The Gower Tip- What’s to hide?

I have previously reported about the current dubious activities taking place at this former Albright and Wilson Tip adjacent to the Birmingham canal, a new housing estate, and a sports field which is at the rear of the Shenstone Lodge School.

It is clear that the chemicals dumped at this site still pose a hazardous risk , though laughably the Environment Agency recently responded to an FOI request about the activities taking place-(notus.GOV.). NB THEY ORIGINALLY THOUGHT THIS SHITHOLE WAS IN WALES. ūüėÜ In their wisdom, this site licence numbered SL32¬†– a laughable joke in itself – was overseen by their predecessor, The Walsall Council Hazardous Waste Unit and surrendered in 1994– just 4 years after West Midlands Fire service had stumbled on a fire, claiming that they did not know it was a hazardous waste dump! The EA came into being in 1996, and so all their records come from the negligent and useless WCHWU.

Not only was this Walsall council quangoessence useless, it also had at least two individuals who decided to jump ship and join a reckless persistent environmental polluter РLeigh Environmental. I will go more into this company in a future post, but how such people can jump ship into such private sector jobs is a disgrace. It is also a laughable situation when these people are aware of all the loopholes, and one wonders to what extent they were left there for such a payday?

I have raised concerns about the dangerous chemicals buried at this site with Sandwell council (contaminated land officer Garreth Davies) and planning officer Allison Bishop), whose job it is to monitor such sites- in theory to protect the environment and public health. From their responses to date, it is difficult to see how they are complying with any of  it.

The immediate adjacency of these operations should alarm local residents.

One video that I have taken shows how those working at this site have taken around 5 metres back from the fence from adjacent houses in George Wood Avenue- protected by a flimsy screen. Click the link on our facebook page below.  I would remind everyone that under licence, Albright and Wilson were allowed to deposit 5 tonnes of asbestos contaminated waste per year!

What's to hide at The Gower Tip?

The Gower Tip update. SMBC planning appear to be allowing pre-works unsanctioned by a planning application that it was claimed would be needed to address risk to environment/controlled waters and nearby residents. When they do apply for permission, what is the actual use, other than to replace the excavated contaminated material with clean cover, so that they will find no contamination? Video 1/2 2/2 Note the reaction in the second video. Why is it that when I have turned up in the street, which I am lawfully allowed to and not having had any contact in any way with these individuals, the contractors immediately stop work and try to hide their faces- surely they wouldn't have anything to hide about what they are doing – would they?

Posted by Rattlechain lagoon- What lies beneath on Wednesday, 26 June 2019

 I had spoken to both of these officers, who appear to have had a meeting with Rhodia/ERM a few months ago, yet it appears that they have a blank canvas to start from without any regulation. The letter relating to this meeting involving the Environmental impact assessment records the following.

So where is the pre assessment BEFORE they even turn up on site, and have SMBC judged this and under what expertise?

Where is any of this assessment in the pre works?



“Good morning Mr Carroll, Firstly my apologies for not responding yesterday.¬† I did however speak with their consultants, Environmental Resources Management Ltd yesterday morning regarding the works that are being carried out. They have confirmed that they are doing some earthworks to the mound to widen the access track to the extreme eastern boundary of the site.¬† They are also doing geo investigations with a drilling rig to inform the depth of oil drums and other contaminated in preparation for the submission of planning application early next year.

They have also removed vegetation and will be putting a clean cover of top soil on. They have also prepared an internal planning document which identifies risks. Namely contingency planning Рexcavate in slow way, any drum close to surface work will cease and locations recorded etc. On the basis of this I do not consider that these works require planning permission, however I have asked them to send their internal risk assessment document for clarify.  I also intend to visit the site this week with the Gareth Davies to check the activities being undertaken for myself. Following our visit I will update you again.

Kind regards Alison, Alison Bishop Development Planning Manager”

So this confirms what I had stated earlier. ERM are removing material known to be contaminated BEFORE a planning application, and then replacing it with “clean cover” BEFORE submitting any test evidence to SMBC, who will then “inform” a decision from these fraudulent set of tests. SMBC do not appear to care about the current removal of this material blowing in the wind, or the activities taking place.

“Good afternoon Mr Carroll,

 I have visited the site this morning and inspected the works that have been carried out. 

¬†The works on site have included scraping back the area to the rear of the new residential (Morris Homes) development to allow for a drilling rig to undertake investigations to inform them in readiness for the submission of the planning application.¬† The works I observed were with a digger clearing above ground debris.¬† This will be finished by the end of the week.¬† I am informed that the drilling rig will be on site next week for approximately 2 weeks to take samples.¬† A clean cover of top soil will then be put back.”

 I was satisfied following a walk over the site that these works do not constitute commencement of restoration works but are merely to inform the planning application.  I am informed that the planning application will be submitted early next year following analysis of the test results and full design being prepared.

 Kind regards Alison

 Alison Bishop

Development Planning Manager”

So I can only stress to any local residents reading this, you face increased risk of exposure from these pre works that SMBC do not believe constitute planning permission, but rest assured that next year, ERM for Rhodia will have constructed a report based on what they find AFTER these pre-works have taken place, and not BEFORE. Of course they will find what they want to find, as who is going to offer any independent monitoring or confirmation of test results?

A final note on the activities on site at the moment is the bizarre behaviour of some of the workmen- they do not appear to be the fall guys Heyrman De Roeck on this occasion, the Dutch group who were working on the Rattlechain cover up works of 2013.

They appear to be a little camera shy, and for whatever reason immediately cease what they are doing and start communicating via mobile or radio when I have graced the forlorn area with my presence. At least they should know, that someone is watching them, and their employer like a hawk.[0]=68.ARD9i-kbzUuWmqkfo9d91PK_AqWB2S-RyP1g9OlV6cfk8poTNnGhDPu9fSoslurH6ahNl826jXwChn6uTPIK9mG8mj_BvJpcwQ5uPQsosOy9uNYfxiYo4m4wym3h2lnlWrbAvZQkCNB7erfz0ivw_gjZlXJtShiS7vVGPkEvsdLZ_XU-lNTROnvlKOE3So-5-i_niEmKoc94cp99ZTSqSSPmTaMG7tkZeEs-jrCCrCWJR7wpjYxx7OVGiMK_6r1mOTFvncKZahI85XLzNAb7DsbiSaeu3u0YeScxF__gaAeyE7plAF1pHibb3XvL9cK226Ssp2999kxCfFtxtO0CuZDRBkGfHiOTGCj2&__tn__=-R


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