I write to you to formally object to the proposed East Midlands Gateway, planning application made 28th of August 2014. I am objecting based on 6 counts. These objections are based on my own detailed examination of the public plans and data published as well as my own investigation and I expect you to review these in detail and represent them correctly during the planning process of which you are part.
Currently all local and county council representatives are in favour of this development as are many local MP?s and there is inadequate representation of an opposing and therefore democratic view. This affects the local community and NOT the councillors, MP?s or developers that are so in favour of EMG and may I remind you that you are employed to consider and to represent the people and not simply your own views and those close to the application. We are asked to support, suggest adjustments or reject the development but our views are not taken into account, this development is clearly about investment and profit for a few and not for the people of the region. I outline my 6 objections below and as I have taken the time to research them and provide detailed arguments in favour of the objections on subsequent pages, I expect (and am entitled to) a similarly detailed response.
1. Lack of proper prediction modelling of the impact of the EMG on air pollution in Hemington, Lockington, Castle Donington and Kegworth
2. Lack of proper prediction modelling of the impact of the EMG on sonic pollution in Hemington, Lockington, Castle Donington and Kegworth
3. Poor prediction modelling of the impact of the EMG on light pollution in Hemington, Lockington, Castle Donington and Kegworth
4. Violation of regional conservation area outline due to large scale heavy industry within <500m of the conservation areas of Lockington, Hemington and Castle Donington.
5. Violation of regional green infrastructure via urbanisation of Castle Donington and surrounding area.
6. Lack of proper public consultation on the EMG in Hemington, Lockington and surrounding areas and lack of time to prepare a detailed opposing view.
1: Lack of proper prediction modelling of the impact of the EMG on air pollution in Hemington, Lockington, Castle Donington and Kegworth
Violation of national Air Quality standards, Traffic Congestion high levels of CO2, NO2 particulates and other pollutants in Hemington, Lockington, Castle Donington, Kegworth and Mole Hill Farm AQMA.
Mole Hill Farm (M1 Corridor) monitoring station currently exceeds acceptable NO2 levels which are still climbing (71.2 μgm-3, 2009, limit set at 60 μgm-3). There is currently no monitoring of air quality in Hemington and Lockington but aviation fumes and traffic fumes are often detectable by strong smell at these locations. Require monitoring of air quality in Lockington and Hemington and detailed modelling of the effects of EMG development on these levels. Current documents and public plans are
woefully inadequate in these areas.
In absence of evidence to the contrary it can only be assumed that many pollutant levels will exceed accepted guide lines once EMG is operational due very close proximity to settlements. Hemington and Lockington are already surrounded by A50 to the North, M1 to the East and Industrial zone with existing distribution centre to the West all of which contribute to existing and rising air pollution levels. Construction of EMG will infill only pollution buffer zone to the south adding to the already serious issue.
2: Lack of proper prediction modelling of the impact of the EMG on sonic pollution in Hemington, Lockington, Castle Donington and Kegworth
Lack of data in current documents and public plans to address concerns over increased noise pollution due to EMG. Undefined but definite increase in already high noise pollution levels in Lockington, Hemington, Castle Donington and Kegworth. Further public data collection, modelling and disclosure required, current work is inadequate.
Existing high level of noise pollution from Airport, M1 and A50 ? particularly during the night due to lack night flight embargo on East Midlands Airport which is not operating in line with national guidelines. Noise levels often already exceed 55db. EMG will remove green space reducing its noise suppressing effect as well as adding to the aggregate ambient noise level due to increased road and rail traffic. Large roof surfaces of EMG likely to increase noise reflection and sonic lensing from air traffic noise into Lockington, Hemington, Castle Donington and Kegworth. Much more detailed monitoring and modelling of true impact required as existing work carried out by the developer is woefully inadequate.
In absence of evidence to the contrary it will be assumed that noise levels will exceed accepted guide lines once EMG is operational due very close proximity to settlements and acoustic properties of proposed site. Hemington and Lockington are already surrounded by A50 to the North, M1 to the East and Industrial zone with existing distribution centre to the West all of which contribute to rising noise pollution. Construction of EMG will infill only buffer zone to the south adding to this already serious issue.
3: Poor prediction modelling of the impact of the EMG on light pollution in Hemington, Lockington, Castle Donington and Kegworth
Lack of data in current documents and public plans relating to increased light pollution due to EMG. Poorly defined impact of site lighting and the associated increase in light pollution levels in Lockington, Hemington, Castle Donington and Kegworth. Bund and tree screening is clearly inadequate and only single bounce indirect illumination modelling has been done by the developer. Full indirect illumination and cloud backscatter modelling needed to properly show lighting impact in local settlements. Further public data collection, modelling and disclosure required.
High level of light pollution from Airport, existing industrial zones in Kegworth, Castle Donington and M&S distribution centre. EMG will add significantly to this and proposed screening will be ineffective as the greater part of light pollution is caused by atmospheric scattering and not direct line of sight. Monitoring of existing levels and modelling of EMG impact required.
In absence of evidence to the contrary it will be assumed that light levels will exceed accepted guide lines once EMG is operational due very close proximity to settlements. Hemington and Lockington are already surrounded by A50 to the North, M1 to the East and Industrial zone with existing distribution centre to the West all of which contribute to rising ambient light levels during the night. Construction of EMG will infill only buffer zone to the south greatly adding to this existing issue.
4: Violation of regional conservation area outline due to large scale heavy industry within <500m of the conservation areas of Lockington, Hemington and Castle Donington.
EMG plans currently violate CS34 of the RDP directive ?North West Leicestershire District Council will consider favourably those schemes that make a positive contribution and enhance existing heritage assets?, EMG in its proposed location at J24 must therefore be considered unfavourable in any planning application due to its proximity to heritage assets.
Regional conservation outline sets out to, and I quote ?to protect not individual buildings but the general character of the area?. EMG will adversely affect the general character of the Lockington, Hemington, Castle Donington and Kegworth area due to industrialisation and urbanisation of the area as well as its environmental impact. This will be particularly evident around the proposed rail spur along the eastern edge of Lockington which will result in large freight trains passing within 200m of Lockington and its historic parish Church of St Nicholas as well as many other historic buildings covered by conservation orders and listings. Vibration from passing trains likely to damage noted buildings and there is a lack of evidence or modeeling to suggest otherwise in the current EMG appliation. EMG will also affect views integral to the general character of the villages of Lockington, Hemington and Castle Donington due to an insufficient bund and tree screening and will effectively wipe out green buffer zone between these settlements and East Midlands Airport.
5: Violation of regional green infrastructure via urbanisation of Castle Donington and surrounding area.
Currently Coalville, Swadlincote, Loughborough and Nottingham fringes are protected from green space development and infill. Castle Donington, Kegworth, Hemington and Lockington remain unprotected despite being conservation areas. EMG and proposed associated road and rail development will lead to urbanisation of Castle Donington and surrounding areas, particularly Lockington and Hemington due to very close proximity (<500m) of the proposed development site to these villages. This is particularly problematic in Hemington and Donington where Bund and Tree Screening in plans are inadequate to even partially conceal the EMG rooflines.
Violation of ?Planning for Prosperity? as set out in paragraph 1.7 of the RDP onwards, with commitment to make available of the right type of land in the right place ? EMG fulfils neither of these when viewed holistically and not the narrow view based on income into the region from business rates.
6: Lack of proper public consultation on the EMG in Hemington, Lockington and surrounding areas.
Lack of detailed information on the development to date in relation to EMG, detail only supplied very late on in consultation process and consultation inadequately carried out. If the community are to support or oppose the development, information in great detail is required to be made public. There are NO detailed breakdowns of potential job creation (just unfounded claims), insufficient traffic flow projections, insufficient pollution modelling (air, noise, light), and while civil engineering and construction plans have been published, Roxhill and NWLDC have not provided adequate opportunities for the community to consult on these and this appears to be by design. The initial consultation was no properly publicised and a second round needed and when inadequacies in the second round where called out to the developer by myself they responded only on the first occasion rather than the 3 communications I instigated with them. The developer has also not responded to requests to model the pollution impact of EMG properly. Many people in the local community are still unaware of what is going on and it is left to people like myself to tell them. This is NOT adequate.
Pre-application consultation is a statutory duty for applicants, and the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008) requires for it to be carried out in a certain manner and to a certain standard. Where any person feels that an applicant?s pre-application consultation was inadequately carried out, they should seek resolution by approaching the applicant in the first instance. Where dissatisfaction remains, the appropriate mechanism is to make a complaint to the relevant local authority (who can consider this complaint as part of their representation to the Secretary of State on the adequacy of consultation), or to the Secretary of State (via the Inspectorate). Any complaint should be made promptly following the close of pre-application consultation to ensure that it was received no later than the point at which an application is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. In all cases, the final decision as to whether pre-application consultation was adequately carried out rests with the Secretary of State.
As you are likely aware, on 19 September 2014 the Planning Inspectorate (on behalf of the Secretary of State) made its decision that the application by Roxhill (Kegworth) Ltd was of a satisfactory standard to proceed to be examined. The period within which complaints about pre-application consultation could be made and considered by the Inspectorate as part of its acceptance decision has therefore elapsed. Local authorities were invited to make representations to the Inspectorate concerning the adequacy of the applicant?s pre-application consultation, and any complaints made to them should have been taken into account. Those representations are available to view by clicking the following link:
On submission of the application the Inspectorate applied the associated legal tests (under s55 PA2008) to the application documentation, including the consultation evidence provided by the applicant. The Inspectorate decided that the applicant?s pre-application consultation had been of a satisfactory standard, and its commentary and conclusions are available to be read in the ?Acceptance of Applications Checklist?:
Importantly, the Inspectorate?s decision to accept the application to be examined did not comprise any consideration of the merits of the application. These issues will be tested in detail by an appointed Examining Authority at the appropriate time.
The examination of the application cannot commence until a ?relevant representations? period has elapsed; a minimum period of 28 days within which anybody can register to become and ?interested party?, enabling them to make written and oral representations about the application throughout the six month examination period.
The applicant advertised the acceptance of the application today (26 September 2014), and the relevant representations period for the application period opened concurrently. In order for the comments comprised within your email to be considered by an Examining Authority, once appointed, I must request that you register as an interested party as described above. The comments comprised within your email concerning the merits of the application should be repeated on the appropriate prescribed form. The form is available by clicking the following link:
Please be aware that the deadline for making a relevant representation is 3 November 2014. For more information on how to register as an interested party please read the Inspectorate?s associated advice note (Advice note 8.3: How to register and become an interested part in an examination), available here:
The Inspectorate has also produced a short film explaining the process from end-to-end, available here:
26 September 2014