Pointless developments and political deceit
It was most interesting to read the contribution from Roy Colville. However, my impression is that the ‘ball is still in the air’, even years after
numerous committees, advisory groups, Royal Commission reports, plus DETR/DEFRA AQMA designated localities where nothing has been done to assist the excessive pollution being created.
Whilst the ping pong game continues between national and local government which enables responsibility to be shunted around for another generation we will not address the problem because the decision makers have completely run out of ideas, leaving political objectives and non-independent advisory groups to continue deliberately ‘fogging up’ the problems of air pollution.
I have read government-requested reports which totally condemned local councils as being almost illiterate concerning air pollution, its formation and its impact, and even worse was the findings relating to planning officers and their departmental staff who are ‘devoid of effective knowledge’ when considering planning applications which may seriously impact on the air quality in urban areas.
In my conclusion on this important site debate, may I relate briefly my experience when for three months of a public inquiry I almost daily cross-examined planning officers, developers, and technical representatives for ecology, air and noise pollution, transport and modelling methods, environmental assessment and long term sustainability. Without doubt, and obvious to the daily large numbers present, it was clearly proved that being economic with the truth was the agenda to ensure the large planning application was achieved, assisted by the devotion given by the council to the water company site owners, where the council had deposited £27.5million of its investments.
This planning ‘war’ lasted 12 years with appeals, High Court actions by the developers, public inquiries, etc, and over 30,000 people battled for our last remaining green space in this region of Greater Manchester. Our win through the eventual decision of John Prescott who overturned the Inquiry chairman’s decision has been short lived because a back door separate planning application has been ‘organised’ which, although supposedly smaller, is the ‘start of bigger things’ for the developers, and the site owners.
When the obscene overkill of developments is acted upon, some common sense may prevail, because it is obvious that hundreds of thousands of To Let, For Sale, To Rent, etc industrial and commercial properties now litter the UK, and the stampede to develop motorway corridors with developments is leaving vandalised, wrecked and obsolete premises away from the corridors which are then wasted and shabby brownfield sites. This is why developers, landowners, and speculators condemn any environmental concerns, and spend £millions lobbying councils and government who then play their own part in destroying the environment with the resultant air pollution and its effects.
Next time any of the debate participants journey north, visit the M60/M67/A57 interchange locality, and if time permits the adjacent total destruction of hundreds of acres of open spaces where empty developments have eliminated all trees, green areas, and habitat. What for, other than for sleazy deals and obscure benefits?
I have modified my own rhetoric and confirmed findings within my letters but please be assured I have encountered many proven instances of political truth failures, and that’s why after several years of requests no ‘real time air pollution monitoring’ is allowed where 150,000 daily vehicles pass within 80 metres of our homes. I thought the sponsors of this debate may have considered this locality as a research or test bed example
where important research findings could have been objectively considered, but a refusal followed even that request because it appears they only accept Government sponsored research.
So, to all my critics and sceptics, I have tried to reconcile your comments with what I myself have located, confirmed and deliberated upon, and we are miles apart on what reality is like, and I am indebted to several world medical research team principals who correspond with me with data and who wish my efforts success, as they themselves uncover the facts not the rhetoric.
Until the next debate, my sincere regards to all.
John D Hall, UK
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