Oikos Marine & South Side Development
Dear Emily Having been informed by the Oikos Community Relations Team the following: - “Whilst writing, we would also like to take the opportunity to provide you with an update on the preparation timeframe for the OMSSD project. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clearly no longer possible for the project to proceed along the timeframe we originally programmed. This means that the statutory consultation period, which we originally envisaged taking place in early summer 2020, will not be going ahead as planned at that time” Being unaware that the Scoping Opinion process including statutory responses had been undertaken with the deadline being 7th May 2020. I am strongly of the opinion that whole process has subsequently been undermined in terms of the local community’s participation in the procedure. May I respectfully therefore request dispensation to express the following. The lack of opportunity for public consultation at this stage, has prompted this response to provide background information and overview of the Inspectorates Scoping Opinion and consultation responses. The primary objective being to ensure that public safety and well-being is foremost in all aspects of the (OMSSD) project. Oikos Site Storage History The proposed increase storage of hazardous materials represents a huge increase, in real terms, when consideration is given to the fact that a significant proportion of the Oikos storage site facility was operating under the Environment Agency “Pollution Prevention and Control Regulation 2000”, Permit Number VP3838LP issued 30/10/2007. Whereby a permitted grant for 237,750 tonnes annual throughput of a variety of waste raw material and fuel of a less volatile nature was processed. The point being made here is that the original tank capacity for the storage of highly hazardous materials was not being maintained for some considerable time at this facility. The argument that the recent application for renewal of licence ( Hazardous Substance Consent Ref CPT/3811/HAZ) to store at this site, represented reduction in previous storage capacities of highly volatile materials was not only questionable, it highlights that the real objective, as this application indicates, has been the further substantial increased storage capacity. In the understanding that the considerable increase in storage of hazardous materials does not necessarily equate to the increase in risk, the “Residual Risk” consequences imposed on the same community is however considerable. The consequential and totality of increased activity, human or otherwise, when handling the storage and distribution hazard material in this area of Canvey Island has increased the likelihood of an adverse event and thereby heightened the level of Societal Risk. The Applicants Scoping report at: - “2.18 Calor LPG Terminal - The Calor LPG terminal, located to the east of the Oikos Facility and the HBC site, is owned and operated by Calor Gas Ltd and adjoins the south-east corner of the Oikos Facility (as shown on Figure 2.2). The Calor terminal contains LPG storage tanks and benefits from a jetty that extends out into the River Thames. 2.19 Beyond the Calor LPG terminal and further to the east lies an existing waste-water treatment works, the Concord Rangers Football Club and Thorney Bay Caravan Park, which contains static caravans and mobile homes for both holiday use and permanent residential occupation” The significance of the “Calor Gas” site and the “Thorney Bay Caravan Park” in terms of Societal Risk needs to be fully explored. For reasons best known to themselves, the Calor Gas Company Ltd have seemingly failed to contribute towards this consultation process, however, they are the Domino site to the Oikos installation. The significant storage and transportation of LPG, to and from this Major Hazardous terminal, requires a stringent risk reduction safety regime. The Thorney Bay Caravan Park exists under licence issues by Castle Point Borough Council. The applicants scoping report at page 245 refers to planning applications 14/0620/FUL and CPT/707/11/OUT for consideration. What is clear however is that the “Thorney Bay” site owner has favoured the very popular concept of the now “Sandy Bay” Luxury Park Home Residential Development exclusively for an over 50s occupation covering the whole site. (www.sandybay.co.uk) A site visit would be conclusive. Astonishingly, neither Castle Point Borough Council, the Canvey Island Town Council or Essex County Council have discussed this issue in their response. Also see from scoping report “HSE Consultation Diagram” on page 239 which identifies how intrinsically linked the Oikos and Calor Gas sites are in terms of hazard zoning. The Development of a Park Homes Complex should have caused a review of the Local Authorities Licensing Process to reflect on the requirement of NPPF.45 “45. Local planning authorities should consult the appropriate bodies when considering applications for the siting of, or changes to, major hazard sites, installations, or pipelines, or for development around them”. Environment Agency Competent Authority The Environment Agency submission to the Planning Inspectorate Scoping Opinion Report refers to COMAH Site “Safety Reports”. “Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations “COMAH Regulation (Notifications and Safety Report) As noted in section 20 of the Scoping Report the proposal is located at a facility notified under The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (COMAH) as an upper tier COMAH establishment. It is also adjacent to another upper tier COMAH establishment operated by Calor Gas Limited. The COMAH regulations are enforced by the Competent Authority (CA). The CA comprises the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency (EA), acting jointly. COMAH requires for operators to notify the CA ‘in advance’ of certain changes including ‘a significant increase or decrease in the quantity of dangerous substances’ and ‘any modification of the establishment or an installation which could have significant consequences in terms of major accident hazards’. Upper Tier establishments are also required to submit revised Safety Reports which, amongst other aspects, must demonstrate that the major accident scenarios in relation to the establishment have been identified and that the necessary measures have been taken to prevent such accidents and to limit their consequences for human health and the environment This proposal will require a review and revision to the Safety Report before the proposed changes are made at the establishment. The operator should discuss this requirement with their COMAH Intervention Manager. Further information on COMAH is available in guidance document ‘L111 - A guide to the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015’ available on the HSE website” COMAH Site Safety Reports It is hoped that the Planning Inspector will avail him/herself of the content of the updated Oikos and current Calor Gas “Safety Reports”, particularly the section that identifies “Societal Risk” with worst case events and consequences. This will allow for a full appreciation of the types of possible incidents, the hazard range resulting from such incidents and the likely number and type of persons that could harmed. Such information will also present an opportunity to examine the logistics of suitable for purpose Off Site Emergency Planning and evacuation proposals. The submission from the HSE “Land Use Planning” Department is extremely limited as what its role covers when dealing with what they describe as the Major Accident Sites such as Oikos and Calor Gas. This consultation with regards to Land Use Planning is totally reliant on communication from Local Planning Authorities Waiver of Representation at Local Level The process of protecting the community of Canvey Island and beyond via the Hazardous Substance Consent controls has been relinquished by the Cabinet at CPBC, when agreeing to the recommendation to do so. Agenda Item 7(b) Cabinet Agenda Wednesday 19th February 2020 Recommendations 1 That the Cabinet notes the Development Consent Order process and the role of the Council. 2 To approve the inclusion within the Development Consent Order the Hazardous Substances Consent and waive the Council’s determination of such a consent only in respect to the matters identified in the Development Consent Order. 3 That a report is made to Cabinet in respect of the Council’s representation to the Development Consent Order. A point to note here is, that the decision having been taken, to waive the Councils determination of such consent, was made by CPBC Cabinet Members and not as normally the Hazardous Substance Authority ie the Planning Committee. This had the outcome of denying the community of Canvey Island of Councillor representation, due to Councillor distribution and there being no Canvey Island Councillors in the Cabinet. Flood Risk The issue of flood risk and the use of the most up to date information has been dealt with comprehensively in the Scoping Opinion comments. This is a significant issue for Canvey Island in terms of property damage and risk to life, with the Stay Put Emergency Plan seemingly completely in appropriate in some cases. What has not been discussed however is the activity of water take-up space erosion caused by development and the considerable land raising incidents, particularly in the area immediately around the Okios and neighbouring Calor Gas establishments. This unabated activity has had a direct impact on flood water depth and velocities, to the effect that any previous flood issue modelling such as LiDAR is now completely nullified. The likelihood of flooding of the access routes to and from Canvey Island will increase following sea level rise. Access to Canvey Island is currently only possible by two roads (A130 and B1006), both of which are connected at the same roundabout. Any disruption to these routes would hamper evacuation and severely limit access to the industrial areas on Canvey Island, including potential disruption to the gas and oil storage installations. This could have significant implications for the national economy since Canvey Island is already functioning as one of the main oil and gas distribution centres for the UK, which question the logistics of these sites having any long-term sustainability. Aspirational TE2100 Plan The Environment Agency’s submission clearly identifies that: - “The TE2100 Plan is an aspirational document, rather than a definitive policy, so whether the defences are raised in the future will be dependent on cost benefit analysis as well as eligibility and availability of central government Grant in Aid to deliver the required works”. This indicates that recommendation from the TE2100 plan should not be relied upon as the evidence basis in support of a long-term sustainability. Critical Drainage. There has been no acknowledgement from the relevant authorities that the whole of Canvey Island is a “Critical Drainage” area, and despite CPBCs best efforts to gain significant government funding following the severe surface water flooding incidents in 2013 and 2014 to resolve such issues, no such funding has materialised. Strategic Flood Risk Assessment and Surface Water Management Plan. The following comment from the Essex County Council Lead Local Flood Authority submission implies that they consider the flood risk modelling and surveys to be up to date and suitable for purpose, which clearly is not the case. “The information supplied for flood risk and surface water management is considered sufficient, and there is not a need for additional information to be supplied as part of the ES”. This would indicate that there is a lack of communication between CPBC and the LLFA as to the activities undertaken on Canvey Island that would have a direct impact on the “Surface Water Management Plan” and Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, both of which need review. Thank you for giving these observations your consideration, they are intended to be constructive and hopefully of value in the examination process. Yours sincerely John Webb.
Dear Mr Webb Thank you for your email. At present the Oikos Applicant has undertaken their scoping activities; In accordance with Regulation 10 of the EIA Regulations 2017, the Applicant is required during Pre-Application to seek an opinion from PINS on the content of their Environmental Statement (a document relating to the environmental impact of the proposed development forming part of their application for development consent). Before providing the Applicant with their opinion, PINS must consult with all parties listed in column 1 of the table as set out in Schedule 1 of the Infrastructure Planning (Applications Prescribed Forms and Procedure) Regulations 2009. Please also see Advice Note 3: EIA Notification and Consultation for further information, which I have attached to this email. The applicant’s consultation with the local communities and general public has not yet taken place. Due to the current Covid-19 situation the applicant’s public consultation activities, which they are statutorily obligated to undertake as part of the Pre-Application stage of the development consent process, have been delayed as per their communication to you. Once they are able to resume these, you will be able to view and provide a response to their proposals. We are currently not aware of when these will take place. If the Oikos Development application is submitted and accepted for Examination, you will be able to register as an Interested Party to the project and submit your views, which will form part of the Examining Authority’s subsequent Examination. We advise that you view our webpage for this project, where you can sign up for updates via email as the project progresses - the email updates option is on the right hand side of the page. For further information I have also attached our Advice Note 8.1 which provides information on responding to the developer’s Pre-Application consultation, and Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination. Our full suite of Advice Notes can be accessed from our website. I hope this email has been of assistance, please contact us if you have any further queries.