So to the inevitable Sandwell cabinet head nod to their planning officers ludicrous “garden city” proposals, part of which includes building more houses next to rattlechain lagoon on land still heavily contaminated itself as part of a housing allocation scheme.
Back in August, a petition signed and in the large part directed by people living in the surrounding streets of the site in question was handed in at Sandwell council house. For a focussed petition, this was a large one. BE IN NO DOUBT THAT THERE IS NEAR UNIVERSAL LOCAL OPPOSITION TO BUILDING HOUSES ON THIS SITE.
“The Garden city” is a con, and I have gone into the reasons why before, but in this post I want to look at some of the claims made in the SMBC joke consultation which were presented to the cabinet on Wednesday.
“Proposals to encourage a more sustainable living environment have been developed by using Garden City Principles, which focus on quality of life and society living harmoniously with nature….”
Thus is Hayley Insley’s claim – “senior planning regeneration officer” responsible for this report, and also the officer supposedly tasked with dealing with our petition. Just to add that I was not informed of this cabinet meeting and when this long standing consultation report would be delivered and where it would also be “discussed” and even “considered” by Sandwell’s executive.
“This will increase usage of the natural open spaces by walking and cycling therefore assisting in improving the health of residents and visitors.”
Yes I am sure that residents in this area will have their health improved, such as those who raised health concerns when the tipping of foundry sand was occurring during the 1990’s and who were totally ignored by Sandwell council’s arrogant environmental health and planning officers.
“we were told we would have 100 lorries a day for two years to clear the land. 9 years on it still is not finished….”
One may therefore ask the question- how long will it take to remove the overtipped foundry sand to create “the garden city” ?
It is revealed in Insley’s report that just 13 representations were received to the “Dudley Port” plan, possibly because many people on the estate where the controversial developments are situated live in Oldbury B69. This process as I have stated before was never a consultation as it was not disseminated in such a manner.
Take for example Insley who attended the Victoria park open day on a stall (half way through the “consultation” process) – organised by the so called “Deputy leader” of Sandwell council for which she and her closed self benefitting separatist group receive public donations. TIPTON IS NOT THE AREA WHERE THE PEOPLE OF TEMPLE WAY LIVE, AND SO IS IT ANY WONDER THAT THIS EVENT ATTRACTED SUCH LITTLE IMPUT?
“Officers attended the Victoria Park Open Day in Tipton on 23 July 2017 to engage with residents and promote the aims of the Dudley Port Supplementary Planning Document.”
“Engage” with local residents who lived over a mile away!
The use of social media and comments do not reflect wide consultation, and the fact that 385 people signed this petition- the vast majority who live in streets like Gladstone Drive, Law Close, Eden Close, Callaghan Drive and Wilson Drive appears to have gone unnoticed in the officer report. The 385 are 385 comments rejecting Insley’s report and the Garden City- that is a fact ignored and one which this authority does at its own peril.
“There were also a number of comments received via Facebook which reached 21,082 people, had 34 shares and 38 likes. “
THIS DOES NOT MEAN THEY “LIKE” THE PROPOSALS FOR FUCKS SAKE!
As it is, the comments received apart from the grotesque non local “Natural England”- an organisation of animal serial killers chaired by a Tory party donor and former housing developer, no one appears to want this nonsense. Despite the concerns of local residents who will bear the brunt of any of this fairy dust rubbish , Insley and co simply bat away any negative comments.
Take for example this one-
“Objects to the development of 250 homes at
Rattlechain due to current congestion on the local roads and the potential to increase this. There has already been a loss of open space with the development of Palmerston Drive. The Rattlechain lagoon still presents a hazard despite the remedial work being carried out. Object to the loss of open space alongside the canal and feel the proposals will not improve the access to Sheepwash for residents of Temple Way, will destroy a wildlife corridor and harm Sheepwash Nature Reserve. “
“The Rattlechain site is not a proposal of this SPD. It is already an allocated site in the Site Allocations and Delivery DPD (SAD DPD) which was adopted in 2012 and therefore objections to potential development are not relevant. The SAD DPD will commence its revision in 2018 and residents will be able to object to its allocation during that process.”
Relevant comments by local resident Ignored
You can certainly bet that this opportunity will be embraced!
It is also bizarre to note that Sandwell’s planers appear to have not consulted with Sandwell’s own landscape architects in this report, or taken any comments into consideration!
My own comments, on behalf of the Friends of Sheepwash are largely also side stepped about sheepwash and are also troubling, and in some instances downright knowing dishonest lies.
I have been involved with The Friends of Sheepwash as a founder member for twenty years and am the Secretary of this group. I have noted the anti social behaviour and problems that greater development have brought this site, as I have also noted the total lack of interest from Sandwell council and the local Tipton neighbourhood police, particularly its sergeant, in combating such occurrences.
“Meetings were held with relevant bodies prior to preparing the draft SPD. It was not felt that Friends of Sheepwash or any other community groups were required given the extent of experience already present. “
Laugh out loud about the “extent of experience” of those who know fuck all about this site , the area and its contamination history!
It is concerning to The Friends of Sheepwash that the council’s planning department appear to be taking over this site on a daily basis, a fact which was also expressed with concern at a meeting where Parks and countryside officers said basically the same thing- in that they had not been consulted about things going on at sheepwash, and would have done and suggested things more in keeping with the site and more sympathetic to its objectives if they had been.
No matter how they try to spin or deny this, the conflict within departments of this local authority is absolutely raw, laid bare and exposed by this type of document. IT CAN NOT BE HIDDEN AND IS CLEAR.
Most concerning is the loss of nature that these proposals offer, the severance of the nature corridor and the threat of more people equalling less wildlife. More children more dogs, more anti social behaviour equals loss of the very thing that Sandwell council set out to achieve in the early 80’s with a creation of a nature site. We also see the loss of such initiatives of “the canals for communities” project which ran in the early 2000’s , now seemingly all lost in this rebranded “Garden City” bad joke.
One comment in particular needs instant rebuttal and challenge to a fact which I reported in this consultation.
“Objects to the Sheepwash site being promoted as a “country park” as this will lead to
more crime and vandalism and less nature. Concerned about the lack of maintenance throughout the area, especially with the blocking of two Rights of Way by landowners east of Rose Lane. “
“The Rights of Way at Rose Lane is (sic) accessible.”
This is not the case. Two rights of way have been buried. I have been in dialogue with the rights of Way officer at Sandwell Council about this matter for around 18 years , straight after the event had happened, but this predates operations that had already been undertaken without authority previously. The right of way to Macdonald Close was substantially buried and a cowboy zig-zag path up to the canal supposedly created to accommodate this. There was no lawful diversion of this route, it was unlawful.
For whatever reason, and I believe it to be purely litigious in trying to amend the appalling overtipped crap of foundry sand, Sandwell council have failed to act to protect their asset over this time and pursue the blocker.
This mound of sand and the material is utter shit and makes for appalling foundations. It has slid substantially because the material is crap ,and this has nothing to do with motorbikes being responsible for subsidence, which I would note the alleged owner of this private land has totally failed to stop by not securing the site over this time.
Sandwell council planers, without any consultation with parks and countryside or the friends of sheepwash decided to remove a perfectly good motorcycle barrier at Rose Lane tunnel and replace it with a crap one that facilitated motor bike access onto sheepwash.
The tunnel itself was also cleared of the foundry sand crap at tax payers expense, and not the polluter who dumped it in this area- there appears to be an emerging theme here. The local police have stated they were unable to pursue foot chases through this area before it was cleared because of the soiled nature of the mudbath/foundry sand in the structure. It also destroyed and blocked the drainage creating a massive puddle at Northern entrance onto sheepwash- which once again the council had to pay out on to clear.
But look at the evidence which speaks for itself about how this unstable foundry sand is blighting this area, as only a few months later it has slid back and covers several inches once again.
This picture above was taken on 18/3/2016. It clearly shows a new concreted pathway and the motor cycle barrier.
This picture above was taken on 7/7/2017. It demonstrates how this unstable foundry sand has slid back into the tunnel, and now occupies almost half the length of the tunnel again underfoot.
A line in the foundry sand crossed
Clearly Sandwell’s planners are creating opportunities for growth in this area, growth for those who have blighted the area over many, many years.
Dirty, dirty money of the dirtiest variety
THE CABINET MEETING.
And so to Insley’s report presented by Cabinet member Paul Moore– Tom Watson MP’s employed parliamentary assistant and councillor for Hateley Heath. I didn’t attend this meeting, and I wouldn’t even if I had been available as I pretty much knew that it would be nothing other than a head nodding affair. Given that it was held at 3.30pm in the afternoon, I’m sure that this time makes it easy for those with families on the Temple Way estate to have got to it also. 😥
As I have a real job that involves physical work, I would not have been able to get there in any case.
Moore, merely read word for word out some of the content in front of them and then asked if anyone had any questions.
It is noted that no elected member for the Oldbury area asked any, which is surprising that a large number of the 385 objectors had concerns about their area they claim to represent. Perhaps next May they may suddenly appear asking for people’s votes in this area and they will remember this fact.
The only hand that rose belonged to Councillor Peter Hughes, of Wednesbury. Hughes and his wife, another councillor were present for half the meeting when I asked questions of Andy Street a couple of weeks ago about this specific document. They stormed out of the chamber like silly little children at a point where a local blogger asked a question about widespread officer and councillor corruption in Sandwell council. It is curious to note that in his role of alleged “scrutiny” ,that Hughes did not use this opportunity to question anything which I had said or factual points I made at the Mayor event , but instead appears to do so at this particular meeting, no doubt emboldened by the fact that he was surrounded by his Labour party colleagues- where no one appears to have any right to ask any questions.
Spitting his dummy
It appears that I am now in “The Voldermort” club, that is I am a name which must not be mentioned. I consider this to be a badge of honour and I am in esteemed and incorruptible company.
Hughes stated in his outburst
“This particular person repeated this type of allegation or assertion at a public meeting just over a week ago”
He makes reference to the fact that the petition which I had presented, which people living in the area affected had signed had factually stated that the area was saturated in housing. As mentioned above, people made this statement in the 13 comments noted in Insley’s report.
I take my facts from the official census for 2011, which confirms that Sandwell is the most densely populated black country borough with 36 people per hectare compared with the West Midlands and national average of just 4.
He also questions why I thought that houses should be being built in green belt land – where there are fewer people, and who enjoy a greater quality of life, improved services etc without overcrowding.
But this is I am afraid what Labour councillors like Hughes fail to ever see. They are happy for people living in their areas to live in shit because they themselves can then set up their front austerity “poverty” campaign groups, their fake food bank dependency , and claim it is all somehow the fault of the big bad Government cutting their ever expanding needs and ever cash strapped funds. Like all unions they operate a hierarchy pyramidal system of power kept in check by outsider fear.
Never once does anyone appear to question why this local abomination of a labour controlled authority is unable to live within its means yet seeks to impoverish its citizens with more house building and reduced open space. Reduced open space never creates health opportunities and it certainly does not create wildlife habitat.
The sum total of Hughes “scrutiny” concern appears to be centred around “demand” for housing in the Tipton area. Of course, he fails to notice that the area in question is in Oldbury. This is another noticeable trait of the so called socialists. Oh how they preach about “poverty”, yet how in action they facilitate Capitalist house builder industries for profit.
Looking at the Hughes declaration of interest, it appears that their offspring works for the housing association Stonewater. Housing associations are that strange tax payer funded liability which have benefitted from the fake “housing crisis” claim of the construction lobby and their political facilitators. Any “crisis”, and with so many empty homes in private rented hands in Sandwell already is only a crisis for those seeking avarice from the private rented sector. It is their demand that wants new homes. Who in their right mind would want to demand living on contaminated land?
Stonewater have partnered with Sandwell council and have numerous links with Barratt home sites, they who built on the former shit works which are now Callaghan and Wilson Drives. Of course BARRATT homes appear to not have fully informed their house buyers of rattlechain lagoon and what lay on their doorstep, history lost of course and equally facilitated by the removal of the hazardous waste notice at the front gate when their houses were being marketed.
No doubt that Barratt homes is being courted here, and perhaps it is envisaged that a certain housing association may be facilitated so long as a devolution deal – our public money can facilitate this capitalist “regeneration corridor ” scheme.
I have yet to see any executive decisions by Sandwell labour which do not in some way seek to benefit their councillors, their offspring, their cronies, or organisations and so called “charities” to which they have connections.
Moore stated in reply to Hughes question
“I don’t concur with that petition”.
Well it is what local people have said, and if you want to overrule them and create a “local plan” which ignores them then so be it.
Never at any time are decisions made in Sandwell to benefit local people, and in this case, this proposal appears to benefit an individual whom I believe currently resides in Shelsley Beauchamp in Malvern Worcestershire. No doubt demand for housing is desirable there, but powers that be prevent themselves from releasing land. I’m sure there are plenty of places and open space in this area where foundry sand could be tipped in numerous quantities to facilitate house building growth- I just wonder why it hasn’t happened in this particular area to date?
Be in no doubt that at any opportunity which arises, this scheme will be opposed locally, even if Sandwell Labour are intent of reintroducing urban sprawl which destroys the historic boundaries of Tipton and Oldbury to create opportunities for the house builders and their allies.
“To date no scheme has been submitted to overcome the viability and remediation issues and the site remains an allocated residential site until the SAD DPD is reviewed and the site is assessed. “
Of course, myself and others will continue to remind developers about the weaknesses of this site, and those which Insley and Co omit in the Garden City rubbish gloss.
A “wet tip” which systemically poisons birds with a banned rat poison- present in tens of tonnes.
Land which contains unsanctioned waste of industrial polluters of the local chemical industry, asbestos and materials hazardous to human health.
It should finally be remembered that when the sewage works at Callaghan and Wilson drives was cleared, the waste was simply layered into this site that is now being touted for residential development. Now buried further with rubble and foundry sand.
Finally perhaps the last word should be left to a former resident unlucky enough to have bought a house overlooking the rattlechain lagoon. I think this says things better than I can express, and perhaps underlines better why people like Hughes and Moore are completely out of touch concerning “demand”.
Welcome to Mr Jobby’s shite garden