Danger! AW Bombs AT LARGE#4

 

An empty grenade crate where 24 AW bombs would have been stored.

I have compiled several recorded incidents of AW bomb discoveries previously, but here are a few more I have found recently which shows just what a pain they really were/still are.

The first from The Spalding Guardian of 17th August 1962 is a typical example of back garden digging going wrong. The 48 grenades that would have been in the two boxes like the one pictured above were found in what used to be a Home Guard Headquarters.

It is clear that these fucking idiots did not even bother to bury them more than a foot deep, and is another example of why this organisation was not fit for purpose.


We all know what that plate said!

AW BOMB PRECAUTION SIGN

Copyright I Carroll

Of course, the bombs never worked at all, they were useless.

Another demonstration of the incompetent Home Guard was shown in the Daily Mirror of 7th February 1966, and this time they upset the local vicar.  😛

Another cache of bombs had been buried by the uniformed clowns at their old HQ in the rectory stables. The finding is another example of new development finding the buried items. What is most interesting is the quote from one of those who buried them.

“When the war ended, we were given orders from the top to bury the bombs”. 

Oh yeah, please name names so they could get the blame , yer daft Dick. Why anyone would have thought this would be a good idea and just “followed orders” is pretty lame to say the least. I very much doubt the story.

 

The Sunday Mirror of 18th January 1970 uncovers another find in the woods, by another recurring theme in that children had found the devices whilst at play. It is not clear if they were still in a box or just loose at surface level, but it is obvious that they were also just dumped by The Home Guard of that area.

 

 

A further 9 AW bombs were found in another garden in Tunbridge Wells- yes even the posh areas saw them buried too. The Kent and Sussex Courier of 19th March 1971 tells how more garden digging  found them. I’m not sure that the local plod would have appreciated them being taken into the station.

 

The final article from the Dundee Courier of 30th April 1987 occurs around 45 years after the Albright and Wilson milkers were written off.

This tie a bakers dozen were found by more workmen, one of whose boots started to smoke. I’m not sure that the RAOC idea of blowing them up on the beach, and then telling the public to stay away from the area where the bottles were found makes any sense at all. I would have advised people to stay away from the beach where the army blew them up, as this is not the correct way to deal with such devices at all, given that all those years ago, white phosphorus AW bombs that had been disposed of similarly gave off remnants that poisoned wild animals.

You can probably see why they wanted to dump them into some type of pit, where the public would be discouraged from going, and that too had a beach area.

It’s just a question of how many of them went into a clay pit in Tividale after the war under the cover of “a waste disposal site”. 

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The trouble with AW bombs

I have looked extensively at the productionuse and ultimate abandonment of these useless but highly dangerous white phosphorus filled half pint milk bottles, manufactured by Albright and Wilson on behalf of The British Government during The Second World War for an anti-tank guerrilla warfare campaign that never transpired. Over seven million of them were produced between 1940-42 at Oldbury and satellite factories , and then dispatched to Home Guard units around the country in wooden boxes of 24.

All came with clear instructions for use, and some later designs were made to be fired from a gun known as the Northover projector. Many were used for demonstrations and training, but by 1943 it was clear that they were useless for anything but gathering dust.

AW BOMB PRECAUTION SIGN

Copyright I Carroll

Many had been buried under water or in back gardens, and then as time passed by, so people forgot like absent minded squirrels as to where they had buried them.

It is widely believed that many ended up destroyed at Rattlechain lagoon before AW became a private limited company, conveniently operating the site as a Government contractor for the ministry of supply before their own waste stream went into the drink.

I have found more evidence of the problems that these dangerous and useless artefacts caused the authorities from newspaper archives, when it had obviously become clear by 1942 when their manufacture ceased that there was no use for them. The issues appear to be twofold.

  1. There was no real plan as to how to destroy them and they had been stashed away, often found by children.
  2. Even bigger “kids” used them in “demonstrations” for fire guard training.

The 4th November Blyth News from 1943 tells how some schoolboys had half-inched the half pint bottles from the Home Guard stores and were before the beak for doing so. It wasn’t quickly apparent that they had even been stolen, but it appears they had been dumped into the environment before they were missing. This method of secreting them under water would become a common theme in later years 😥

 

 

 

A year later from the 5th August Crew Chronicle, we see how these devices were now not being used for anything other than starting fires, rather than destroying tanks, and were becoming the play thing of the Home Guard rivals, The Fire Guard. They were aware of the properties of phosphorus and how to fight such fires, but I don’t think that AW or those who toiled on their dangerous manufacture would have believed that they would have been used in such a blasé way.

Post war, as we know, AW bombs gave the authorities considerable headaches when it was seen repeatedly that the Home Guard had abandoned their weapons before stand down. The  27 May 1950 Gloucester Citizen reported how two soldiers from The Royal Army Ordnance Corps carried AW bombs that had caught fire at an ammunition dump that appears to have been in the process of decommissioning in the Midlands area. 100 boxes of AW bombs would be 240 phosphorus filled grenades, and so there is no doubt that these “unserviceable ammunition” could have caused a serious loss of life if coming into contact with other explosive devices. It isn’t clear if they had been disturbed and the bottles broken, or if they had just corroded and auto ignited on contact with air. Either way, it is clear that storing large numbers of bombs together was a very dangerous practice in confined internal conditions. 

Though these weapons may have been haphazardly processed, it was obvious 11 years after the war had ended that AW bombs amongst other things were now a serious risk to the public The Stamford Mercury of   20th July 1956 published a letter from a Chief Constable. He was concerned as to how these “extremely dangerous” contraband weapons could fall into the hands of criminals and children. He was offering an amnesty as to their surrender , but I wonder how many of the absent minded Home Guard could even remember where they had dumped them after this time?

 

It was pretty clear that discussions must have taken place with the manufacturer of these weapons in dealing with such incidents at a centrally located dump not far from the factory where they had been made.

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Putting the cons into Coneygre#3 Housing scheme pie in the sky

The millennium came and went as the Coneygre site was left abandoned by Mintworth. With the dodgy recycling venture thwarted, it would be a couple of years before another housing development scheme entered the pipeline, this time on the adjacent sports field next to Newcomen Drive.

This application by “Selbourne homes” was for “DC/02/38284 Erection of 32 detached and terraced dwellings and the construction of associated roads and sewers, land off Newcomen Drive, Tipton. ”

It is noted that this developer used a report written by Mintworth’s regular cronies SP Associates (Sladen Peters) that would later be just known as “Sladen Associates.”

The committee report for this application can be read below. It is noted that despite the previous applications associated with housing and the replacement of the sports field (ref BCS315 and  BCS851) , no application for relocation of the field was ever made, and the pitch was still being actively used.

DC_02_39284-COMMITTEE_REPORT-181843

Both existing residents at the previous new build as well as businesses on the trading estate were against the extension. Individual letters of objection and a petition were submitted to Sandwell council. The loss of the pitch, without any replacement being provided was also taken up by the quango Sport England.

A site location plan is shown below.


DC_02_39284-SITE_PLAN-181948

The application with 18 conditions was approved by SMBC on 16th May 2003, with some dubious proviso that a section 106 agreement would tart up the pitches at Victoria Park Tipton. I have to say that I cannot see how this money was ever spent on this location and I am highly dubious that the money totalling over £35,000 was ever transferred for this purpose, despite the section 106 agreement. I wonder where it did go?

DC_02_39284-DECISION_NOTICE-181844

DC/03/41020 Erection of 33 no. houses together with associated road and sewer works. | Land At Newcomen Drive Tipton West Midlands            

This subsequent application was for a revised layout of the above application, except that it crammed in 1 additional house to make 33 houses.

The application can be read below.

DC_03_41020-APPLICATION_FOR_PLANNING_PERMISSION-434304

The new site layout can be viewed below, and shows how it would link up to the existing roads.

DC_03_41020-SITE_LOCATION-434309

The application received some objections as before but was passed by Sandwell council who were happy to see this sports pitch disappear.

DC_03_41020-COMMITTEE_REPORT-434236

The houses were built subsequently as the Mintworth site continued to be mothballed with no activity taking place.

The extent of the Newcomen Drive estate as it still stands today is shown below, in context with the historic overlay map of where the former foundry and sports field were. It also shows the abandoned Mintworth land to the left, with its associated untreated limestone cave workings and shafts.

Some five years after this, Mintworth suddenly reappeared with another of their fanciful “remediation” schemes, this time for more housing on the site they had previously despoiled with their tipping operations. Once again, there was widespread opposition to this scheme, both from the Lindley Avenue residents and the Newcomen Drive residents, as well as the existing industrial premises on the trading estate.

DC/08/49278

Demolition of industrial units to enable vehicular access into the site, regrading of the site and stabilisation of the old mine workings, residential development of up to 300 dwellings comprising access alterations onto Coneygree Road and Burnt Tree Road and erection of a landscaped acoustic bund (outline application).

Newcomen Drive open space.

This application has a curious pedigree given that various reports submitted in its support appear to have been prepared for various parties. RPS were dealing with and claim to be acting for a “Peak Properties Limited”.

I am suspicious that this was yet another in the long line of Mintworth guises, after all residents on both estates were well aware of the activities of this waste tipping polluter, yet the leaflet proposals delivered to homes does not mention them at all, except that it had been prepared by “the owners of the site” – I wonder why? 😉

DC_08_49278-COMMITTEE_REPORT___SUPPORTING_DOCUMENTS-332773

The main points from these outline proposals were

  • 300 houses.
  • No vehicular access from Newcomen Drive
  • Demolition of industrial units (two of which appear to have been acquired by Mintworth for this purpose)
  • “regrading of the site” and infilling of mine shafts.
  • Site levelled to adjoining land estates.
  • Buffer of 4.5 meters against the industrial estate to screen it from new properties.

Much of this is of course shifting around the vast amounts of over tipped foundry sand that Mintworth had never cleared when surrendering their licence (SL487) and abandoning the site.

A plan of this site is shown below. It is interesting that this plan still inaccurately shows the football field that had already been built on as an extension to the Newcomen Drive estate in the previous application from 2003.

DC_08_49278-LOCATION_PLAN-318443

Submitted with the application was a report written by Sladen Associates “Ground conditions and mine stabilisation report former Coneygre foundry site.    Prepared for Mintworth Transport Limited.” The date of this is February 2007.

DC_08_49278-TECH._APP_-_APPENDIX_2_-_GROUND_CONDITION_MINE_STABILITY_REPORT_PART_1_OF_2-320028

Strangely this includes a desk study report prepared by another consultant Arup, written for “Peak Properties Limited” in 2001. The give away connection to Mintworth is that in this document it states that they are considering a residential development on the site through their solicitors Haliwell Landau. This company were acting in every sense of the word for Mintworth in all matters relating to the shambles at the adjoining rattlechain lagoon lands at this time. It is also the case that in the planning application DC/03/40538 for the 99 houses on the former sewage works (application by John Hurst Limited), that a form B is submitted with the application for the Jersey registered “Peak Properties Limited” who supposedly owned part of the land.

It is interesting that this Arup report is vague on the fill materials on the site- of course put there entirely by Mintworth and which their former director Frank Pomlett appeared to be so knowledgeable about in 1984 when proposing another application. The report is also very vague as to how the mine shafts and limestone workings would be overcome.

Indeed the most useful thing that RPS submitted with this application- for whoever they were actually acting for, is their argument that the Coneygre site was unviable for employment land end use. They appear to have gone to great lengths to emphasise this point. 

DC_08_49278-EMPLOYEE_SITE_VIABILITY_ASSESSMENT-330157

Their tally of costs for redevelopment for industrial use included

Road construction, junction costs, service provision, Canal wall and site compaction, and professional costs (eg consultants ). THIS 2008 ESTIMATE TOTALLED £9.7 MILLION.

By contrast the value put on the site for end employment use  (FOR MINTWORTH) was estimated at £4.7 MILLION.

Though RPS may have been keen to contrast these figures to suggest the land was useless for industrial use, they offer no equivalent figures for the costs and the value for residential end use.  The likelihood is that the costs associated with this use would be far greater, particularly in ensuring compliance with health and safety issues with the dire constraints such as mine shafts and ground conditions, and that is before you get to issues of potential landfill gas. IT IS ALSO WORTH POINTING OUT THAT THESE FIGURES ARE OUT OF DATE, AND SO THE COSTS WILL NOW BE FAR GREATER.

I would also like to point out that this cost and all the constraints were Mintworth’s problem and not that of anyone else. So why should it be that any outside body should pay for the issues at this site, caused in part by the failures of them to ever conduct proper remediation of a problem of which they were always fully aware of? 

Not worth a mint

 

The committee report for the application is shown below

DC_08_49278-COMMITTEE_REPORT___SUPPORTING_DOCUMENTS-332773

This proposed a tentative recommendation of the application , yet the planning committee at the council would in fact turn it down. The committee report for 30th July 2008 records “it was felt that there would be unsatisfactory highway access, the development would lead to an increase in crime and there would be inadequate accessibility to public transport. The proposal was also a departure from the Council’s Unitary Development Plan.”

Despite this, the decision was overturned by a bureaucrat from Bristol. The arguments within this are not for this post and I have no interest in debating them here. What is more crucial is the fact that despite the planning inspector overruling the council, NO PLANNING APPLICATION AND NO REMEDIATION OF THIS SITE HAS EVER TAKEN PLACE SOME 14 YEARS ON.

DC/12/54472

Renewal of extant planning permission DC/08/49278: Demolition of industrial units to enable vehicular access into the site, re-grading of the site and stabilisation of the old mine workings, residential development of up to 300 dwellings comprising access alterations onto Coneygree Road and Burnt Tree Road and erection of a landscaped acoustic bund (outline application). | Newcomen Drive Open Space Newcomen Drive Tipton

The application had not started by 2012, and so Mintworth’s favourite ruse of the time extension was used again in this renewal.

DC_12_54472-COMMITTEE_REPORT_AND_SUPPORTING_DOCUMENTS-589708

This extended time for start of works for seven years. To date nothing has happened on this site, and the area has grown derelict. Stray horses appeared on the abandoned site, prompting local residents to approach the council as reported in this Express and Star Article from January 19th 2013. 

Said councillor Derek Rowley at the time “It is not safe for the horses, and to be quite frank they are in a bad state. It is particularly bad in such freezing weather. We as a council have contacted Mintworth, and informed them they have liability for the horses.

“We have also contacted the RSPCA.”

The article finishes with the following.

“The Express & Star contacted the registered address for Mintworth Transport Ltd, on Compton Road in Wolverhampton, but was informed the company is based offshore and is unavailable for comment. “

This statement concerning “based offshore” was a total lie, though of course, “Peak Properties Limited” were. 

The Sandwell Chronicle 24/1/2013 also reported the same story of the poor trotters.

Sandwell council later launched its ludicrous “Dudley Port Supplementary Planning Document”, thus now apparently acting as agents for this longstanding polluter of the land who had done nothing with it. The SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis for this land, identified only through an FOI request, still identifies why the site is unsuitable for residential development, yet despite this, taxpayer cash is expected to pay for Mintworth’s scheme.

 

The residential properties of Newcomen Drive, always living in the shadow of an abandoned pile of foundry sand with geological faults underneath it.

By  2019, the land registry details for this site , title number WM417427 Land to the North West of Coneygre Road indicate that it had been sold to a “Coneygre Redevelopments Limited” on 5/6/2018, who are based at an address in Hampton in Arden. The two brothers listed as the only officers of this company (incorporated on 10/4/2018), Irish nationals Patrick and Desmond  Kelly  are also directors of a “Rattlechain Redevelopments Limited” – you can probably see therefore that they also have an interest in buying another “crap site for residential” on the former Mintworth despoiled tipping ground of the former Duport’s Tip- another major problem site to rectify. We shall look at that one in a future post……

The price said to have been paid for this land was £2 million!

Retrieved 17TH JUN 2019

These two companies may be part of a bigger one, or I had my doubts at first if they may on the basis of previous history be yet another ruse and guise of Mintworth. See below!

It is noted that all previous planning permissions for this site have now lapsed, and there is no planning permission for residential development granted for this site. It is a disgrace that Sandwell taxpayers money was lost at the planning appeal for a scheme that the applicants never had ANY intention of ever starting, except perhaps unless a large tax payer handout was given for allowing them to restart by stealth, the shambolic foundry sand dumping decanting that had plagued the area in the 80’s and 90’s.  Presumably, the brothers Kelly were told of all the major issues of this site before the purchase, and that the former owners had done absolutely F. all about any remediation and restoration of the site .  😛

It is bizarre, that given the assessments in 2008, this company say the exact opposite to the Mintworth/RPS position concerning industrial use viability, and submitted a scoping plan, as well as another planning application for change of use in contravention of the SMBC land plans, and also the Black Country Core Strategy (now Black Country Plan) and the Dudley Port Supplementary Planning Document.

Compare and contrast the statement made by their agents, Elias Topping with the earlier Mintworth paid one, and there is some head scratching to do as to why two totally contrasting opinions were reached, and why the local authority were idiotic enough to even entertain the earlier one.

“It can therefore be demonstrated that housing use is not economically viable on the site and allowing the site to remain in employment use would help to meet the significant shortfall of High Quality Employment land in the borough.”

THE COSTS SHOULD NOT BE MET BY THE TAXPAYER !!!

 

It is interesting to note that the only “developments” that have appeared at the site since their purchase have been some of their fellow countrymen leaving behind a few welcome gifts.  😛

Once a tip, always a tip……..

Even worse than this, Sandwell council tax payers appear to be paying for a remote cctv monitoring of the entrance to this site, long abandoned by foundry sand tipping merchants, with no intent of doing anything with the land unless a public body paid for the remediation. Perhaps with the long line of failure from this local authority in the planning process of how that materialised, they should perhaps have done more to monitor that abomination instead, FFS!  😳

Are SMBC watching the highway, or private land?

According to Sandwell council, there are complaints regards this site in terms of its dumping ground eyesore status.

DC_21_66125-COMMITTEE_REPORT-1195785

“7.3 The council has also dealt with two enforcement cases on the site
regarding issues with the boundary wall and untidy land (GS/13/9065
and GS/19/10965 respectively). Whilst those issues have been
addressed, a further complaint (case GS/21/11567) has recently been
received for untidy land.”

Even more bizarrely, in the Call for sites process, which I understand finished AFTER  THE “CONEYGRE REDEVELOPMENTS” purchase , the following appears, and we appear here to not be dealing with “Coneygre Redevelopments Limited” but rather someone else, in this case the agents of Mintworth- RPS  😉 It is not clear as to when this form was submitted, or IF it took place BEFORE the purchase, but it appears highly dubious. 

Black Country Core Strategy – OC2 version of form

Note that RPS claim to be the “Sole owner” of the site. WTF!?

No they are not!

 

 

Respondents answers in red.

 “Site ID #124

What is your / your clients interest in this site? If you are an agent please answer on behalf of your client only. Please select all that apply.

Not Provided.

Does the other owner(s) support your proposals for the site?

Yes

Is there direct vehicle access to the site i.e. from a public road?

Yes

Site

CONEYGRE

Site Address

LAND AT CONEYGRE, NEWCOMEN DRIVE, SANDWELL

Site Postcode

Not Provided.

Site Area in Hectares

9.16

Site Area in Hectares of land suitable for development, if different to above

Not Provided.

Please provide a brief summary of the current use(s) of this site or last known lawful use(s)

Historical landfill site. Designated in the Site Allocations DPD for employment uses.

Site Area: 9.16 – WILL REDUCE BELOW THIS FOLLOWING REVISED ACCESS ARRANGEMENTS AND REMOVAL OF ADJOINING LAND
Site Area suitable for development: TBC

What use or mix of uses do you propose for this site? Please tick all that apply.

Not Provided.

If housing or employment is proposed, please specify how many homes or how many hectares of employment land you think could be accommodated on the site.

TO BE ESTABLISHED BY MASTERPLANNING BUT THE POTENTIAL FOR APPROXIMATELY 8HA OF EMPLOYMEMNT LAND ON LAND CONTROLLED BY MINTWORTH TRANSPORT  😡 

What services are currently available at this site? Please tick all that apply.

Not Provided.

What constraints, if any, affect this site? Please provide details below for each constraint.

Not Provided.

Please provide supporting details for each constraint identified above.

separate technical reports are all publically (sic) available and demonstrated the suitability of development for residential purposes in 2009 and the further renewal application. 

Is the site agricultural land? If so, then what is the agricultural landclassification? Please provide survey results, including mapping.

No – the site is previously developed land.

 

If there is a current use of the site that needs to be relocated what arrangements are required to achieve this relocation? e.g. manufacturer currently on the site needs to move to a building of xx square meters with good access to the motorway.

The employment uses at the site entrance would be retained and access for new commercial Land would come direct off the existing access on Coneygre Road.

What new infrastructure do you think will be required to support the development of the site?

Not Provided.

Please provide supporting details for the above.

Following securing planning permission at appeal in 2009 for 300 dwellings and a subsequent renewal application, the landowner has marketed the site, via professional agents to numerous housebuilders. Due to the cost of addressing the prevailing ground conditions and existing mines under the site along with its market location, no housebuilder/developer has taken the site forward.
Some interest has been provided from the development sector for commercial uses on the site, which the landowner advises will not require the same extent and costs associated with securing suitable and deliverable land platforms for B Class employment land.
For this reason Mintworth Transport would welcome the opportunity of having discussions with the Local Planning Authority over the potential for an employment allocation on the land. 

Are there any existing or historic planning permissions on the site? If yes please include any details e.g. application reference number.

Yes

If yes, please provide details.

DC/08/49278

Is the land available immediately for development (subject to obtaining any necessary planning permissions)?

Don’t know

If no, please explain why not and give an estimated timescale for when it will become available.

Subject to further dialogue with commercial land developers.

Is there any current market interest in the site, other than from you / your client? Tick all that apply.

Not Provided.

Please provide further details of the market interest in this site.

Site has been marketed for several years for residential development. This has not lead to any viable proposals coming forward.

Once started how many years do you think it would take to develop the site?

Not Provided.

Do you think it is likely that there will be viability issues with developing the site that will require the use of external funding?

Possible. (lol ed)

Have you previously contacted a Black Country or neighbouring authority about this site?

Yes (ed who exactly are we talking about here?) 

If yes, please provide brief details e.g. who you contacted and when and the current position of discussions.

Not Provided.

Please provide any additional comments you may have that are relevant to the site you are putting forward.

Not Provided.”

So it looks as though no house builder is interested in this site due to the known constraints. But who exactly are the owners of this site, when “Mintworth Transport”  appear to be putting in a call for sites submission via “RPS! ? We know what “Coneygre Redevelopments” interest is in the site, given that they paid £2 million for the land, but as for Mintworth in submitting this form?

“What is your / your clients interest in this site? If you are an agent please answer on behalf of your client only. Please select all that apply.

Not Provided.”

Is there really a business case for employment land at this site, when the board on the Coneygre Industrial Estate appears to to suggest a great deal of vacancy, including the two units which Mintworth never demolished to kickstart their abandoned applications in 2008 and 2012.

 

Abandoned dereliction

The vagueness of many of the answers (not provided) is reminiscent of the voids in the limestone and mine workings left behind on this land. Just fill them with “any old shite will do” and leave the victims of industrial pollution with dirt in their eye thanks to sandmen pipedreams….

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Putting the cons into Coneygre#2 The dodgy recycling venture

 

The Coneygre story and Mintworth’s involvement with the site in this second post is commenced with this letter from the Black Country Development Corporation to a Lindley Avenue resident in June 1992.

It is noted that Clive Dutton of BCDC states more in hope than in any certainty that Mintworth had by now been given planning permission at the Duport’s Tip/Sewage works site to import the grossly over tipped piles at Coneygre- reference BCS 1813. Of course, this belies the fact that in playing off these residents with this statement, the export of the foundry sand pile at Coneygre would knowingly lead to the pain of those living in streets on the Temple Way estate who had to suffer the misery” imports next to their homes from this.

 

“Misery” at Temple Way

After some hiatus of activities at the Coneygre site where they appeared to have abandoned it, a sudden planning application on their remaining undeveloped land- (the one with the huge mound built on top of the limestone unremediated limestone workings) was submitted to the horror of local residents. This was BCS 3553 PROPOSED RECYCLING & WASTE TRANSFER STATION OFF CONEYGREE ROAD TIPTON.

Part of The Mintworth mound viewed from the canal. Lindley Avenue lies to the immediate right of this greened over pile.

BCS3553-BCS3553-70391

SMBC’s building regulations officer notes the “numerous problems” associated with this site. It states that the OVE ARUP report found that the abandoned limestone mine directly beneath the site was in a different position to historic plans, as are the risks of collapse. Landfill gas was also identified on the site. The author identifies numerous issues that would be required to even contemplate any end use.

News of these plans went down like a lead balloon on the Lindley Avenue estate, as well as the new one at Newcomen Drive that were separated by the abandoned Mintworth heaps on top of abandoned old holes. They suspected “sneak tactics” at getting the plans through on the part of BCDC, which were quite justified as it turns out following their clandestine meetings with Mintworth and their agents as a “steering group” at the Duport’s tip/sewage works sites which never involved any local residents.

Express and Star article August 13th 1996

 

A campaign by local residents was mobilised, even before the BCDC had garnered what it was Mintworth were supposedly going to be importing onto the site. A letter from Keith Brooke to Mintworth’s solicitors asked some probing questions as well as taking into account the guidance issued by the building consultant.

It is perhaps quite telling that there was no response to these points for over five months. When it came, the response was vague and uncertain. You can see this in that it repeats the questions that Brooke asks to pad out the letter! It is noted that it had “taken some time to ascertain the information requested”.

  • 2000 tonnes per day of soils, concrete, brick, demolition materials, foundry sand stone, metals, wood, paper, cardboard, plastic and glass. (Of course it should be noted that this matches the description of wastes buried in the Duport’s tip- so was it their plan to simply keep decanting stuff from site to site in the hope that the BCDC and all others were really that bloody stupid?)
  • No specification of plant to be used
  • 6 meter stockpiles allegedly screened from local residents by bunds. (these bunds of course were the very problem the residents were complaining about in that it was allowing trespassers to look into their homes.)
  • the bizarre statement that the water coming off the described materials would not be contaminated! (how would these types of waste NOT be contaminated with heavy and phytotoxic metals etc?)
  • Garbage about security fencing, when throughout their time on site evidence of no security at all was evidenced.
  • Talk of bringing materials in by the adjacent railway line- (right next to Lindley Avenue), though no scheme at this time was proposed.
  • Absolutely no intention of submitting any plans to deal with the current issue of the limestone workings, but this would be submitted “later”.
  • This letter appears to have been written by an amateur.

Local businesses as well as Centro and railtrack were not in favour of this scheme.

A petition and letters of objection scheme was started by the residents. A spirited campaign was also put together in the form of  “stop the waste transfer station”. It is notable that one of the campaign spokespeople wrote a letter to a Councillor Turner on behalf of over 1000 people, yet they had not bothered to respond.

The following is the summary of this campaign and attachments, which in themselves shed much light on Mintworth and their operations at this site, as well as what residents had expected when they bought homes on the former Coneygre foundry site- certainly not a waste tip in all but name!

“There is a significant and extensive opposition to this proposal from local people. Over 500 letters have been sent either to Sandwell MBC of the BCDC to register grievances. In addition, petitions containing in excess of 800 signatures have been collected and forwarded to the decision makers. Support for the campaign has been received from the Governing bodies of local schools, health care professionals, businesses, and people active in local politics. Three articles have appeared in the local press outlining the extent and strength of opposition in the local community. “

 

…a return to the dreadful clouds of black dust that blighted the lives of residents for over a two year period from 1992 onwards.”

“Mintworth’s have attracted adverse publicity in the past from their use of this location. The growth of the dust mound around the site created terrible problems for local people. Clouds of black dust constantly emanated from the site for a period of two years. This dust settled on garden plants and ponds, cars, interior windowsills and furniture.”

 

 

Mintworth’s smelly and dusty mound prompted these Express and Star articles. SMBC stated that it was “breaking the law” and that the mound was being removed to another site- i.e the Duport’s tip blighting the lives of residents there at the same time. FFS!

 

 

Some of the comments made in the newspaper articles in relation to this campaign by elected representatives are laughable. A Councillor Geddes is quoted as saying “but it is not the contractors that I blame. They are forced to dump this waste because there is no where else to take it.”

WHAT ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS! Mintworth were not “forced” to dump this waste, they did it as their polluting business, creating nothing but “misery” at these two sites. Why should their activities supplant the quality of life for local residents? The comment by the SMBC representative is also telling in that there would be “room for the waste at rattlechain” and that activities would be “more closely monitored in future.” There was a fucking waste management licence at this site just like that at their other site that they were regularly breaching- where were the regulators and why did they not enforce the law and these licence conditions? Of course the problems only stopped when Mintworth abandoned the site without complying with any remediation of the waste mound they had left behind on top of an abandoned limestone mine!

The following letter from a local resident notes the vague responses to the detail that their application did not submit.

Another article against the proposal by local residents.

 

The following letter from Keith Brooke to Roger Lancaster of Mintworth’s solicitors notes that the BCDC role as planning regulators would be coming to an end at the stroke of midnight on 24th March 1998. He did not wish to leave the application left over for Sandwell council, and so it would be marked as “undetermined.”

It is worth once again pointing out the utter failures of this quango in how they had given so much to Mintworth and got so little but dithering, procrastination and outright taking the piss throughout the ten years that they had been around. The legacy of the BCDC was to leave behind two enormous mounds of foundry sand on two sites, that blighted the lives of residents living there. The recycling venture was nothing more than a con job to restart the whole process. Thank God it failed!

The Black Country Development Corporation Board, circa 1990

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Putting the “cons” into Coneygre #1 The dodgy foundations

The former Coneygre foundry site off Coneygree Road, Tipton and land to the North of this has some inextricable links with the former Duport’s Tip area and the former Tividale sewage works area (now a housing estate), adjacent to Rattlechain lagoon. It is linked through the same operators- namely “Mintworth” and also their vast amounts of dumped foundry sand- much of it coming from the former foundry when it was operational.

Former Coneygre Foundry from 1935, showing canal basins and largely flat land at the Birmingham Old mainline canal side.

This site, like that of the former Duport’s Tip is one of the sites identified in the ludicrous so called “Dudley Port Garden City” prospectus promoted by Sandwell council. There have been many twists and turns with this site, which are still currently evolving, and it will be interesting to see how they play out from a planning point of view. People should read this for information purposes to perhaps make their own conclusions.

This first post of three looks at Mintworth’s legacy at this site; the abysmal over tipping of foundry sand whilst making a “mint” out of part of a site and leaving a shit tip behind that they didn’t want, and which would prove too costly for them to remediate- just like their other site less than a mile away.

We start the story with a description by Frank Pomlett– a director of Mintworth at the time, and his claimed history of the Coneygre Foundry site, at this point in time owned by Birmid Qualcast Limited.  I cannot verify any of the statements made within his, though note that it is Mintworth’s position of the matter when they applied for a planning permission in 1985.

Pomlett claimed that 37 mine shafts were spread over the 22 acre site, with in addition limestone workings that had a depth of 200 metres. That is an awful lot of sand and material required to fill such holes and to stabilise in order to ever achieve any prospect of built development!

He estimates that 1 million tonnes of foundry waste  arose from the Coneygre site, taking 200,000 return journeys to dump it.

Most interestingly he professes knowledge of the site in the 1960’s. We know at this time of course, that Mintworth did not exist, but Pomlett and fellow director John S Hurst’s former company “Birlee industrial limited” did.

An old advert advertising the services of this waste tipper appeared in The Birmingham Daily post in  1977.

“Unlimited quantities”

Pomlett’s enthusiasm for scrap metal recovery belies that fact that he and Hurst  were basically just metal tatters from the foundry waste. The other side line industry that the sandmen used was the process of dumping the sand in the “construction industry,” He claims some 17,000 return journeys were made since 1965 shifting 200,000 tons of foundry sand.

This forms the background to Mintworth’s first foray into something bigger at this waste tip site when they submitted a planning application entitled

DA/18345 | Infilling of site to plans R/C/BQ/1 & 2. | Coneygre Foundry Site Coneygre Road Tipton.

This was submitted in 1984 under the guise of “land restoration”- now where have they used that term before. 🙄

Under Pomlett’s signature as “managing director”, a letter dated 15th November 1984 describes a five year plan to import 750,000 cubic metres of fill to restore the site. One may ask why they exported it in the first place given his earlier boasts? We get the first nonsense of Mintworth’s “associate companies “Mintworth Transport Limited” and “Recommet” . They were of course all the same company with the same directors!

We learn that they have operated on a site at Bustleholme Quarry  (as Birlee Industrial Limited  in whose name the licence was approved), which is coming to the end of its life.  This was site licence SL88 which was approved on 15/2/1977 and the last input of waste (at least officially 😉 ) 1/4/1985 . Basically the Coneygre site appears to be in use as a profitable commercial toilet for Birlee/Mintworth and the industrial foundry polluters they served.

In the report to the then West Midlands County Council deciding the plans it is noted

“The site has been extensively tipped with foundry  waste and there are four disused canal basins along the Northern boundary which have not been properly filled. The cumulative effect of all these factors is that the site is so extensively damaged that it is virtually undevelopable without huge capital expenditure.”

It is clear from these ludicrous plans that Mintworth have no intention of covering any of this cost- I.E the treatment of the undevelopable conditions of the shafts and limestone workings. (Some 38 years on nothing has changed there, as the constraints in the SWOT analysis for the DPGC prospectus confirm!).

It is estimated that 80 vehicles per day were to visit the site to shift the 750,000 cubic metres of material.

The site is adjacent to Lindley Avenue and Coneygree Road properties, as well as this point in time, a sports ground owned by Tipton Sports and Social club.

The planning application was granted on Valentines day 1985 with 22 conditions. This made clear the types of material allowed on site and to be used or stored. It also noted dust suppression and noise nuisance measures were added to supposedly stop problems for local residents.

 

All of this operation of course required another waste disposal licence from those useless tossers at WMCC to pass, which would later be taken over by Sandwell council. Site Licence SL487 was granted on 28th March 1985. I have looked at this licence and its conditions HERE.

Entrance to the mothballed site in 2019.

It also appears that Mintworth had set their sites on something else at this site, namely coal deposits from dumped pit waste. Pomlett estimated that 100,000 tonnes would be treated which would take a year to progress. As always with Mintworth, a door opening leads to more requests, and presumption of further activities, which in their opinion never need any further clarification, even from the regulators or experts. It was exactly the same at Duport’s Tip. It is stated that “we have had metal screening plants ” on the site for over 20 years and the equipment is portable and not fixed. He also argues on the point of the coal not being coal but “chattel” . I would doubt however that they sold it as such once recovered.

Of course the WMCC accepted these arguments and rolled over as they always did.

Local residents had noted Mintworth’s activities on site, and in particular the enormous mound formed as a result of the granting of the planning permission in 1985.

Once being granted permission for soiling the land, it would not take Mintworth long to adopt the next phase of planning at this site.

BCS0315 Residential development, landscaping and woodland planting and relocated and improved football pitch and clubroom.

BCS0315-BCS315-73561

This was an outline application , approved on 7th October 1988, by Mintworth’s best friends the now established Black Country Development Corporation. Condition 6 of the 22 in this permission underlined the issues of potential collapse of the limestone workings. There were concerns about the contamination and stability of the site from Sandwell council.

A cost to the public purse- “this application are the subject of a city grant application to the development corporation for assistance in reclamation.”

The reserved matters application was granted the following year on 19th June 1989.

Around this time, The Sandwell Evening Mail reported on the dangers of scrap metal collecting at this site.

Published: Wednesday 22 March 1989 Newspaper: Sandwell Evening Mail

BCS0585 Residential development, landscaping and woodland planting and relocated and improved football pitch and clubroom.

BCS0585-BCS585-73833

Sandwell council had earlier appointed Ove Arup to investigate the limestone workings, who found that the mine is “open” and the cavities were water filled. The existence of these workings precluded built development. The  mound of foundry sand covered over this hidden mine. It is revealed in the consultation report that the forestry commission would be paying for the planting of trees.

“To fully treat all located shafts on the site would be prohibitively expensive. For this reason the forestry planted area will be fenced off and will not be available for public access.”

 

 

BCS 0827 Former Coneygre foundry General industrial and associated open storage/car parking

BCS0827-BCS827-74082

BCS0828-BCS828-74084

Mintworth submitted two identical planning applications in respect of the open woodland from the BCS 0585 application. They attempted with these applications to basically remove much of it and instead use it for their own purposes of storing their own waste materials. As always with this company, and as already stated, as soon as they were given any planning permission, this foot in the door approach would be followed up with another application to remove constraining conditions and instead insert some other scheme, which would further play to their advantage. Having secured housing development, they then used this to suggest that a buffer zone would be needed to screen the new residents from the proposed industrial use of these two joint applications.

The loss of land proved not acceptable to Sandwell council, but the decision was not determined.

BCS 0851 Proposed erection of sixty four private residential dwellings and associated roads and footpaths at Former Coneygre Foundry, Coneygree Road Tipton.

BCS0851-BCS851-74114

This application followed BCS315 and BCS 585, and was an amendment to the latter reserved matters application. It was submitted just 5 months after BCS585. It was approved on 28th February 1990.

Mintworth’s developer for this site would be “Tarmac Homes”. The proposed scheme is highlighted in a report to support the application.

We learn that Mintworth acquired this site as freehold owners in 1987. The undeveloped land title for this area is now known as “Land to the North West of Coneygree Road Tipton. “

There is also further information about Mintworth themselves, and all the usual peacock strutting crap written by their consultants Parkman.

  • 25 years of operation
  • removing “the problems left by past uses of the site”- that is of course except their own 😆
  • Their “success” is due to the “tight control of the economics of land reclamation, particularly the processing of foundry sand waste to recover metal content.”- i.e they are scrap metal tatters.  😛 

  • A claimed 400 acres of land being improved- though this of course would be under “Birlee Industrial Limited”
  • I would not describe anything connected with Mintworth to be “quality of activity”
  • The ominous statement about them acquiring more sites in need of reclamation- hence The former Duport’s tip and Tividale sewage works.

“Tarmac Homes”  have left behind something a legacy themselves in the form of a convoluted trail of home builders. In transferring to other names such as “Mclean Homes” and  under the titles of “JIM (insert a number of your choice) limited”- a housing estate in Walsall was for many years suspected of being built on contaminated land.

The houses  in the application off Coneygree Road were built on the former foundry site itself. This map shows an overlay of where they are situated, now known as Newcomen Drive, Barney Close, and Calley Close. A further extension of this estate on top of the sports field would take place at a later date.

 

 

Former Coneygre Foundry site in bottom left from 1935, including three canal basins off the Old mainline Canal. The immaculately managed Coneygre Sports ground on the right, with Randalls bridge on far right crossing the cut.

At a later point, we see where the links to the Duport site fit in with Mintworth’s activities at Coneygre.

It was clear from correspondence to the BCDC and Sandwell council that residents in Lindley Avenue and Davis Avenue were having their properties blighted by Mintworth’s foundry sand piling. This was also creating noise nuisance as well as trespass.

Clive Dutton and others at the BCDC were thus aware of two sets of residents affected by Mintworth’s activities- activities which they as a corporate entity had sanctioned- yet apparently unable or unwilling to enforce the multiple failures on the part of the sand haulers. Here is the evidence of how residents contacted the BCDC about the blight from Mintworth’s “dust creation scheme” .

There is clear evidence here that Mintworth were breaching their licence conditions, as they were at the Duport’s Tip/Sewage works.

“Residents have informed both the council and myself that Biffa and Leigh Environmental Services have been seen tipping on the site.”

  • Household waste tipped on site
  • Residents privacy lost
  • Mounds of soil high and increasing in height.

A memo of note around this time to Tony Rice of SMBC from Clive Dutton of BCDC  is interesting in terms of both of Mintworth’s sites. Again the lack of security is noted, as are Mintworth going “flat out”. It is noted that Dutton states that “this should trigger our enforcement strategy for Coneygree. I noticed yesterday that the mound is enormous and that plant is currently operating on its summit. ” He is unsure as to whether this was freshly tipped material or that supposedly going to “rattlechain”.

It is of course worth pointing out again that the BCDC were fully complicit in creating this farce. But why the lack of enforcement procedure , or even stripping the polluters of the licence altogether? Alexander Gibb were contracted by BCDC to monitor activities at the Duport’s tip/sewage works site, yet despite reporting multiple concerns, the BCDC only ever appeared to want to request meetings with Mintworth about these breaches.

A further summary of activities on both sites is relayed to a resident by Malcolm Hinks of SMBC in the letter below of 15th February 1994. It is a useful letter in that it provides many of the unsubstantiated claims made by Frank Pomlett from his 1984 application at the site- in fact it plagiarises it almost word for word if you compare this. The planning regime on both sites is also set out up to this point.

“For reasons unknown to me Mintworth handed back the site licence (SL487) that allowed them to import foundry sand into Coneygree last year and ceased all work on site. A subsequent telephone conversation with a representative of Mintworth elicited that they had not abandoned the site and that they intend to recommence the completion of the landscape mound or submit an application for some other use similar to that proposed in the undetermined application for open storage. “

This is of course the mound with the unfixed and substantially liable limestone workings underneath it. It is worth noting that “Mintworth Limited” was dissolved in late 1993, in addition to  the ludicrous “M Throwtin Limited” in September of the same year. It is also noted that a “Coneygre Properties Limited” and “The Ounsdale Estate Limited” appeared to go into voluntary liquidation at the same time, registered at the same Castle Street Tipton address as Mintworth, with the same individuals taking responsibility.

mintworth 3

One wonders what the BCDC were actually looking at at this time. Perhaps they had sand in their eyes as to the con artistry taking shape on two large black country mounds.

What a bloody nightmare!

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The Gower Tip planning permission disgrace

And so to another bent planning matter!

In November, I revealed how this site was being lined up for a phoney “remediation” scheme in the same way as rattlechain lagoon was back in 2013. The prelude to this dodgy application has a long history, not least when the company responsible for dumping the waste there appear to have selective amnesia as to what was actually dumped there!  😡

I had exposed the pre spin show bigging up and expected planning application, which for some unknown reason arrived a month later. Several documents were uploaded to the SMBC planning portal, with site notices also posted under the following application.

DC/21/66208 | Proposed remediation works including re-profiling of site, installing cap above underlying waste material to uplift site by 1.4m, with new sub-surface cut off boundary wall along eastern boundary and landscaping. | Land Adjacent Former Sportsground (The Gower Tip) Lower City Road Tividale Oldbury.

It is important to note here the documents that were posted on the council website in October of 2021, and also the timeline events as to when it was claimed that the matter would be decided. HERE ARE THE SCREENSHOTS TAKEN FROM SANDWELL COUNCIL’S PLANNING PORTAL. 

There were 23 documents put up by 27th October 2021, and yet it has taken another 5 months to put up the last two, one of them, the decision notice which was delegated.

 

5 months to determine this bent application

 

I know that the target date for this application was changed having looked at the status repeatedly, yet it is now coming up with fabled date of 9th March. THIS APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR REASONS UNSPECIFIED.

I had dissected the bullshit lies of Rhodia/Solvay and their agents in this post going over the documents and also asking many unanswered questions. I also pointed this out to the planning officer, CARL MERCER in objection, as well as emailing him, as well as sending the same email to the contaminated land officer for Sandwell, and an individual at The Environment Agency who deals with sites such as The Gower Tip. NONE OF THEM BOTHERED TO REPLY OR ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS. 

This has been the standard fair for matters involving this company, their activities and their none existent “regulated” sites over many years, and the silence of the so called public sector  “regulators”, largely I believe due to their local and national political connections, as well as to the buried military secrets of a Government/industrial complex that is the enemy of its own people. In particular, planning officers have been the most absolutely ignorant of the bunch, and I have had to chase individuals and make complaints when they have failed to answer standard issues. I was for example told that Alison Bishop , who dealt with some matters regards Rattlechain and the ludicrous extra CCTV  application had left the authority according to a senior councillor, but it now appears that this was a crock of shit, as she is the current “development planning manager” according to several recent planning reports. WTF?

The starting point of this waste burying cover up fraud was when officers  decided that no environmental impact assessment would be needed to proceed starting excavations on this site. This post looks at Bishop’s replies to my concerns, and they are bullshit. 

“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.”

Substantial earthworks had occurred moving over a metre from the border with George Wood Avenue- houses which should never have been built, except as a consequence of another bent planning application, which was in fact decided by the idiots at Bristol after the council had actually grown a set of balls and objected.

The latter two documents , the officers report and the decision notice I will look at below, and they both raise substantial questions.

Firstly the decision notice which was passed on 9th March, except that for the planning meeting which took place on this night, the application was not even on the delegated list that had been presented to the committee!

Applications Determined Under Delegated Powers

THIS IS VERY SUSPICIOUS INDEED, AND IMPLIES THAT THIS IS A GHOST APPROVAL. WHY IS IT ABSENT FROM THE LIST? 

DC_21_66208-GRANT_PERMISSION_SUBJECT_TO_CONDITIONS-1183876

The application was approved, (not by the councillors),  with 8 conditions.

Aside from the usual standards about not inconveniencing local residents, LOL , there are two which are of note.

You will note that on the list of submitted documents on the public council website, the comments of the CRT WERE NOT ON THERE. This raises the question as to what the Canal and Rivers Trust had objected to about the application, and therefore why at this point the application was not referred by Carl Mercer to the committee?

Obviously there appears to have been some horse trading going on behind the scenes between Rhodia/Solvay’s agents and the CRT, but why should SMBC and its officers allow this to continue out of the pubic gaze when they have a job to do? THEIR JOB IS NOT TO SECURE PLANNING PERMISSION FOR PRIVATE COMPANIES BY THE BACK DOOR. 

THE ORIGINAL COMMENTS SUBMITTED BY THE CRT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUT ON THE WEBSITE, AND TAKEN AS AN OBJECTION FROM THIS STATUTORY CONSULTEE, IF THEY HAD ANY. 

The reason given for this condition is also elaborated on, together with the policy ENV4 CANALS from the dire BCCS.

Obviously, the CRT believed that “harm” could or would be caused to this fake remediation scheme in the manner in which Rhodia/Solvay were intending, which is the application that had been submitted back in October. The policy is also set out for clarity.

The plans for this site do not include any opportunity regards canal improvements. They also do not take into account the buried canal basins- likely filled with toxic waste. (I will raise this point again further on.)

The second document , the officers report is below.

DC_21_66208-OFFICER_NOTES-1183299

It is claimed that TWO objections were received, and the reasons stated are below.

NB, NO REFERENCE IS MADE TO THE CRT ORIGINAL COMMENTS OR OBJECTIONS, OR POLICY ENV4 CANALS. 

So this does suggest that the CRT DID have objections, and yet a period of haggling outside of public scrutiny appears to have overcome this obstacle. THIS IS IMPORTANT, AS THREE OBJECTIONS, AND ONE FROM A STATUTORY CONSULTEE WOULD HAVE MEANT THIS APPLICATION WOULD HAVE GONE TO COMMITTEE AND NOT BEEN DELEGATED BY ONE PERSON. 

On this basis, and with the timescale appearing to have suited Rhodia/Solvay, this planning matter is corrupt, and it shows how the whole planning process is corrupt when large companies can change their comments from the original ones and sweet talk objectors with further information out of the public eye.

As for the CRT, I have long had misgivings about this  organisation as a charity, and why they should remain powerful in this regard concerning planning matters.  They do appear to care more about angling and the advancement of polluting floating diesel snails than wildlife and the effects on the damage that these two activities cause which keeps its “charity” afloat. As “British Waterways” , they were even worse and were complicit with the applicants in the dumping of toxic wastes into rattlechain, this site- The Gower tip, as well as a stack of others of their own along the BCN network. It is a joke of a policy on which they now comment as statutory consultee when the biggest polluters to the canal system were their predecessor public funded organisation. THEY TOO ARE NO DOUBT HAPPY TO BURY THEIR PART IN THIS DISGUSTING TOXIC WASTE DUMPING EVIL AND THE LEGACY THEY HAVE MADE. 

  • The “relevant professionals” is a misnomer in itself regarding this site.

The statement that the River Tame runs a “safe distance from the site” shows how retarded they are in that they appear to not know that there is a direct pathway via the frequently polluted Brades Brook. We have seen pollution through Sheepwash Nature Reserve on a number of occasions, and the EA are fully aware of incidents when they have sent out Severn Trent to deal with them via the STW owned asset. Curiously, there is no mention of this serial polluters comments in the officers report, who are also a statutory consultee.

The rest of these relevant objections are brushed over without any debate- it was apparent that no mention of the waste history that I gave was even mentioned, because it would obviously raise difficult questions for these dick heads to answer.

  • I have no idea as to who the other objector was, but here is the objection I made on behalf of The Friends of Sheepwash Nature Reserve.- In November when the matter should have been decided and not kicked into extra time to subvert the process.

 

This report almost reads as though it were written by the applicants themselves, and one wonders whether it was!

Obviously when I saw this crap on the council website I immediately raised concerns via a local councillor and have also brought it to the attention of the Chair of planning in the hope that such delegated decisions on contentious sites like this are not air brushed in the way that this application has been.

Sandwell council are on a very big radar at present, with planning matters historically along with parks being one hell of a giant bogey stain on democracy and legitimate governance.

This was the crap response I received, which raises more questions about the process. There is no name attached as to who responded from the council.

“About your concerns about the handling of the planning application ref: DC/21/66208 – Proposed remediation works including re-profiling of site, installing cap above underlying waste material to uplift site by 1.4m, with new sub-surface cut off boundary wall along eastern boundary and landscaping, I would respond as follows:-

Our neighbour notification letter states that we are unable to confirm receipt of representations, however the officer’s report clearly reference the objections received and considers these as part of the decision.

The council wrote to 29 residents in total and received two objections.  The Council’s delegation’s agreement states that officers have delegated powers when less than three objections from members of the public have been received.  As this was the case the decision was made by the planning officer under delegated powers.

Relevant statutory consultees were also consulted, for example Public Health (contaminated land), Environment Agency and Canals and River Trust.  In their final response, the Canals and River Trust raised no objection and requested appropriate conditions to be attached to the decision notice, which were actioned.

Subject to compliance with data protection (GDPR) I shall also arrange for the comments made by the Canals and River Trust to be made public in the interests of transparency.” 

  • If two objections were received , were these from the 29 residents written to, or does it include the FOS one which I made in addition, which would make the magic 3 number?
  • Note that “in their final response” the CRT made no objections, so again this appears to suggest that they DID have objections originally and that at this time this application should have been referred to the planning committee, and not delegated by one person.
  • The response states that the missing comments would be uploaded, “in the interests of transparency”. I would question why they were not in the first instance, given that this appears to have extended the application beyond its original target determination date? 

On returning to the website, it appears that six new previously missing documents have thus appeared, including the communications between The CRT and Rhodia/Solvay’s agents- and do note the dates of these.

I will look at these in turn, firstly a noise comments response from SMBC officers which is fairly pointless. We all know that this will inconvenience local residents with many vehicles entering the site on a daily basis for most of the day. This will be however the least of their problems compared to dusts and chemicals emitted from the site! These are silent killers which will not give off alarms or pap their horns, but SMBC et al do not give a shit about such matters, or even want the matter debated in the interests of “public health”.

DC_21_66208-PUBLIC_HEALTH_-_NOISE-1186898

The environment agency response can be read below, and is their usual vague green light.

DC_21_66208-ENVIRONMENT_AGENCY-1186897

 

They appear to love these cosy little meetings where the public are excluded and have no say or can ask questions. As for the “manage and reduce the possible impacts to all receptors from their closed landfill beneath” , has that ship not fucking sailed after 30 years of failure to ensure that there were no  possible impacts to all receptors when the imbeciles at Sandwell council allowed the licence to be surrendered?

The EA claim that a risk assessment was carried out in 2015 concerning potential off site receptors, again “modelled” and not a real picture. When conditions are changed in this real world however the EA will not be there to monitor them as the impotent waste of space that they are.

This response is written by a planner and does not consider the chemistry of the site or even address “the wastes materials”  as they call them. How convenient for all concerned who want the knowledge of these buried forever.

As for the nitty gritty of this matter regards the CRT, it becomes apparent that although the correspondence put up by the council is titled “initial comments”, that the dated letter of  22nd January 2022 is in fact no such thing, and that the CRT had obviously written on this subject and application prior to this, so much for the transparency there eh?

DC_21_66208-CANAL_AND_RIVER_TRUST_-_INITIAL_COMMENTS-1186895

In fact the letter shows that Carl Mercer had provided them with “additional information”, but his correspondence and theirs is not shown on the planning documents.

 It is clear that the trust HAD OBJECTIONS- BECAUSE OF “INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION”, even it appears with Mercer’s help. They also state that they would like more information, but at this late stage how long should an application be kept open, and why should a public servant be the umpire between a private sector company and a “charity”, always it seems on the side of presumed development unless there is a compelling reason to refuse? In this case there was because the CRT were not happy about the application as supplied. Why should it not have been determined on this basis, when already known to Mercer that there were already two objections? I wonder if this information had also been passed on to the applicants BEFORE the close of the determination date? 

The trust had concerns about the proximity to the canal and the proposed new structures- obviously as a pathway could be created that was not there previously. They are also concerned about the integrity of the canal border with the site. It is noted that the EA did not even consider this matter, as evidence by their pathetic response above.

The following passage is also clear evidence that some form of dialogue had been ongoing BEFORE this letter and these were not their “initial comments.”

“We would also reiterate our previous comments…..which do not appear to have been addressed.

 

We do see what these were, thanks to the CRT.  🙂

They specifically mention that there is no evidence that the canal basins are clay lined.

On February 16th 2022, ERM respond to these CRT objections- let’s call “insufficient information ” that because that is what they have stated. If they had no objections to start with then Mercer could have closed the application down by delegated powers by this date.

It appears that the CRT comments were passed on, and that a telephone conversation also took place between the planning officer and the agents of Rhodia/Solvay. This type of running commentary on objections and ways of overcoming them I find totally perverse and an abuse of the planning system. Remember, I had also contacted this officer about specific information about this site, not least that the agents had lied about the site history in the declaration, and yet none of my valid questions or concerns were put forward or answered by these lying bastards.

DC_21_66208-APPLICANT_RESPONSE_TO_CRT-1186914

  • ERM state that there is  waste material near to the canal which is to be excavated. They do not state what this material is or whether it has been analysed for specific chemicals. If it poses no current risk then what is the point of capping it so long after licence surrender?
  • There is total vagueness about the condition of the canal boundary, but leave it till the contractor is on site after the application has been approved.
  • ERM provide several diagrams which look good on paper. They did the same with rattlechain and lied about the composition of barrelled waste in the sediment and its close proximity to the surface, and not at the bottom of it as they drew.
  • There is no way on earth that ERM can claim that waste tipping operations of Albright and Wilson et al including the British Waterways Board did not extend to infilling the canal basins. They claim that the basins are outside of current site, but this was the same fraud used concerning rattlechain where the current Autobase site included a large section of land where tipping would have taken place that was once within the site before licensing.
  • The two so called “attenuation ponds” used in sites such as The Eagle River Flats for dealing with phosphorus wastes are to be 3.16metres and 2.80 metres deep. that appears to be a hell of a lot of surface water to me!

DC_21_66208-CANAL_AND_RIVER_TRUST_-_FINAL_COMMENTS-1186894

The CRT replied briefly to these comments on 3rd March 2022. No sooner then had the green light been given to removing their objection, the officer report appears to have been written and the matter avoiding being submitted to the next planning committee just 6 days later. 

No questions asked about the materials allowed to be tipped and which lie beneath the Gower Tip awaiting to be disturbed on a site where houses now border and where capping may produce more issues. NO OFFICER OF ANY ORGANISATION WILL ANSWER REASONABLE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS HISTORIC BURIED LEGACY, AND LIKE THE APPLICANTS AND THEIR AGENTS THEY ARE YELLOW FUCKING COWARDS IN THIS REGARD. 

So there it is, and once again the waste dumpers dodge answering any difficult questions about historic waste. It is becoming a national standard facilitated by officers of multiple Governmental  quangos and local Government officers. THEY ARE A TOTAL DISGRACE AND THEY DO NOT SERVE THE PUBLIC OR THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION THAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO.  

 

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Albright’s toxic archives #36 p4 fire x2 burns 1

 

 

 

This post proves two things. One, that Albright and Wilson as a company were totally incompetent at handling and storing this destructive chemical weapon, particularly it seems under the management in the 80’s and early 1990’s of the abysmal Peter Bloore. Two, that its workforce were liable to be seriously injured as a result of this corporate negligence, so what hope for the wider community’s safety, when at this time the bespectacled snake and his PR team was actively attempting to paint such a wonderful picture of this “benevolent” and  historic Oldbury company?

I have previously looked at why white phosphorus burns, and another incident where a worker was burnt in the 1970’s. 

The article comes from The Sandwell Evening Mail of 17th June 1986. 

I am aware of who the identity of this person was, and they appear to have featured in a corporate AW video about safety– implying that it was the workers fault he got burnt, which I do not believe to be the case.  

“REMEMBER, PHOSPHORUS ALLOWS NO SECOND CHANCES”

I did a feature on this video nasty hypocrisy, which you can read HERE, after which the video posted on youtube mysteriously disappeared, or did it  😛  😆  😆

I would question the claims of Bloore against the actual picture FFS!

As always, the circumstances about these incidents are not very well drawn in the report, and it states that the worker , who I know had worked for this company for over 30 years at this point, came into contact with spilt P4. You would therefore believe that he knew what he was doing and would have been wearing necessary PPE?

As ever, the serial liar Bloore attempts to play down the issue by stating that the shoulder burns were “slight”, but the head burns “thermal”. In other words, they were fucking serious! Also remember that P4 does not just go out when alight, it continues to burn the flesh to the bone, and this workman would have been at serious risk of systemic poisoning, as well as phossy jaw, which AW historically attempted to also play down by monitoring its workforce.

We do not know of what happened to Albright and Wilson’s infamous firemen shams on this occasion, but I have dealt with them in this same year just a few months earlier in another toxic archive HERE.

The professionals at Oldbury were back at the scene just six hours later to attend to the same issue at the same equipment, indicating that it had not been dealt with properly first time, or was faulty to start with?

There would of course be other later incidents involving white phosphorus spillages and fires at the same site, and under the same incompetent stewardship.

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The Oldbury Smell- Resurrection

The “cat” that truly appears to have nine lives has returned to the area of Langley!

videos board GIF

Local reporters and social media users have recently noted that the smell of Tom Cat piss is wafting over the area, and dispersing on the wind in multiple directions. The area around Langley green train station in particular  and Western Road would appear to be at the epicentre of the foul moggie, and has left people feline not very happy.  😥

In the style of my hero, the journalist  Jack Macgee , I decided to take to the area using the highly scientific “sniff test”; indeed I consider myself to be a man with “a very particular set of smells”.

Hannibal Lecter GIF

I even put on a white coat and self titled myself “Dr”, whilst preparing the necessary mathematical equations known as ” Hannibal’s constant.”

On stepping off the train, the doors opened abruptly, and I was instantly hit with the pussy bouquet. There were also the odours of bonfires and curry munching going on a little further which added to the palate.

By chance I bumped into a Sandwell council environmental officer there on an unconnected matter, and he told me that the council were investigating the matter. He also told me that he was from the Langley area and back in the 1960’s remembered the vile odours coming out of the Trinity Street cat flap.

Another canal local also recalled the odour, and stated that it had “gone away” and relocated to Whitehaven at some point. He was unsure if it had returned.

An almost deserted carpark, but is puss hiding in the boot of one of them?

A couple of local suspects caught my eye, but they were quickly eliminated from my enquiries.

Onward I sniffed around Park Lane, and noted the demolition wastes lying around former AW buildings. Had one of these deconstructions accidently dug up a long forgotten sleepless malice hidden in the piles? Have the council considered this- they approved the works after all?  😡

Where are you hiding Mr pussy cat?

Oh and look what else I spied with my little eye, something beginning with P- a white phosphorus unloading event from two tanks.

This is where they keep the really nasty chemicals.

Toxic, flammable and a hazard to the environment, but dump it in “small amounts” under water in the open air a few hundred metres away- no problem.

But still I didn’t see Tom.

Green mist began to gather around Trinity Street as the air was filled with the pungent odour. Darkness was falling and so was all hope. I was getting desperate by now, so decided to try to invoke the gatekeeper at Park Lane by choosing a destructor in traveller form; something which just popped in there, something harmless from childhood that might tempt out the sinister four legged terror- the God awful leftie poetaster and former Tom herself- The Angelou bird.

But the sentinel chicken caged bird didn’t work and ran off down Tat Bank Road with its tail between its legs.  😥

I only had one hope left, it was time to bring out The Big GUNN, quite literally.

Ouija Board Halloween GIF by GIPHY Studios Originals

 

I assembled my apparatus and prepared for the exorcism of the Langley Tom. I made a picture of the legend Mrs Gunn who had originally slayed the beast back in the 1950’s using her withered bush.

I was not privy to the shrubs from this lady’s garden, but took a couple of twigs from the nearby greenery where I hid and made a symbolic crucifix adorned with her image. Watching all those Ray Mears programmes had obviously been worth it.

 

” THE POWER OF GUNN  COMPELS YOU!”

” THE POWER OF GUNN  COMPELS YOU!”

” THE POWER OF GUNN  COMPELS YOU!

 THE POWER OF GUNN  COMPELS YOU!”

THE POWER OF GUNN  COMPELS YOU!

” THE POWER OF GUNN  COMPELS YOU!”

A faint rumbling ensued, followed by more green mist, and then the smell was slain. I had finally vanquished the Oldbury Smell…. or so I thought…. as a new demonic off site release rose out from the ground in a puff of garlic laced white smoke….

See the source image

WHITE PHOSPHOPUS……

 

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The Dudley BUGgers- A council’s Black Country Plan fix

 

It has recently been announced that this useless document which sets out proposals for building yet more houses over the next several years to 2039 attracted thousands of comments- most I would imagine in objection. It was also revealed that most of these came from within the borough of Dudley itself!

This is perhaps not a surprise when this council itself was responsible for the publication and processing of said useless plan. It is clear to me that the fact that they put out a flyer to every household in their borough, whereas at least with Sandwell, this council did not, that the councillors in Dudley were intent on ensuring maximum vocal opposition to proposals so that they could then turn round at a later date to remove “controversial” proposals from within their own back yard. It is playing to the gallery, and there were no shortage of moments throughout the process where Dudley councillors were whipping up public opinion to make this happen.

Indeed, the latest stop press headline sees this council removing two such sites from the plan, before this even happens. I would imagine that this was the plan all along, conveniently timed just two months before local elections, where they can claim to have “listened to the people” etc.  😡

The plan is therefore to not build houses in Dudley, and fuck the rest of the Black Country and West Midlands; they can have them there.

I have looked before at the statistics regards land areas in the four black country boroughs and populations from the last census in 2011, and I doubt that these will have changed much when the 2021 census becomes available in terms of the dire population density compared with other areas in the West Midlands and the country.

Source: office of national statistics

Source: office of national statistics

2011 census figures

Sandwell has the highest density of population living in any of the Black country boroughs and the highest density per hectare. This is demonstrated by the 2011 census figures – Sandwell has 36 people per hectare compared with the West Midlands and National figure of just 4. Nature conservation it seems is also shrinking as more so called “brownfield land” , that has re-wilded is usurped for this purpose.

The Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust did an excellent response to this nonsense, and I will be looking more at this, including their objections to land around rattlechain in another post.

Draft Black County Plan Full Consultation Response – WTBBC_6 (1)

Sandwell council appears intent on destroying green space and building houses, such as the bent deal at Friar park with the former Severn Stench land. They want more council tax as they hike up the bill by 4.99% per household, and the crumbs from Government, (sorry our tax payers money) , only becomes music to their ears when getting hand outs from Tonka’s combined authority for so called “clean up”.

I have taken one aspect of Street’s hand outs to The Information commissioner regards land at Shidas Lane, where a proxy appears to have facilitated money being given by grant for land owned by a Jersey Registered company which was formerly the Accles and Pollock waste lagoon.  This is deeply suspicious and goes against Mayor Street’s own claims about not approving of tax avoidance schemes. We shall see if his office are forced to reveal how much was paid out, but be in no doubt, I will take this all the way to reveal what has gone on here, and also ask questions as to why Walsall council appear to have a stake in the land in Sandwell.

Come the summer when the next stage of this “plan” comes out, it is your duty if you do not live in Dudley to ensure that your voice is heard. Bone idleness and leave it to someone else is not an option here in Sandwell. The councillors are not on your side, they are on their own side and will not speak out for you. Prove me wrong, but we shall see…..

 

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The life of Arthur Albright- Liberal truths are none at all

Thou was a complete tosser…

 

There is nothing more perverse to me than the Liberal mindset. It is a thinking based on some noble large intention, but the problem for the Liberal is that it is completely unobtainable and doomed to failure in the real world. The Liberal however cannot and will not see that, blindly believing that their big idea trumps all others and that by persuasion, (or brainwashing), a tiny few can sway the opinion of the many, particularly if they have the money to do so.

They are also fond of unions, the EU being a prime example, but like all unions they are grossly unequal and based on a pyramidal system of hierarchy, where the Liberal elite can make the most money from their place at the summit. The wealth does not cascade down at all to those at the bottom, but they bizarrely actually believe that they are doing “good” in the world through “philanthropy” and helping the poor by attempting to change their behaviour . It becomes even more misplaced when they also attach some religious benevolence to it in “doing God’s work” through secret societies.

To a Liberal when they look in the mirror, they truly believe they are seeing the face of God. A free press, individualism and non conformity that they preach is a smokescreen for “do it my way or it’s the highway for you.” Modern day pricks like Justin Trudeau show how when you scratch a Liberal, what you find is a hypocritical despotic Fascist.

#BlackfaceHitler Liberal twat-A theme we shall return to at the end of this post with these warped thinkers…

And so to Arthur Albright (b 1811), one of many of the fake religion of Quakers, (they are not, just a society of Liberal business friends), who I have alluded to before were about family capitalist monopolies. This post is based on a very difficult to find book written after his death in 1900 entitled “notes on his life”. It is a year by year summary of his dealings and is compiled by his family. The rough page edging in the 162 numbered  volume shows that it appears to have been handmade and guillotined and cut to fit. Bizarrely, it often calls Albright “Our Father”, as though he has somehow been elevated to deity status.

Some of this was shortened into the company history of Albright and Wilson some 50 years later, but this primary source is more interesting and complete. It contains anecdotes and some of the writings of “AA” himself, punctuated with “thees” and “thous” throughout, as the weirdos spoke in this way.

Albright was born in Oxfordshire, one of ten children to William and Rachael Albright.

After an apprenticeship in his uncles shop, Albright pottered about before joining his brother in law Edmund Sturge in Birmingham as a manufacturing chemist. In 1844 he decided to produce the ghastly phosphorus, then used for matches. This was started in Selly Oak in the City using imported bone ash from South America. At this time he was already “friendly” with other dark side Quakers like the Lloyds and the Cadbury’s.

One of the relations of the Lloyds was his future wife Rachael Stacey whom he married in 1848. They banged out 8 kids between 1849 and 1861, including the revolting blood sport enthusiast George (girls name) Albright. Indeed, both the families appear to have revelled in this elite savagery, as I have outlined HERE.

Quaker star crossed lovers

 

MEET THE FUCKERS….

They lived at addresses in the posh part of Birmingham, including the pretentiously named “Mariemont” in Edgbaston. This would have been a very different set of digs to the shithole smog abodes of Oldbury where their workforce toiled.

Production switched here largely based on the canal shipment lines, and it is claimed that Albright himself perused the BCN. Railway lines were also to prove advantageous, and this family and that of his partner in grime would be strongly associated with the GWR lines.

Arthur’s big USP was red phosphorus, which he learned of after meeting an Austrian professor. This amorphous phosphorus was not as poisonous as yellow(white phosphorus) and did not spontaneously combust in air at room temperature. Says the book;

“This branch of the business was pursued not only with the hope of profit, but because , in our father’s opinion, it would benefit mankind by securing a match both better and safer than the ordinary one. “ Yeah sure.  😡

The exhibition of this material coincided with the move to Oldbury in 1851. Though the partnership with his uncle ended in 1855, his new one with John Wilson did not in fact begin in 1851 as claimed. Wilson also married Rachael Albright’s sister, and so we can see here as to how these people operated in family circles, as well as inter cousin marrying.

Albright travelled extensively around the world on business; supposedly so his family claim, they packed him off when he became depressed in that he could not change and mould the world into his thinking.

Claims are made about his man of peace and his heroics as well as his involvement with ending slavery and campaigning for those who were supposedly “freed men” after The American Civil War. I have looked at this however in context, as the Liberal in him would have seen economic opportunity.

The real mask about his altruism and that of his family fanbase is however laid bare towards the end of his life when the cult gathered to celebrate his and Rachael’s Golden Wedding Anniversary. A bizarre ritual pantomime is described complete with verse and theatrics. The sickness sees his grandchild Colin Scott-Moncrieff Jnr dress up, and I have no doubt blacked up as “an African negro.”

Furthermore other seed of his children dress up as “gardening” and “hospitality”. So in this regard, the whole continent of Africa and its people are accessories and plaything pastimes comparable in value to his and his wife’s interests.

To allow a child to act out such a fantasy shows the type of “moral” calibre of this Liberal cult. It is further evidence of how this political sickness champions its own “white saviour complex” , where Arthur Albright is seen as saving a whole continent based on letters he had written to other white men, and played out as a role play part by his own white grandchild.

It is not in letters that Arthur Albright and his endeavours should be defined, but in actions like this. In creating a vile polluting factory in Oldbury and elsewhere that was used in war purposes, he gave nothing to the areas in life and in death.

As to his legacy, what is extraordinary is the fate of two of these grandchildren of his in later life. The son of revolting George , Martin (Toby), was killed in fighting in Palestine in 1917. I very much doubt that his Grandfather would have approved, and yet such martyrdom would see him declared a “hero” by the Liberal class, even though he was little more than a 20th Century Crusader in such lands under the guise of The British Empire’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

The fate of young Colin, the Caucasian “African Negro”, is even more poetic. Initially his death in Egypt in 1908, just 10 years after his blacking up performance in Edgbaston, was wrongly attributed to be his father, who was involved for many years under British Empire guise to be a civil engineer.

Colin the younger appears to have got a cushy job, all through his father’s connections and “friends” of course, but appears to have fallen foul of African indigenous peoples at the hands of the dervishes.  😆 The Kinross-shire Advertiser of 9th May 1908 details what was then known.

This Oxford man it appears had travelled to  “Afric’s sunny fountains” in order to keep the locals in line- particularly the Islamic Mahdi. So much for campaigning against slavery and oppression like his Grandfather eh,  😆  😆  😆 How dare the natives of a country occupied by British invasion have a belief system that was frowned upon by such Liberal thinking men.  😆 (GET MY POINT ABOUT “LIBERALS”?)

Of course , the “savages” under the command of Sheikh Abdel Kader (yes that appears to have really been his name) are portrayed as such whilst the white knight from England was engaging in “peace”. The romancing of his death is told by his own father in another article from the  16th June 1908 Civil & Military Gazette (Lahore). Obviously this also served as a propaganda exercise, as all war stories do about “gallant” and noble deaths.

I think it is quite extraordinary that one cult should say of another “crush them instantly before they attain any size”. It perhaps once again underlines my point about how these people really think of others in terms of interventionist foreign policy and the hypocrisy that went with it. 

“crush them instantly before they attain any size”

The contrast of the man of peace compared to the elected “prophet” is bullshit. Scott-Moncrieff took a pen to a sword fight and got it up him, and he probably didn’t like it up him.  😆  😆  😆

This is what you get Arthur Albright et al for believing in your interventionist Liberal shite and trying to coerce people into your way of thinking. Leave them alone to get on with their lives FFS!

The problem with characters like this is that they become defined by other liberal writers and historians who erase their darker side from history. “Whiter than white” is perhaps the best epitaph for them. They were never “gallant” and they were never “heroes”. Theirs is a his-story eulogy and they are always Liberal with the truth. 

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