IMPORTANT: There will be no RAG meeting on Wednesday 16th April.
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[3rd April 2014]: RAG welcomes Linden Homes wish to share ideas with Radstock people but wants answers to contamination issues too
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:54:00 +0100
On 21 March, RAG wrote to Linden Homes asking for responses to serious concerns about the unresolved contamination issues on the NRR railway land where the developer has applied to build homes. Although planning permission was granted at the end of January, it had a number of conditions attached including ones which reflect the problems of dealing with the undoubted pollution on the site. These conditions have not yet been agreed.
A copy of our letter is attached to this email. (Click here to view the letter)
A public meeting in Radstock?
As a result, Linden Homes invited RAG to a meeting at their offices in Bristol and we accepted the invitation. A few days later, Linden Homes explained that they would like to widen this meeting out to other issues and to invite some members of the press. Naturally we were very pleased that Linden Homes wants to engage with the people of Radstock and have, therefore, suggested that, rather than a meeting in Bristol, it would be more sensible for them to hold a public meeting in Radstock.
We have said we are more than happy to receive a response in writing to our initial letter which is strictly about contamination issues.
[2nd April 2014]: RAG asks Linden Homes to explain how it is going to deal with contamination on the railway land
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:12:00 +0100
RAG has written to Linden Homes asking for answers to major worries about the contamination on the proposed site for homes on the railway land. Click here to read the full text.
[3rd March 2014]: Contamination on Radstock Railway Land - What's Next?
Mon, 03 Mar 2014 09:45:00 +0000
When BANES recently accepted the NRR/Linden planning applications for the railway land in Radstock, this agreement did not come without strings attached. For example, there were a series of conditions which the developers would have to meet before work could proceed and these conditions are currently being mulled over by the officers responsible at BANES.
The developers are not free to proceed
The key point is that these conditions have to be fulfilled and this means that those who care about the future of Radstock must be very vigilant. Contamination issues are far from resolved and stem from the wide range of industrial activities undertaken on the land when it was previously in use. The BANES Scientific Officer with responsibility for this matter has recommended that a number of conditions be applied. These include a further site investigation, submission and implementation of a remediation scheme, reporting of any contamination revealed during development and long term monitoring and maintenance. The officer also recommended that the Environment Agency are consulted regarding risks to controlled waters.
No serious work done on contamination issues yet
The problems about resolving the contamination stem from the failure of previous would-be developers to take proper measures when investigating. This matters because the current developer has based their work on the work done in 2005 which does not comply with the regulatory guidance for site investigations.
Can a poverty-stricken developer like Linden Homes shoulder the required expense?
In lay terms, this means that a potentially serious situation has not been investigated and must be looked at professionally and in depth before anything else can happen. For NRR/Linden Homes this must be uncomfortable news as Linden Homes has already pleaded poverty and says it cannot afford to pay the much discussed Section 106 money which developers are normally expected to contribute towards improvement and remediation to the general environment of a community which is subject to major development. Dealing with contamination is never going to be cheap - and until the full requirements of the conditions attached to the planning permission are met, there is no knowing how much more will be discovered and how much more it will all cost. Any developer who cannot provide funding for Section 106 could well find such expense prohibitive.
No short cuts must be taken
This is a site which, if the developer gets their way, will be covered with homes - any attempts to take short cuts which could result in people's living spaces being built on top of unknown contamination must be avoided at all costs.
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