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GreenN4 & N15

Joine GreenN4 & N15 mailing list

GreenN4 & N15 email list

GreenN4&N15 community group is now organising their campaign strategy and separate email group co-ordinated by Jenny Cooper and Mario Petrou is being established.

As some of you live within this area, you might be interested to join the new group forming by subscribing to their email list.  

To allow this group to grow its autonomy and avoid duplication of information and confusion, GreenN8 will not circulate all of the GreenN4&N15 emails to GreenN8 members, unless meetings are announced or help is requested from our group. This way people may choose to belong to both groups and not get the same emails twice.

If you are interested please:

Concrete Factory potential impact on East Haringey
By Mario Petrou

Concrete Batching Plant

A giant concrete factory about 200m (over 600ft) long may be constructed on an almost 3 acre stretch of land by the railway tracks about 100m behind Wightman Road, at the Ferme Park Depot, Cranford Way, N8, if the developer, London Concrete Ltd, gets its way.

Running at just 50% capacity, the concrete factory expects to receive 2 or 3 approx. 1,400 tonne deliveries of concrete aggregates each week by rail and, with its own site-based fleet of 30-tonne HGVs, make 56 movements on our roads a day delivering mainly environmentally hazardous wet-batch concrete and some of the even more dangerous dry-batch mixes.

In addition, independent hauliers will make an unspecified number of H/MGV movements through our roads every day to collect and transport concrete from the batching plant.

It’s proposed that the concrete factory will run inbetween and parallel to Wightman Road in the east and Uplands Road in the west, and almost touching Hornsey School for Girls in the north and Chettle Court in the south.

The associated dust, HGVs and noise associated with concrete batching plants radiate outwards 360° in all directions raising serious concerns for many nearby roads and businesses and also for several conservation areas on both sides of the railway.

The focus of this article is to highlight the impacts toxic dust and HGVs will have on east Haringey, which is largely unaware of the proposal’s implications.

Toxic Dust

Slap, bang in the middle of our dense residential community the proposal will be responsible for 2 types of toxic, carcinogenic dust, PM10 and PM 75 , via 3 sources. Particles smaller than 10 µm in diameter (PM10) are associated with effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular system, asthma and mortality (death). Larger particles between 10 – 75 µm (PM 75) visible to the naked eye when they accumulate are technically referred to as “nuisance dust”.

The 3 sources of dust originate from the freight train and when it is being unloaded, the concrete factory's operations and from the H/MGVs.

The developers' own dust report shows that west and south-westerly winds blow stronger and more frequently towards east Haringey; that’s why St Ann’s Road and Gardens residents always complain that litter from Green Lanes covers their roads.

Dust dispersion is measured by receptors at sensitive points within a 200 metre radius. In the case of London Concrete's reports, the wind speed and direction are calculated from a wind rose at Heathrow. However, the dust report tries to have it both ways!

First it says Chettle Court, at a measly 70m, is not at risk because the wind blows milder and less frequently in that direction and as it’s up an embankment, the dust will accumulate at the bottom and not disperse uphill (perhaps the phenomenon of updrafts never occurred to the consultants).

Then, having identified Wightman Road, approx. 130 metres, as “the location of potential dust impact” it concludes by saying that the risk is “insignificant”. Do we accept the dust reports conclusions at face value?

Two pre-schools on Wightman Road have not been identified as “sensitive receptors”. South Harringay Infants and Junior Schools are just down the road and North Harringay Primary School is nearby.

Wightman Road is about 70 metres inside the 200 metre footprint impact radius. How far away are our children’s pre-schools and schools from Wightman Road and why weren't they considered in the dust report or consulted by the council?

Isn't it fair to say our children are at potential risk if Wightman Road is at risk from dust dispersal?

If dust can't be blown uphill, can it be blown downhill towards the pre-schools and schools?

It must be noted that traces of particulates over 2,000 years old from Spanish silver smelting and mining works were detected in core ice samples taken from the Arctic. This proves that particulates don't require violent propulsion from exploding volcanoes to travel vast distances and that dust will get blown all around Haringey.

According to the Haringey Health Report 2003, on our “wrong side of the tracks” we die 13.1 years younger than people in the west and suffer from high rates of cancer, heart disease and TB. (It’s a pity that a 5 year study begun in August looking at how traffic pollution (PM10) narrows blood arteries leading to heart attacks isn't available now.)

The Health Report also shows Harringay (& Hornsey) ward has one of the highest hospital admission rates for children with asthma in the borough, that overall Haringey often has above average rates than other boroughs, which presumably means Harringay has one of the highest children’s asthma rates in the country, and it goes on to show St Ann’s ward as having the highest rates for people whose health was not good and for limiting long-term illness.

East Haringey has astonishing HMO/Conversion rates of over 62% , which the council doesn't even acknowledge let alone address, when the UDP states a maximum rate of 20% in specially designated suitable zones. We live in smaller, poorer, overcrowded houses, crime rates are high, youth unemployment is 2_ times the London average (Crime & Drugs Audit 2001-04),and our roads are badly congested and polluted.

The whole of Haringey is declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) on the basis of exceedances for NO2 and PM10 (of over 25%). At the 2nd Development Control Forum in west Haringey on 16.9.04, the developer’s air quality expert described asthma as a “lifestyle illness” caused by “psychological factors” and the Managing Director, Derek Casey, said it was “an amenity for the area” that would have “insignificant impact” on local traffic levels.

HGV Convoys

Suppose the Concrete Factory has a delivery to make off the Great Cambridge Road and Turnpike Lane, as often happens, is traffic-jammed, will the HGVs turn left into residential Hornsey Park Road and go around the houses of Wood Green or take a short cut through Wightman Road, down a lovely one way Ladder road (perhaps Frobisher and past North Harringay Primary School) and then onto Green Lanes, West Green Road and Belmont Road. Or suppose there’s a big job on in Stamford Hill and only one driver knows the way, so the others decide to follow there and back!

We're looking at HGV convoys on Wightman Road, Ladder roads, Green Lanes and St Ann’s Road.

Imagine the house vibrations when the 30 tonne HGVs thunder over the road humps on the Ladder roads, the toxic dust escaping from the mixer and flying all over the place and the damage to the bridges over the New River from Seymour to Umfreville Roads.

Have I mentioned HGVs also pose a serious threat to cyclists, pedestrians and children? Neither does the transport report! Maybe that’s why they’re banned from the streets of Paris!

A single, additional HGV on our roads is an HGV too many. Although HGVs delivering from the batching plant are meant to be staggered by a few minutes and Ladder roads are a declared home-zone and have brand new signage probibiting vehicles over 7.5T, except for access, who’s going to monitor and enforce the law? And if the HGV drivers do abide by it, won’t it just mean they’ll be on our narrow, congested and polluted, highly residential main roads which are the hearts of our community?

No one doubts the sense of a sustainable transport policy, moving freight by rail to reduce national HGV movements but in this instance it’s not a case of nimbyism; the multiple detrimental impacts on people and the environment far outweigh any national benefit.

Besides, Haringey is surrounded by concrete factories, there are three in nearby Edmonton alone and some are rail served.

Indeed, London Concrete Ltd alone has 8 rail served batching plants in and around London and London has a number of concrete suppliers.

Developer’s Reports

Amongst a raft of anomalies, half truths and predictions contained in the dust, noise and transport reports the developer commissioned since 2003, none of them makes any reference to the area to the east beyond Wightman Road.

Haringey Council didn’t carry out independent reports on dust or traffic impacts etc but has relied on the objective veracity of the developer’s reports. However, on instruction from the council, environmental consultant, Casella Stanger, completed a Peer Review on the dust report in Sept 2005. One reconnaissance site visit consisting of a walk around the Ferme Park Depot and to the south and west of it was made. A desk report was then written up by analyzing the methodology and results of the dust report.

Some of the critiques it presents are:

- it doesn’t identify any sources or potential sources of particulate matter in any part of the assessment;
- climatic effect on dust has not been assessed
- site specific dust deposition monitoring hasn’t been carried out;
- uses 10-year-old wind data up to Dec 1995 when more updated information is available;
- analysis of impact potential construction phase dust deposition and PM10 concentrations are not included;
- monitoring results from a similar plant don’t reveal its location;
- the report shifts between quantitative and qualitative methodology (taken with the admission that a conservative screening model was used to measure air quality in the original report, it’s obvious every trick in the book was used to mask straightforward understanding of the data leaving it open to enable flexible interpretation to the developer’s advantage).

It must be noted that the Peer review contains a number of errors such as describing Wightman Road as being in west Haringey and by a misdirection at a crucial point in its conclusions.

What has Happened Recently?

A public meeting was hastily organised in late August at the Salisbury pub on 5th September.

A diverse community representation turned up and a notice to the council for a Development Control Forum to be held in the east was signed by more than the required minimum 25 local people. I believe submissions for a DCF from at least South Harringay School and the Haringey Traders’ Association have since been made.

It was the catalyst for an also hastily convened “super” public meeting by the Council at Hornsey School for Girls on 14th September (unprecedented on many levels; some of the precedents it set are ground-breaking issues for debate in themselves).

The developer didn't show and the team of expert consultants failed to justify the merits of a concrete factory in a dense residential area. But although the council and both of Haringey's MPs very strongly opposed the establishment of the concrete factory, the policies and forces favouring the development are stronger than those affording the public and environment protection.

A major concern is due to the development and transportation costs being heavily subsidised by the government; it in effect means the developer has a silent and all powerful partner with long tentacles. Govt. agent, Lord Berkeley, Chair of the Rail Freight Group, wrote to former MP Barbara Roche in 2004 for support with the persuasive words of “if only to get a few lorries off the road”.

The council requested London Concrete Ltd to undertake a full impact assessment, but the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister deemed it unnecessary after the developer appealed.


The west is complaining that the quality of consultation on their side has been poor and inadequate.

Other than a token consultation with some Wightman Road residents, consultation in the east has been virtually non-existent with neither residents, schools, community groups, traders’ associations, the Green Lanes Strategy Group or our MP having been formally consulted.

It’s as if Haringey is a flat, 180° semi-circle existing only in the west. What annoys me as well is the negating of Haringey's Community Strategy which proclaims to narrow the huge and growing inequality gap between east and west and also the passing of the precautionary principle into the realm of myth and legend.

In the Planning System

The first application by London Concrete Ltd was not determined within the statutory time limit and has been deferred to a Planning Inspector to determine at a Public Inquiry scheduled for 13th – 16th December at the Civic Centre, that may continue on 10th – 11th January if it overruns.

The second application, which incidentally due to appease the understandable protest from the west has been reorientated 180° to face in our direction, is due to be determined on Monday 10th October by the Council's Planning Application Sub-Committee, also at the Civic Centre. Should the second application be refused it has already been decided to consider it along with the first application at the Public Inquiry.

If the application is granted planning permission on 10th October, a third party can challenge the decision by judicial review on a point of law. If the application is refused consent on 10th October but is successful at the Public Inquiry 13th-16th December, a third party may challenge the decision by judicial review on a point of law. The option of a judicial review is also open to London Concrete Ltd on a point of law if it were to lose the decision at the Public Inquiry.

What to Do?

So now you know what is roughly going on and how you will be affected - what can you do about it?

Attend the Planning Application Sub-Committee meeting on 10 th October 2005


Latest News

21.3.06 | The Appeal Public Inquiry
final session took place yesterday 20th of March 2006 at Haringey Civic Centre, in Wood Green. It was an intense day with all parties delivering their final say in their highly detailed closing argument. It ended around 5:00pm with the inspector indicating we should be able to hear his final ruling on this matter in the first week of May 2006.


Public Meeting Appeal Planning workshop
Thursday, 3rd November
at 6.30pm Finishes 8.45pm,
all out by 9.00pm sharp.
South Harringay Junior School Mattison Road, N4
Parking available in school playground

The meeting tonight was very well attended over 150 people turned up. Many schools, parents and political parties were represented. The debate was rich and people willingness to spring into action was more then evident.

Haringey Planning Officers have published their report today. The report recommend planning sub committee refuse the application

For full planning officers report click here. Word file

Schools and Parents Action - Another Public Meeting was organised, this time on the Harringay ladder. The meeting on Monday 3rd of October 2005 7:30 pm will take place at South Harringay Junior School, Mattison Rd N4, and parking will be available on school grounds. The meeting will focus on schools parent and kids action.








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