In recent times, the unwanted “West Midlands Metro Mayor” Andy Street has been plugging his “brownfield first” house building agenda, ably assisted by his local media parrots in The Express and Star, and by the select band of semi rural elitists who consider that every new home should be built in the Black Country on any old shit piece of “brownfield” land, so long as it is well away from theirs.
I have long campaigned for urban wildlife and the few green spaces that we have left in our area, but the battle , because that is what we are now facing from Street’s insidious agenda is now a full on war. The site at Friar park was flogged off by one of the areas worst polluters Severn Trent Water and will be remediated not by them but from a taxpayers fund controlled by Street. This is for 75o houses, so at least 1500 extra people in an already poorly served deprived area. As well as this the demise of local wildlife that has found a home on this greened area, and which is not “brownfield” at all except in name. The vile Natural England are increasingly giving licences to eradicate wildlife where they are a problem for developers, and all the legal safeguards for protected species do not seem to apply for urban areas, but are very often used by the greenbelters for reasons to stop developments in their own back yards.
Street, like every other politician is a gambler of votes. His rationale is that people in the black country will not voice their opinions about the totally unwanted and unnecessary house building programme that the dubious house building industry and their selected “black country local enterprise partnership” buddies and shills are constantly telling us “we need”.
He relies on the fact that those who live on the edge of Staffordshire, some of the DY3’ers and the Tettenhall mafia, number amongst them professional well paid jobs, and they can afford good legal advice and challenge the decision making process with judicial reviews. He knows that people living in places such as Friar Park or Tipton cannot.
The recent report , “The Urban Capacity Review” claims that there will be a shortfall of around 27,000 homes in the Black country till 2038 and that there will be a need to release so called “greenbelt” land to make up the shortfall. The “core strategy” has now it appears been rebranded “the plan”.
I do not know how this faceless body of bureaucrats make up these figures, but they are bullshit. We have had years of the disastrous social experiment of free European movement, which is now, Thank God ,about to come to an end. This hopefully means an end to mass migration into this part of the world, much to the lament of the house builders who like the rest of the business based remoaners, welcomed mass migration and increased breeding with open arms. There are many homes that are in private ownership that have been abandoned for years within existing estates, and it is time that all of these were seized from the “owners” with immediate effect. But of course, this is not what the house builders and their political mates want, and one notes the number of politicians who are themselves private landlords.
Mayor Street immediately hit back slamming the report, but quite honestly I believe that its publication was merely a vehicle for him to again reinforce his credentials to his “greenbelt” fanbase in readying for the election campaign in May .
The first thing to reiterate about this fabled land classification (and who made it?), is that it remains in the ownership of a tiny number of people. IT DOES NOT “BELONG” TO THE PEOPLE WHO CROW TO SAVE IT! THEY DO NOT HOLD THE FREEHOLD INTEREST AND IT ISN’T “OURS”. It is an antiquated system of protecting the rural elite; and today serves as a cash cow for those who play at farming by sticking a few random animals on a piece of land to milk the subsidies they can get from doing it. This is now being challenged like never before with the vile meat and dairy industry under threat by people giving up meat. We do not need these industries anymore, but like the days of The Great Reform Act, there are those who profit from this lifestyle who will not let it go easily.
Streets wider statements about it being an “easy option” to build on greenbelt being taken “too many times”, are just simply untrue,and not statistically accurate- especially given the fact that the report itself states that no “greenbelt” has yet been “given up”. When making such dishonest statements, he does so largely because he can rely on his Tory fan base to quickly become outraged and start a letter writing campaign to the E/S where they will always be given a very sympathetic voice; where do the Graham family of MNA media who run the star actually live I wonder, as well as their editor and senior executives. 😕
But soft, for what is this. Tonka appears in The Express and Star suddenly supporting the building of 14 properties located off Lower City Road and Dudley Road East in Tividale.
This site is the first of those promoted in the Dudley Port supplementary planning document to be put forward for housing. as part of the ludicrous “Dudley Port Garden City” that was touted with much vigour a few years ago, then quietly appeared to have been forgotten. There are things to be said about this which I have raised previously.
- Firstly the area is NOT IN DUDLEY PORT
- Anyone who supports the “Garden City” agenda is totally ignorant of the insidious capitalist Quaker scum who invented and promoted it for their eugenicist aims. This cult of liberal freaks are and have always been a danger to society, and their so called “think tanks” and “foundations” today still attempt to sway the political debate on the names of long dead chocolate making parasites. There is nothing altruistic about “Garden Cities”, and any politician who backs them is seriously misguided, or part of the insidious separatist “society of friends” themselves.
- Dudley Port and the area between Tipton and Oldbury is greatly underprivileged, riddled with rising crime and lack of open space. It appears to be a target for those who want to cash in the long held landbanking plots of land that were all for some unknown reason registered to companies based in the tax avoidance haven of Jersey.
- Street himself claimed when I questioned him at an “ask Andy” event that he was against such tax haven societies cashing in on house building from off shore.
- He states that “it is great to have a waterside home” 😆 Would he himself care to live in such a place, and perhaps swap the 5 bedroom , two bathroom converted Mill he has a shared ownership with Conservative MP Michael Fabricant in Wales? (at least on the electoral register to 2014) There are rumours he owns more property, but I doubt if this one would ever be one he would want to live in himself.
He appears totally and embarrassingly for him unaware of the previous history and development history of this site.
The history of this site is very dubious indeed.
Firstly the application itself offers no assessment of contamination threat, which if you are wise to this blog you will know well as to the phosphorus contaminated boat traffic that went right past this site.
It is clear that the use of this site is not very well defined, which is surprising given that in the application it is claimed to have been in the family ownership for “three generations”.
Historic pictures show in 1965 that it appears to have been some form of automotive scrapyard, and there are plenty of contamination threats with those!
The other thing to note about this site is its location in history on Albright and Wilson’s toxic trail of carrying waste to both The Gower Tip, located almost on the other side of the canal, as well as Rattlechain.
It is clear to see the contamination caused to the whole canal system where the Alfred Matty boats went, as well as farther afield in The Netherton tunnel. There is more than suspicion, that early on in this operation that those manning these boasts let out this waste along the canal to save time, and the accounts of phosphorus waste where it should never have even been back this theory up well.
This dumped waste material itself, white phosphorus, poses a very real systemic poisoning effect, as demonstrated in the deaths of birds at Rattlechain lagoon– waste that was dumped via these barges that had been there for decades and did not just conveniently disappear with time.
Note, the picture below shows this waste being carried via the Gower Brades Locks, with Fisher’s bridge in the background, and the application site to the left of the boat.
The Gower Tip itself has of course seen some very dubious recent activity, and there is little doubt that the “garden city” scheme is fully behind this latter day too late operation that is now progressing on this site- AFTER HOMES HAD BEEN GIVEN APPROVAL FOR FUCKS SAKE!
These sites are not linkable at all.
“improved access to the two portions of the site is key to bringing forward development. in line with the garden city principles any scheme must look to provide new green streets / linkages, social spaces and sustainable / energy efficient design.”
“the severed / isolated nature of the sites presents the most significant issue to the development of the site in terms of access.”
It should be noted that this is not the first time that this site has been touted for housing, and it is important to note that Sandwell council previously rejected the application in 2005!
| REF DC/ 05/44925 Residential development (outline). | Land At The Junction Of Lower City Road And Dudley Road East Oldbury West Midlands.
N.B It is interesting to see the reasons for this refusal, and note the location and “poor air quality” being the most prominent.
It was reported that comments from the contaminated land team said that the site had “a long industrial heritage, and notes the close proximity of the nearby landfill sites, Gower Tip, Monks Tip and possibly Rattlechain! They said that a site investigation and risk assessment and remediation report would be necessary.
I do not see how these aspects are overcome in this repeat from the same application address, and note the earlier 2005 refusal reasons. No contamination survey has been provided and no assessment of site risk either.
On the matter of ownership of this site, having accessed the land registry records for this site, and here’s the evidence for the non tax haven liking Mayor Street, here are the details.
WM89940 LAND ON THE SOUTH EAST SIDE OF City Road Tividale Oldbury
WOODCOTE INVESTMENTS LIMITED (incorporated in Jersey) of Rathbone House, 15 Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1RB. (from 1977)
No mention of this on the application, where “Woodcote” are located at the farm address in the 2005 refused application.
I am aware that there may well be some direct connection here with the Tividale land lord trickster Sydney Sheldon, who no sooner had he gained planning permission to extend his dubious brickworks facility, promptly started to sell off many pieces of land around it, and finally the works itself. The other thing associated with the Chelmarsh conman, aside from his criminality and brushes with the law, are that many of his sites during his ownership of them appear to be associated with illegal and illicit fly tipping of dangerous chemicals. Funny old thing that, was he the innocent victim of owning land and being tipped upon, or was it more the case that he was turning a blind eye whilst filling his pockets?
It therefore concerns me that this particular site, if ever owned by Sheldon or his descendants has not been tested for any contamination.
In more recent times, I have noted my own observations about activity on this site. I well remember that nearest to the bridge and the canal, the area was very marshy and still supported a range of reedbed and aquatic growth. Here are a full set of historic google Earth images from 1999- 2019 which track the evidential changes on this site. CLICK ON EACH TO VIEW IN MORE DETAIL. It is clear to see that the site has visibly lost the greenery it had in 1999 and that a building in the centre – (what industrial use did this have?) has been demolished. TAKE NOTE- The most important of these occur between 2013 and 2016, and I will discuss these below.
One can clearly see that between the picture taken in June 2013 and the picture taken in April 2016 that some infilling activity had taken place, in fact the evidence of the tipper truck, gravel and bulldozer are clearly in the April 2016 picture, yet none of this is mentioned in the application. WHY?
I remember this taking place at the time, as well as the work on the lock flight which is also evident in the picture. It was an absolute bloody cowboy job and created the dubious gravel base that appears today. Was any planning application for this necessary and what if any wildlife site surveys took place, regards the bank adjacent to Dudley Road East?
Not long after this I also noted the arrival of what appeared to be industrial waste containing building and demolition wastes dumped right next to the pile of gravel on 17th September 2016 . I reported this to the Environment Agency at the time, as I feared an illicit transfer station was in the offing, without any formal approval.
This waste was removed, but there are still remnants of the gravel pile and with the marshy area still likely underneath this, this recently disguised dumped gravel surface, together with the lack of any scrutiny of contamination from materials that would attack built foundations like sulphurous and phosphatic wastes carried in the Albright and Wilson waste stream, how can SMBC building regulations possibly approve this scheme? Certainly without such contamination surveys, I do not see how this is possible. Any phosphorus waste buried underneath this site and kept artificially removed from oxygen would spontaneously combust releasing toxic gases when disturbed. In contact with water, this would produce phosphoric acid, and another source of contamination into the air and water.
Further to this, and importantly also omitted from the application is another detail which needs some investigation. On 15th December 2017 I took this photo of a formal notice that had been pinned to the entrance of the site in Lower City Road. This appears to be from an environmental consultancy, Adler and Allan requesting that the owner of the site get in contact with a view to installing boreholes on the site for a site investigation. The purpose of this, so the letter stated was as a result of “an environmental incident in the area.”
There are clear question marks as to what this incident was, (arising or thought to be arising from this site?), or if the owner gave permission for this investigation to take place. If so, why have they not been included with the application, and I think that SMBC should request them to give details on this matter to have any confidence that this site does not pose a threat to controlled waters of the Birmingham Canal. It is clear that the cowboy recently formed “bund” to the canal is not stopping anything that could leach from this site into the canal. The quality of the infill is clearly very poor and dubious to support built foundations, and gives low confidence that contamination would not occur into the canal, especially without any survey even being carried out!
Having seen first-hand the full horrors of the Albright and Wilson shambolic operations and that some of the boat waste carriers appearing to have “lost” some of the waste as they were going along, I have to say that until such time as a full site investigation, to the foundations of the sludgy canal material has been determined, that this site is unsafe for built development. Evidence of wider contamination from this waste source along this canal is evidentially clear from past reports.
The recently published draft air quality action plan strategy from SMBC also notes the following points in regard to its much heralded “2030 ambitions”.
Particularly relevant to this application is ambition 7. “The AQAP will encourage consideration of air quality issues at the planning stage of new residential developments to ensure that there is no conflict with other ambitions.”
Given the previous observations about this rejected application site and the dire problems of the adjacent road, I do no possibly see how this application site overcomes this issue at the planning stage. The comments made by the planning officer in rejection of this application in 2005 are quite correct, but the same applicant has still not addressed any of these issues. This site would be more suited to industrial use, in keeping with the properties surrounding it.
Having seen first hand the contamination following built developments in very close proximity to water courses like this, the effects on wildfowl and fish receptors, and especially the ignorance and incompetence of The Environment Agency to stop or even investigate these properly, I am afraid that any subsequent assessments of this site without a full site investigation must be refused.
So unfortunately for Mr Street he appears to be an appearances Mayor who welcomes built development on a site that has very little going for it, except it is “brownfield” status. He also sidles up to the worst polluters of industry such as Severn Trent Water- who flogged off their unremediated site at Friar Park recently using the devolved power cash. Meanwhile Tory party donor Jeremy Knight Adams continues to want to build a retail development on The Lion Farm playing fields. Such sites when not scrutinised I am afraid are going to cause many problems in the future if they are built on, on the say so of just one uninformed man. Wildlife, sports clubs who have “got no ground”, and local black country people can all it seems go to hell, because they have “got no fans” with team Tonka.
Perhaps his non league football stunt double would make a better choice for West midlands Mayor. 😆