had had sight of Day Group’s defence presented by man in grey, David “Snooty” Elevin QC, the most obnoxious man in the room – or any room for that matter. This defence pointed out that the EA’s original REFUSAL to grant a licence was largely based on draft guidelines, yet to be agreed. While, according to any existing guidelines, it should have been granted. The EA has, again, FAILED Avonmouth residents after it had little choice but to concede in advance or be publicly humiliated for rank incompetence.

More grey

Planning Inspector, Nick “Grey” Palmer, decided to plough on regardless, however, and allow the two other respondents at the inquiry,  Bristol City Council and Avonmouth residents, represented by local activist Ian “Fly” Robinson, to present their case as to why a licence should be REFUSED.

Bristol City Council’s grey men, also the Planning Authority who should be serving Day Group with a Planning Enforcement Notice to demolish the plant, claim to have concerns about potential noise pollution from the plant. While residents are generally BEMUSED by a licencing process that allows a polluting waste processing plant to operate from an enormous industrial plant that has no planning permission and would be unlikely to get it.

Planning Inspector, Palmer, however, has made it clear all along that he will NOT be looking at any planning aspects of the case on the basis he could only consider EA licencing matters. This approach clearly suits Bristol City Council too. The last thing they want is a FORENSIC public inquiry into how their planning officers and senior bosses allowed Day Group to build this plant in the first place.

Even more grey

Residents obviously do want a proper inquiry into the council’s planning SHAMBLES not least, as Robinson pointed out, because there’s no public confidence whatsoever in Bristol City Council, the Environment Agency or the Planning Inspectorate as they effectively dump another polluting waste processing plant on residents’ doorsteps. This one outside of the law.

Ian requested that Palmer DIRECTLY ADDRESS the issue of why he was refusing to look at the planning issue in his written conclusion to the inquiry. It remains to be seen whether Palmer will provide residents with this courtesy as lawyers for the residents begin to circle this crooked shambles with increasing interest.

Avonmouth residents will be giving statements and speaking truth to power at the inquiry on Thursday morning from 9.30am at Engineers House, Clifton BS8 3NB. Please attend and support – Ian will try and sort you out with tea and biscuits!

NOW FOR THE MAIN EVENT: FEATHERWEIGHT FLACCID FLOPPER REES vs THE PEOPLE

Avonmouth: unlawful poison plant too difficult and expensive for the council to enforce the law they are supposed to enforce?

With the Antona Court laundry case done and dusted, Avonmouth residents can now move on to their next legal target – the UNLAWFUL Day Group development of a poisonous bottom ash plant on Port of Bristol land right by their homes.

Day Group, with the help of the Port of Bristol and some hurriedly redeployed council planners, have built a POISONOUS and POLLUTING hellhole right next to a residential area in Avonmouth after dubious Bristol City Council planning bosses granted Day Group a ‘Certificate of Lawful Use’ in 2015 to build the plant. Although the council now admit this certicate was, er, “WRONGLY ISSUED“.

The council finally issued a Planning Contravention Notice to day Group late last year over the unlawful development but they are now DECLINING to enforce the notice and force the demolition of the plant as residents want.

“There would be very considerable DIFFICULTIES and EXPENSE in seeking the demolition of the structures,” they bleat, which might come as a surprise to anyone who’s not a major corporate player and friend of the Port of Bristol and the Merchant Venturers who’s built anything in Bristol without planning permission.

Instead, Day Group, having effectively NEUTRALISED any serious city council action over their poison plant, are now attempting to get the Environment Agency to grant them a licence to start killing the residents of Avonmouth with their profitable toxic shit.

Day Group also tried to get this licence last year but got KNOCKED BACK by the Environment Agency, so now they’re now appealing to the Minister of State for DEFRA, Michael “Govey” Gove.

This has resulted in the following EMAIL being fired off to DEFRA last week:

From: Avonmouth Resident
To:environment.appeals@pins.gsi.gov.uk” <environment.appeals@pins.gsi.gov.uk>
Sent: Friday, 21 July 2017, 16:10
Subject: RE – EPR/TP3138DP/A001 – NOTICE OF APPEAL MADE UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITTING (ENGLAND AND WALES) REGULATIONS 2016 – REGULATION 31

Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The Right Honourable Michael Gove or responsible delegated officer

Environment Appeals Administration
The Planning Inspectorate
3/H Hawk Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Bristol
BS1 6PN

Your ref: EPR/TP3138DP/A001
PINS ref: APP/EPR/511

Via e-mail.

Sir, Madam.

I am writing to you as I have been notified that the Day Group have appealed to your office in relation to the matters detailed above. I am writing as the closest sensitive receptor to the development, private householder and member of the Avonmouth Community Action Group.

I have a number of issues with the appeal as I understand it as presented to me by your office, please notify me of any errata or clarify my misunderstandings.

The Day Group (hereafter referred to as DG) have appealed the Environment Agency (hereafter referred to as EA) decision to refuse an environmental permit for their now constructed IBA plant at Avonmouth Dock adjacent to my property; I understand that the plant was constructed without the relevant planning permission being obtained from the local authority and that the Day Group are relying on the granting of a Lawful Use Of Land Certificate issued in error by Bristol City Council (hereafter referred to as BCC) as permission granted to erect the structure – Certificate ref:14/00824/CP.

DG have submitted a document titled: Avonmouth Grounds of Appeal 2.2 02 06 17-1.pdf (10 pages), which sets out their position and specific contested points of appealing the EA decision to you, for consideration as decision maker in those matters.

Your office has allocated 21 days from notice for interested parties to respond to you and a hearing will be set for later in 2017 (around October).

I do have a concern about the appeal process as set out currently: it would seem on examination of the document provided that DG have not actually included evidence for consideration, just a generalised statement that at some point they will be presenting statements of evidence that will illustrate that the EA were remiss and incorrect in their assessment of the original permit application; from my perspective this lack of detail, coupled with the restrictive timescale of 21 days placed upon me and any other notified individuals to submit our comments or evidence to your office, could disadvantage our cases and abrogate our rights unfairly.

BCC have issued a Planning Contravention Notice to DG as they have confirmed a material breach of planning regulations has taken place after DG started construction after BCC informed DG the permitted development rights relied upon did not cover an industrial installation. Letter from Jonathan Chick to the Port attached to this mail. Until the issue around planning permission has been resolved I do not see how the EA or the Sec State can grant a license to DG to begin operations as the site is both illegal and unlawful at present. BCC have indicated that should this matter go for retrospective planning permission it would be highly unlikely to succeed. I am in the process of giving instructions in relation to these matters and I am seeking a demolition notice to be served by BCC to DG to resolve the torts caused by the actions of DG and inactions of other parties.

I have included my original response to the application for your records and would welcome the opportunity to cross examine DG evidence at the hearing when eventually submitted for examination. Please let me know the dates so I can attend and give my own evidence for consideration as an impacted party.

The broad basis for my arguments against DG  are:

    • The definition of IBA as an inert and non-hazardous product rather than hazardous waste.
    • The failure of the planning framework, local authority and EA in permitting this site for industrial operations historically and for this development.
    • The failure of DEFRA and the previous secretary of state Liz Truss to act upon the known issues with this site and others permitted in the immediate vicinity previously.
    • The original submission by DG to the EA on points not appealed by DG.

I would like to be provided with any further submissions by parties involved in good time before the hearing, please forward when received. I reserve my rights to add to my submissions as evidence becomes available within the case.

Regards,

Avonmouth Resident.

Yes, you did read that correctly – ” I am in the process of giving INSTRUCTIONS in relation to these matters and I am seeking a demolition notice to be served by BCC to DG.”

The “Instructions” are from Avonmouth residents to LAWYERS and the stated objective is for the Day Group/Port of Bristol poison plant to go – regardless of what Bristol City Council’s bent planners overseen by a bunch of fucking useless councillors, cabinet members and mayors, in the back pocket of port-owning Merchant Venturers, want.

We urge you to watch this space. This is going to get very interesting indeed …

DAY GROUP ROBBERY

Planning permission? That’s for the little people.

Efforts by the Day Group to open a poisonous bottom ash manufacturing plant at the Port of Bristol, Avonmouth WITHOUT planning permission takes a turn for the worse for residents.

The council has finally responded to a complaint filed in November by a local ‘moaning bastard’ in Avonmouth, which resulted in a Planning Contravention Notice (PCN) against Day Group and a wholesale LACK of any further action.

Having considered the straightforward matter now for EIGHT MONTHS and splashed out on one of the city’s slowest barristers – Leslie Blohm from St John’s Chambers in Queens Square – for advice, the council has finally concluded, “there would be very considerable difficulties and expense in seeking the demolition of the structures which the Council does not feel able to undertake.”

In other words the huge plant can REMAIN despite it having no planning permission. While the council further admits a so-called ‘Certificate of Lawful Use’ handed by planning officers to Day Group in 2014 to “operate and maintain a facility for the processing of inert waste and specifically IBA (Incineration Bottom Ash) imported into Avonmouth Docks and for onward transit to a variety of end users” was “WRONGLY ISSUED“.

This means the residents are now entirely reliant on the Environment Agency continuing to REFUSE the Day Group an Environmental Permit to process bottom ash at the site and on the council refusing any change of use planning applications.

To this end, the council have given a WEAK undertaking to residents “that any further proposals for uses on the site are very carefully scrutinised in accordance with all relevant planning policies”. And we all know what “careful scrutiny” by our planning department means don’t we?

Residents in Avonmouth are up in arms and promise a response …<

UNLAWFUL POISON PLANT LATEST

Planning permission is now only for the little people in Bristol; not for stuff built for the big swinging dicks of the Merchant Venturers

Efforts by the Day Group to build a POISONOUS bottom ash manufacturing plant at the Port of Bristol, Avonmouth, yards from people’s homes and WITHOUT planning permission, continue to be secretly supported by Bristol City Council’s planners and politicians.

Following a complaint filed in November by a local ‘moaning bastard’ in Avonmouth, the council was forced to issue a PLANNING CONTRAVENTION NOTICE (PCN) against Day Group and investigate this enormous mystery plant at the Port of Bristol with no planning permission.

Day Group have responded to the PCN through lawyers and, seemingly, the response was TOO DIFFICULT for our thicko planners and local authority lawyers to understand as they immediately engaged the services of independent counsel from St Johns Chambers, Queen Square to explain the letter to them.

Although perhaps it’s best not to engage the services of St Johns because they’re, apparently, a shower of IDLE TOSSPOTS bleeding the public purse dry. Over three months later and they, allegedly, still haven’t managed to supply the council with a legal opinion on a short letter on a small point of planning law!

Construction of the plant therefore CONTINUES while the Day Group attempt to obtain a licence from the Environment Agency to start manufacturing their poisonous crap at the site. When questioned by locals on why they were processing a licencing application for an unlawful facility, the Environment Agency responded that planning was not an issue for them.

Meanwhile Avonmouth’s two local Labour Councillors, Don “LENIN” Alexander and Jo “STUPID HIPPY” Sergeant have gone very quiet indeed. Having promised residents they would FIGHT the plant, anything they’re doing to stop this unlawful and potentially harmful eyesore in their ward going ahead appears to be either TOP SECRET or entirely INEXPLICABLE. They have, however, found time to vote to keep their taxpayer funded sandwiches and parking spots.

Promises, last month, from the useless municipal duo to ask the Reverend questions about the facility at Full Council mysteriously NEVER HAPPENED, while enquiries from residents are stonewalled or ignored. Are this pair of rookie politicians being BULLIED in the shadowy corridors of power?

The Day Group are now offering TOURS of their illegal installation to the community at large (except for local “moaning bastards”). Especially any locals who might be likely to accept the largesse of Merchant port bosses through their QUARTET FOUNDATION community slush fund, now run by Sue “Bullshit” Turner, a former Port of Bristol PR boss.

The strategy of state agencies, who should be PROTECTING US to support the Merchant Venturer-run Port of Bristol and their POLLUTING corporate clients is now perfectly clear. Once the EA grant a licence for the unlawful facility, the local authority can then point to the licence to claim the facility is lawful regardless of the planning situation.

All they need to do now is keep any pesky residents and councillors quiet until it’s too late.

DAYLIGHT ROBBERY?

Day_Group web

Why would the wealthy and well-connected need planning permission to build this?

Our dear old friends Mordaunt and Ord, that pair of dubious MERCHANT VENTURERS running the BRISTOL PORT COMPANY at Avonmouth, are at it again. Pissing off the locals and paying scant attention to the law while Bristol City Council and regulators attempt to look the other way.

So step forward the DAY GROUP who Mordaunt and Ord have allowed to start building a BOTTOM ASH manufacturing plant in the port grounds without either organisation recognising the need to get, er, planning permission. Is planning permission only for the little people now?

Instead, it seems, our old friend, bent council planning officer Angelo “King Pawn” Calabrese appeared to give the Day Group the nod in August 2015 to build their POLLUTING manufacturing plant – where TOXIC remains from waste incineration will be made into asphalt blocks for road building – within yards of people’s homes. However, the King Prawn actually issued a ‘PLANNING CONTROL NOTICE’ that formally registers a change of land use, not planning permission.

Day Group and the Bristol Port Company are now relying on ‘PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS’. Legislation that allows ports in the UK to undertake development without planning permission on their land for the purposes of shipping or for dock-related activities such as loading, unloading or transporting goods . A manufacturing plant working with toxic material run by a third party is, of course, under NO DEFINITION a docks-related project.

And Bristol City Council have already admitted as much. In a letter sent to the Bristol Port Company on 3 September 2015, just days after apparently allowing the plant to go ahead, King Prawn’s boss Paul “HOT” Chick told the port in plain English and in no uncertain terms, “With reference to [..] ‘Permitted Development’ provisions it is clear that industrial operations ARE NOT included.”

So now, in November 2016, how come this plant with NO PLANNING PERMISSION is nearing completion on docks land? However, thanks to the persistence of Avonmouth residents the council has been forced to issue a PLANNING ENFORCEMENT NOTICE, which should result in the companies, at least, having to obtain retrospective planning permission. Although residents are demanding a STOP NOTICE from Bristol City Council and have called on the EA to SUSPEND their ongoing licensing process for the plant until the case has been decided.

Arguments for ceasing the development are sound when you consider that bottom ash is the TOXIC REMAINS of incinerated materials, which could include heavy metals such as Lead, Copper, Zinc and Barium. While batches tested in the Environment Agency’s (EA) own studies contain as many as 73 different tasty and nutritious ingredients. Why not test the EA’s claim that Bottom Ash is inert and non-hazardous by throwing a lump of it in your fishtank or by licking it?

It’ll be interesting to see, then, how the port, Day Group, the council and the Environment Agency wriggle out of this one so tthat hey can continue their mission to poison the residents of Avonmouth

BOOMTERRAGATE: MORE STINKS IN AVONMOUTH!

From our Avonmouth correspondent

For once it’s not a product from one of either Boomeco, Churngold, New Earth Solutions or Wessex Water’s latest ventures with the Evading Agency that’s creating A STINK down in Avonmouth but it might be closely connected.

It would seem that our old friend Councillor WAYNE “DEE” HARVEY, protector of the faithful and lickspittle to ‘the boys in the boardroom’ at his other employers the BRISTOL PORT COMPANY, might have misinformed the public about his involvement in the recent VICTORY by Avonmouth residents who stopped the Nexterra biomass plant from getting planning permission.

Even local MP “CHARDONNAY” CHARLOTTE LESLEY congratulated Wayne for his spandex stretching heroics in apparently forcing planning supremo “KING PRAWN” CALABRESE to stop dealing with this matter under his self-awarded delegated powers. And knowing Chardonnay’s penchant for bandwagons and publicity, we applaud her selflessness in standing slightly out of the limelight to allow Wayne some much needed glory before he blunders toward his next POLITICAL DISASTER.

Admittedly Chardonnay had been crowing about her own efforts to get permanent air quality measurements in place at Avonmouth and her success in getting some form of analysis for “another year”. So she probably thought she could chuck a bone to Wayne before he commits POLITICAL SUICIDE the next time someone lets him out to play unsupervised.

Residents understand that BCC will only be extending the monitoring for NINE MONTHS at ONE site yet to be identified. And after listening to the woeful air quality study put forward by BCC’s in-house ‘air quality expert’ at the Nexterra planning meeting, residents expect this study to be handled with the same forensic, laser-like focus as the current one.

We therefore anticipate the project will run thus; FUCK it up, COVER it up and SHUT UP about it.

However, unfortunately for Wayne, as the chair of Planning Committee ALEX “DEAD” WOODMAN indicated before a packed Council House last Wednesday night, his claims are, er … utter bollocks! Tweedle Dee had NOTHING to do with getting this application before a planning committee as the time for a councillor to do this had lapsed. The plans were called in by a council officer, possibly ‘KING PRAWN’ although we await clarification about that.

BCC are truly amazing in their depth of knowledge though aren’t they? The peasants of Avonmouth should feel privileged we have the gigantic minds of people like DR MARK “NOT QUITE” WRIGHT (what’s he a doctor of? Ginger beards?). He told the planning meeting that wood dust was fine because his experience of constructing flat pack furniture that weekend after a week designing an incomprehensible IT strategy for the abysmal telephony and data management systems in place at BCC, indicated that BACON, yes BACON, was far more carcinogenic than the tonnes of unsuppressed dust settling on any unfortunate Avnomouthonian daring to eat a butty between zero hour contracts.

To be fair, another Councillor did point out that you have a choice about eating bacon, which might skew DR NOT QUITE‘s expert analysis of respiratory cancer anomalies and the huge variance from the national average of heart attacks and strokes in in non meat eating and non-christian or multi-faith but no-bacon-thank-you Avonmouthians in the coming decades. Until then, we suggest he can sod off and stop belittling the absolute nightmare his policies are causing far from his own leafy ward.

Outstanding questions that need to be asked around this bizarre planning application episode include:

    • Why did Councillor Wayne “Dee” Harvey claim to have intervened in a planning process which he had previously endorsed despite multiple objections from residents? In fact neither Wayne, the local MP nor the other Councillor Matt ‘Dumb’ Melias objected to the application in the first place despite strong objections by residents. This begs the question of whose interests they actually serve if not the residents of the ward?
    • Was the original attempt to rubberstamp the application through delegated powers legal or lawful? As we understand it, the application should have by its content and impact on the community been put before a planning committee for scrutiny and not been considered under delegated powers in the first place. We await BCC’s response about the ‘extra training’ or other such outcome from their investigation into ‘King Prawn’s’ professional conduct as a public servant in this matter.
    • Why have the Bristol Evening Post not printed a retraction of their story despite their own reporter being present at ‘Boomterragate’ last Wednesday evening and witnessing the exchange with her own eyes? A serving Councillor seemingly misinformed the public via a newspaper article. This was clarified via a formal question by a member of the public to the chair in the public chamber. The public record needs to be corrected. It would be nice if the Post could devote the same size content and position within the paper to allow Wayne to clarify his position but we’ll settle for two sentences sandwiched between Gimp costume suppliers in the small ads if that’ll help. A conversation with one of the reporters at the Post promises to bear fruit so we’ll give them the benefit for the meantime.
    • Is the appointment of an employee of the Port, as a non-executive director looking after BCC’s (and therefore residents) interests ethical or legal? Doesn’t the Councillor have a massive conflict of interest? Another recent incumbent non-executive director also had some interesting business connections and held positions of public office whilst presiding over the introduction and development of the wood chipping industry that sprang up at the Port during her tenure. An industry with such stellar names as Boomeco, Churngold, Stobarts Biomass, EGNI International, A&A Recycling and AW Jenkinson forest products. An industry that was prised tooth and claw from their positions of near immunity granted by the Evading Agency and BCC pollution control staff. Regulators who seem more interested in killing off fledgling businesses on the other side of the city with actions that could be construed as malfeasance in public office, rather than taking on multi-million pound industry players to protect the health and wellbeing of the public they are paid handsomely to serve.

Planning law seems to be a hot topic in CHERNOBYL, sorry Avonmouth at present. It has now emerged that Councillor Dee Harvey’s latest PET PROJECT to shore up his woeful performance in building community spirit after the civil unrest in the summer may be going off piste at an alarming rate.

It seems that Tweedle Dee has neglected to consult with the community he apparently serves and has decided that he will personally ensure that Avonmouth is put firmly on the map, well Google Earth at least ,with a MASSIVE XMAS TREE parachuted into an Avonmouth park probably by Chinook at 3am.

We understand that this Avonmouth Park, or the ENCHANTED WOOD as it shall be known going forward, will require a hard standing and electrical supply to be installed to support the illuminated tower of power Councillor Harvey has helped to secure via an anonymous benefactor from the Port.

However, it seems this development hasn’t been near the planning department and no public consultation has taken place as far as we can ascertain. Given the short space of time before the event is scheduled one wonders if ‘King Prawn’ will be called upon to grease the wheels of government after his recent successes with power stations and highly toxic ash storage within meters of residential homes,

We’ll have to wait and see. BCC officer APRIL RICHMOND of some local partnership quango or other indicated that because ‘it would be hidden’ in some sort of Tracey Island kind of way, the advice she had been given was no planning application or lawful process needed to be served; we can only hope the advice didn’t come from ‘DR DEATH’ MARK WRIGHT after a weekend building a shed.

Although, if they’re wrong, it sends out a very poor message indeed if the city’s planning authority doesn’t see the need to bother getting planning permission.

On a positive note for the west country, Swindon got twinned with Disney, Avonmouth gets BHOPAL.

Anyway, time to sign off from Avonmouth as I need to decontaminate my kids before bed.

THAT SINKING FEELING

A whistleblower has broken cover to reveal a SCANDALOUS series of HAZARDOUS health and safety breaches in the infrastructure of Bristol Docks.

The major problems we EXPOSE represent a danger to the public, to users of the docks and to the city as whole as it’s unlikely that the city’s flood defences are properly maintained.

Our contact claims that council docks boss, the notorious bully and incompetent, TONY “AHAB” NICHOLS and his useless sidekick, Chief Engineer KEVIN “WHAT DOCK? ” POMEROY have allowed the docks to fall into this serious state of disrepair “due to either their total INDIFFERENCE or complete INCOMPETENCE”.

We’re also told that this is after the pair were entrusted with £17m of tax payer investment for the docks. Here’s the full list of issues:

Outer Gates

☠ Not ‘de-muddied’ in four years

☠ Bearings on operating arms seized

☠ Shear joints (an engineered weak spot to protect gates and machinery) welded top and bottom

Inner Gate

☠ As outer gates, except water ingress to High Pressure Units (HPUs) running biodegradeable oil and causing damage to delicate machinery

Sluices

☠ Spear post ends to sluice gate not repaired – refitted in very worn condition

93 Stop Gates

☠ Not recoated inside depite promises to the Environment Agency as condition of securing money for new stop gates

Brunel Sluices

☠ Only one of four operational for many years Emergency Paddle House

☠ Over six years spent changing from geared operation to hydraulic. Still none operational. (Wrong size rams were bought, wrong HPU. New HPU taken from Brunel subways)

Bridges

☠ Plimsoll: gutter is still not cleaned six months after breakdown, which was ultimately caused by this. Breakdown occurred at 16:15. Chief Docks Engineer Kevin Pomeroy would not answer his phone (during core working hours). He arrived eventually at 20:00. He did not call any engineering staff out although press were told they had

☠Redcliffe and Prince Street Bridge: badly corroded, massive holes in structure

Dredging

☠ More mud in the dock and Feeder Canal than at any time in the last 20 years.

It’s clear that out City Docks have been mismanaged and abused by Cap’n Ahab and Pomeroy. And it’s clear that they are simply not up to their well-paid jobs.

Now we say to the pair of them: “For gods sake – and for everyone’s sake – go. And go now .”

AVONMOUTH COMPOSTING FACILTY

Another Evading Agency masterstroke of planning. Put thousands of tonnes of SHITE in the open air and mince it up ruining the amenity of thousands of homes and businesses.

When are the EA going to admit they are nothing but a QUANGO and have no experience in managing anything? How many more people’s lives must be RUINED before we collectively get rid of these parasites who do nothing but ponce about painting yellow fishes on drain covers while the country gets flooded with water and waste?