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For the press


Hundreds of people demonstrated outside the Civic Centre, demanding
Councillors reject plans for a concrete factory by the Hornsey rail line.
There were banners (including the HFRA one) and placards, leaflets, chants
(especially from the young people present) and speeches. Inside the Council
chamber the gallery was packed. A petition of over 2000 people, and
hundreds of letters of objection were referred to (including from residents
associations, local schools and a traders organisation). The planning
officers [who, up till they realised the growing strength and anger of the
campaign, seemed enthusiastic about the proposal] called on the application
to be rejected on various grounds. To great cheers and prolonged applause,
the Councillors voted unanimously to do that.

This was a magnificent victory for grass roots people power, in particular
the determined efforts throughout the last year of the residents of GreenN8
(now joined by a new GreenN4&N15).

However, the developer has lodged an appeal and the planning process will
grind on and on - especially as the conditions for refusal of the
application didn't really address the main issues properly. The residents
campaign is determined to continue until the idea of a concrete factory in
a residential area is totally rejected. For more details contact:
www.greenN8.org

I spoke with many of the people present, and many new people are
considering setting up local residents groups and associations. It seems
that the residents' movement is really spreading now, and beginning to make
a real difference in Haringey!

Dave Morris
HFRA
Haringey  federation of residents associations

6.10.06 | Not in our back yard or anyone else's!
Residents in North London will be objecting in force, this Monday
evening, to plans by London Concrete to build a batching plant in the
heart of a densely populated residential area. The controversial
planning application has already seen Haringey Council Planning
officers recommending rejection. Residents will be underlining this
and making their presence felt when it goes before the planning
committee for a decision on 10 October at 6.15 p.m. at the Civic
Centre (High Road, Wood Green).

Who would actually want a concrete factory in their back yard? Nobody!
Probably not MD of London Concrete who has claimed provocatively that
the 200 metre long plant with hoppers, conveyor belts, dust and noise,
would be a local amenity! The aggregate material would arrive on open
wagons at railway sidings before processing. Later, giant trucks would
debouch into a narrow one-way system near schools and move the
ready-mix through crowded suburban streets - 56 movements per day just
to begin with.

This local story is likely to have wider resonance and repercussions
because it will be a high-profile test of a strategic goal of the
Government of shifting road transport to rail - regardless of other
considerations. In the last 12 months hundreds of concerned residents
have attended public meetings and their opposition has been built
around a virtual information centre and local notice-board: the
web-site www.greenN8.org.uk.

Former local MP and Government Ministers Barbara Roche has opposed the
plant. Haringey Council, mindful of a possible collapse in political
support, has recently indicated in a public meeting that they will
also oppose the plant. That meeting was called by Haringey Leader
Charles Adje and was attended by four councillors and two MPs who
pledged cross-party opposition to the project. MP for Tottenham David
Lamy asserted that the plant would not go ahead "on my watch".
Residents are not so confident and expect a long tough fight. If the
application is turned down on Monday night, London Concrete have
already promised to take it to appeal

"I'm amazed that this scheme is being pushed forward by the London
Concrete against such widespread and consistent local opposition. We
expect this to go all the way to the office of the Deputy Prime
Minister" - C.D. Carter, Stroud Green Residents' Association.

 

New Public Meeting

Wednesday 14th of September 7:30 pmHornsey School for Girls, Inderwick Road, N8

For Haringey invitation letter click here

Haringey Council is rushing to organise another ‘Public Meeting’ in a desperate attempt to correct a very poor and faulty consultation process.

Charles Adje, executive leader of Haringey Council instructed Neighbourhood Assembly officers (on 5.9.05) to organise another public meeting ASAP, as pressure from residents groups and local councillors is reaching an all time high. Stepping up campaigns, local residents from Harringay and St Ann’s wards are now following the footsteps of residents from the Hornsey Church Lane and Tottenham Lane area demanding full and meaningful consultation to take place! Over 25 signatures - needed to trigger a Development Control Forum (DCF) - were collected in a well attended public meeting in Green Lanes, requesting that both Harringay and St Ann’s wards will be properly consulted including at least one DCF to take place in their area. However, as you will see below it appears to be one step forward and many steps back.

The public meeting Haringey is organising will not be a proper Development Control Forum.
A DCF will have to include the developer - in this case London Concrete Ltd.

The meeting is set to take place NEXT WEDNESDAY 14th of September  7:30 pm at Hornsey School for Girls. Yes you have heard it right!

  • Letters announcing this meeting will go out ‘first class’ on Fri > hitting residents’ post boxes next Monday giving them 2, 3 days notice!
  • Letters were originally to be sent ONLY to the ‘Area Assembly’ database of: Hornsey, Stroud green, Harringay.

If you have never attended an Area Assembly meeting (or having attended a meeting not given your details) then you are not on that database! And therefore by inference, not worthy of their attention!!!!!!

GreenN8 member who called to inquire about this rumoured meeting said:

"I tried to reflect the general mood of the Green Lanes meeting which was very clearly expressed:

  • People in St Ann's and Crouch End must also be consulted!
  • This yet again is very discriminatory consultation!
  • Setting the meeting in Hornsey School for Girls is unacceptable in view of the fact that this area has had 2 DCF’s already! and NONE took place in Harringay or St Ann’s areas.
  • Time line is far too short notice!

I have suggested that if Haringey intention is to ‘consult properly’ - It should address all of the above!"

Haringey, agreed to include St Ann’s area in this consultation, however the location of the meeting is not up for negotiations. A curious thing, given that this public meeting is said to be instigated by Charles Adje who apparently lives on the Gardens off Green lanes and is to chair this meeting himself, and given that he represent the East, why direct to have the meeting in the West in the first place?

"Not showing any flexibility on this matter is indeed a mystery beyond my comprehension... " said GreenN8 co-ordinator

Despite assurances given to Laura Edge Councillor of Stroud Green that letters will be sent to all the people who have made a comment on this application. Haringey have now decided not to honour this promise!

Cllr Edge said : "The Council's handling of this consultation process has been nothing short of disgraceful. I am concerned that the Council is spending its 'limited resources' on another public meeting rather than the independent reports and investigations into the environmental impact of this application as requested by residents, local pressure group GreenN8 and myself."

Are they trying to inform more people about this application - or hide this meeting?

They could have fooled us!

For Haringey invitation letter click here

07.07.05 | Residents reject revised London Concrete application for controversial concrete plant

July 6, 2005 – Local residents have dismissed as “inadequate” and “cosmetic” an amended application submitted to Haringey planners by London Concrete, which is looking to build a concrete batching plant at the Ferme Park Depot.

The original application, submitted in June 2004, sparked fury within the local community, which remains united in its concerns over the traffic, noise and pollution implications of locating the 45+ ft high batching plant and “associated hoppers, conveyors and ancillary facilities” in the residential heart of N8.

The application had been due to be considered at a Public Enquiry in December. However, Haringey Planning Sub Committee (PSC) will now meet and make a formal determination of the amended application on September 12, 2005 . Only if that revised application is refused will the Public Enquiry go ahead as scheduled.

Located on the southerly boundary of Ferme Park Depot, the site for the proposed plant lies in close proximity to residential properties in Uplands Road to the west, Wightman Road to the east and the Chettle Court estate, whose play area and basketball court would be within metres of the batching plant should the application be approved.

The site is located in a wooded area that falls within the Stroud Green Railway Bank – designated by the Greater London Authority as an area of importance for nature conservation, and as a ‘site of borough importance G’ is home to many wildlife species.

If the application is approved, London Concrete has said there would be 56 vehicle movements in and out of the site each day – or one of its 30-tonne mixer lorries entering or leaving the site every 12 minutes. These lorries will be entering Crouch End’s already congested streets in close proximity to few local schools.

Six amendments have now been made to the original application. These see the plant being ‘reoriented’ to face away from Chettle Court and a number of measures intended to address concerns about particulate and noise pollution and the visual impact of the proposed plant (see notes for editors for full details).

While the amendments do make minor improvements to the original application, GreenN8 believes they are inadequate. “Having promised to drive a stake through the heart of the local community, London Concrete is now offering us a sticking plaster,” said a spokesman. “Despite these amendments, this plant, if approved, will severely damage our quality of life – and potentially our health – through dust pollution, both from the plant itself and the lorries entering and leaving the site, as well as noise pollution from lorries being loaded and the 170% increase in traffic levels within the Ferme Park Depot site that the plant will initially generate.”

“The good news is that, as agreed at a meeting some months ago between GreenN8 and Haringey’s head of planning, Shifa Mustafa, three independent reports on the traffic, noise and dust implications of the application can now go ahead. Haringey had been waiting for London Concrete to submit their amendments so that they could be taken into consideration by the authors of those reports.”

The spokesman also criticised the timing of the amended application: “As was the case last year with the original application , London Concrete has waited until members of the local community – many of whom have children – are going away on their summer holidays before lodging their application. Once again, they seem to be trying to sneak something past the local community in the hope that residents will be too busy, or simply not around, to find out about it. Unfortunately for them, that is not going to happen”

New Planning Application
New Consultation letter

Notes to editors
Submitted in June 2004, London Concrete’s original application calls for the erection of a 14 metre (40+ feet) high batching plant and “associated hoppers, conveyors and ancillary facilities”.

Following an appeal by London Concrete to the Secretary of State on grounds of non-determination by Haringey Council of this first planning application, a Public Enquiry was scheduled for December 2005 at Wood Green Civic Centre.

In June 2005, London Concrete submitted a revised application, making six amendments to the original proposal.
  • The batching plant has been reoriented away from Chettle Court so that the loading bay now faces towards the Wightman Road.
  • Two short lengths of rail siding to be removed to allow lorries to drive round to the railway side of the plantto load up
  • An acoustic screen 8.5m long x 5m.high with a cantilevered top provided alongside the loading bay (between the bay and Chettle Court)
  • Tops of conveyors where they discharge into the storage bins and into the batching plant hoppers [to be] enclosed
  • Storage bins and batching plant [tobe] enclosed in feature cladding with curved roofs.

Height of the buildings now 15.5m to highest point of roofs.

Haringey Planning Sub Committee (PSC) is set to meet and make a formal determination of the revised application on September 12, 2005 . Only if that revised application is refused will the Public Enquiry go ahead.

London Concrete is proposing to operate its business on the site between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday, and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays. GreenN8 believes that either of these applications, if approved, would generate significant levels of noise and dust/particulate pollution and will consequently seriously damage the quality of life enjoyed by N8 residents, if not their health.

The aggregate used by the proposed plant would be delivered by rail once or twice a week, London Concrete has indicated, although initially the aggregate will be brought in by road while the rail access is made ready.

The Cranford Way/Ferme Park Depot site has been selected due to its proximity to a railway line: the firm maintains that, by using trains rather than trucks to deliver the aggregate (sand and coarse stone) required to produce its concrete, it is removing traffic from the roads. However, this will entail a projected 56 vehicle movements a day in and out of the site and the surrounding area. In the context of existing traffic movements in and out of the Depot itself, London Concrete’s proposal would result in a 170% increase in such movements.

These 30-tonne trucks will be entering Crouch End’s already congested streets in close proximity to two local schools. Nor do those 56 vehicle movements take into account vehicles accessing the plant on behalf of London Concrete’s clients, a practice the firm actively encourages. As the firm states on its own website: “London Concrete is delivering with its own fleet of ready mix trucks, but also provides a collect service for a proportion of its business... Customers in urban areas want a quick and reliable pick up service for relatively small quantities of material We also deliver from Wembley, although our collect customers get priority because the site is geared towards this end of the market.” http://www.aggregate-uk.com/index.html?press23.html&2 < http://www.aggregate-uk.com/index.html?press23.html&amp;2 >

London Concrete’s managing director Derek Casey has publicly confirmed that the figure of 56 vehicle movements a day is based on the plant operating at 50% capacity. Citing the example of London Concrete’s existing Battersea plant – where the firm quickly moved to overturn the original limit imposed on vehicle movements – GreenN8 believes that sooner rather than later the site will be generating well over 100 vehicle movements a day. That is an average of nine per hour, or one every six and half minutes.

8.2.05 | Barbara Roche Local MP joins local residents in protest against London Concrete planning application to build a concrete plant in the HEART of GREEN N8

1.11.04 | A site visit to London Concrete's Wembley concrete batching plant has confirmed Crouch End residents'
worst fears

A site visit to London Concrete's Wembley concrete batching plant has confirmed Crouch End residents' worst fears about the environmental impact of the company's plans to build a similar plant at Cranford Way in the heart of residential N8.

The visit - on October 30 - has done nothing to allay huge concerns within the local community over the levels of noise, dust and traffic that would be generated should the London Concrete application be approved. Furthermore, a subsequent visit to the Cranford Way site later the same morning made it clear that the visual impact of facility would be significantly greater than originally envisaged.

GreenN8 representative Charles Bezzant took up London Concrete's invitation to visit the Wembley facility and a subsequent visit to the proposed Cranford Way site itself alongside members of Haringey Council's planning sub-committee (including chairman Tom Davidson), borough planning officers Paul Tomkins and David Paton, local Liberal Democrat councillor Laura Edge and Derek Casey, managing director of London Concrete.

The visit shed light on the day-to-day operations of London Concrete's batching plants. London Concrete sells concrete by the cubic metre, and each metre of concrete contains a tonne of sand, a tonne of stone and a quarter of a tonne of cement.  All of this is mixed inside their plants, above the lorries used to distribute the mix to customers, before being delivered down chutes into those lorries.

The aggregate used by the proposed plant would be delivered once or twice a week. The trains would typically arrive at Cranford Way between 11am and 2pm, London Concrete has suggested. The aggregate would be unloaded from bottom-delivering train carriages, which would open after the train is inside a special housing. At Wembley this housing was a good deal wider than a train, in our view leaving scope for dust/particulates to drift out.  

The aggregate would be unloaded through a grill system under the rails. It would then be taken by a conveyor belt to a 15.5 metre (approx 45 ft) high aggregate storage silo. This conveyor belt would be an estimated 17.5 metres (approx 52 ft) high, as it would have to take the aggregate up above the top of the storage silo to allow it to drop from the end of the conveyor belt and fall into the silo.

The aggregate would be stored in this silo until required by the concrete batching plant. At this point it would be dropped down from the storage silo onto a second conveyor belt and taken along and up into the top of the concrete batching plant proper.  

"The conveyor belts obviously leak fine aggregate particles into the atmosphere," said Bezzant. "They are currently covered on the top only to protect them from rain, hence they are affected by wind.  I was told that they were not totally enclosed so that the workers could see what is on them and so that they were easy to clean.  It seems entirely feasible, however, to use plastic or Perspex sides and to completely enclose the conveyor belts."

The top area on the Wembley plant, where the conveyor belt drops its load into the plant, generated significant noise both from the machinery and the rattling of loose metal housing, he added.  "London Concrete said that the area was cleaned approximately once a week and that at least three wheelbarrow loads full of aggregate dust and debris would typically fall out of this section of the system. I would suggest this is a conservative estimate," Bezzant said.

"Clearly this is one part of the operation where fine particulates are lost into the atmosphere and, by extension, distributed across surrounding areas. At London Concrete's plant at Heathrow this area is enclosed, but the firm does not consider that would be necessary at Cranford Way. I disagree: given the location of the proposed Cranford Way plant in relation to neighbouring properties, the noise generated would travel a considerable distance if those areas were not enclosed."

The proposed site for the new plant lies behind the existing warehousing at Cranford Way on land owned by Network Rail.  This piece of land is some four meters (approx 12 ft) higher than the rest of the Cranford Way site. "As we were walking on it our eye line was almost level with the bottom of the rooftops of the warehouses," said Bezzant.   "An 18 metre high structure in this spot would therefore actually be 22 metres (approx 66 ft) high compared to ground level in Cranford Way."

He continued: "Part of London Concrete's planning application relies on there being two rows of warehousing between the plant and properties on Uplands Road [which lies to the west of the site] to screen noise in that direction. However, due to the height differential, the existing warehouses would not effectively screen the higher parts of the conveyor belt to the silo, the silo itself or the higher sections of the conveyor belt that runs to the main plant.  The main plant won't be screened at all by the warehouses as it would be built to the south of them and there is no screening at all between it and the houses on Uplands Road."

London Concrete has dismissed the possibility of sinking the buildings into the ground saying that the lower conveyor belts - which would then be 'underground' - would be prone to flooding, he added.

The area where London Concrete's lorries would be arriving and departing - which would face onto the Uplands Road properties - would not be screened by warehousing. Nor is there any screening of the plant in the direction of the neighbouring Chettle Court estate (which lies to the south of the site) other than the trees and scrub on the environmentally-listed railway bank.  

London Concrete has itself suggested that the process of loading the lorries with concrete mix is the noisiest aspect of a concrete batching plant's work. It should be noted that the loading of lorries at the Cranford Way site would occur 25 times a day on London Concrete's current usage estimations - approximately every half-an-hour during the plant's proposed hours of operation.

"While we were outside the Wembley plant a concrete lorry was loaded and this was indeed extremely noisy," said Bezzant. "I walked as far as I could on site from the plant so I could hear the noise impact from a distance. A member of the planning sub-committee came with me. The noise was inescapable and it would not be pleasant to sit in a garden nearby. I estimated that we were approximately 50 metres from the plant, but the councillor with me thought it may have been nearly 100. Closer to the plant we had to shout to make ourselves heard."

London Concrete's application already proposes 56 vehicle movements a day into and out of the Cranford Way site. However, during the site visit, the firm confirmed that road tankers would be used to bring in cement to the plant three times a week, so adding to the volume of traffic entering and leaving the site. In addition, the concrete lorries themselves would be rinsed out every night into a slurry pit. Water from this would be recycled to a certain degree and concrete remnants would be taken to a refuse tip four or five times a month. Again, this will add to the projected levels of vehicle movements - and associated noise - at the site.

GreenN8 remains concerned that London Concrete may at a later date attempt to widen the scope of the Cranford Way operation to include sale and/or distribution by road of aggregate coming into the site by rail. "Derek Casey said that London Concrete has no intention of doing this," said Bezzant. "However, when I suggested that he shouldn't have a problem with signing a clause explicitly prohibiting aggregate sales from Cranford Way, he became upset and said that he would not want to sign up to such a condition."

29.10.04 | GreenN8 targets Haringey UDP as local residents open new front in campaign to block London Concrete planning application

GreenN8 targets Haringey UDP as local residents open new front in campaign to block London Concrete planning application

October 28, 2004 - As part of its ongoing campaign to block plans to erect a concrete batching plant in the heart of residential Crouch End, comminty group GreenN8 is urging local residents to add their voices to Haringey Council’s public consultation process on revisions to the borough’s Unitary Development Plan (UDP) & Supplementary Planning Guidances (SPGs).

Residents and other concerned parties are being asked to download and circulate copies of the Replacement UDP - Revised Deposit Draft September 2004 & SPG’s - Form from GreenN8’s website.

GreenN8’s pre-prepared version of the Form contains a detailed request to amend the terms of the Defined Employment Area No.5 (or DEA 5) designation being applied to Cranford Way/Ferme Park Depot, the proposed site for London Concrete’s proposed batching plant.

Although this campaign was only instigated a matter of days before the consultation process officially ended on October 27, the objections of some 180 signatories were lodged with Haringey Council before that deadline expired.

However, GreenN8 believes objections should continue to be lodged with Helen Fadipe of Haringey’s Policy & Projects department in order to make clear once again to the Council the scale of local opposition to the London Concrete application and, by extension, the site’s use for B2 purposes.

GreenN8 argues that the current DEA 5 designation fails to protect a densely populated family oriented neighbourhood from heavy general industrial activities - so-called B2 uses - which are wholly unsuited to the location.

The DEA 5 designation fails to take into account the site’s close proximity to houses, schools, children’s’ play-areas and a ‘designated area of importance to nature conservation’. Consequently it fails to safeguard the quality of life of its neighbours, both human and animal.

GreenN8 is calling for Cranford Way to be allocated a wholly new designation called RL-DEA - Residential Location Defined Employment Area. This would allow the uses B1(a) (offices/business), B8 (warehousing/distribution) and B1(c) (light industry) so long as those uses will have no adverse impact on the site’s neighbours.

B2 uses (heavy /general industry) will be unacceptable under the new RL-DEA designation. It should be noted that the site has in any case never been used for B2 activities, and therefore the new RL-DEA designation would pose no threat to established businesses operating out of the Cranford way/Ferme Park Depot site.

The RL-DEA designation was the idea of local councillor Quincy Prescott. "Since 1998 Cranford Way has been listed as 5.11 in the Haringey Unitary Development Plan as an Industrial Location," said Prescott. "While it is mostly used as warehouses (B8 designation), someone - namely London Concrete - has now for the first time sought to make use of its B2 (heavy industrial) designation. Unfortunately B2 uses could be allowed subject to review of the individual application."

Quincy added: "There is pressure to protect the site against housing as industrial uses are minimal in the borough and housing development is looking for sites. My aim therefore is to find a designation that allows some employment uses to protect against housing but at the same time not allow industrial uses to protect against B2 uses."

While the RL-DEA designation does not exist at this time, Quincy called on Barbara Roche, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, to lobby her colleagues in the House of Commons on the matter. "Until a change in the law comes about, the best course of action in my view is to exert public pressure both at local and government level to prompt a rethink of the fundamental policy that we have to work with," he said.

A GreenN8 spokesman said: "We understand the importance of striking the right balance between employment and housing needs in the borough, but at the same time we must ensure that those businesses which would generate valuable employment opportunities for local people will not damage the quality of life enjoyed by those very same local people, their children, their friends and their neighbours."

London Concrete has made its own representations to the new UDP, suggesting that the site be safeguarded for rail-related uses. They have also asked that the Council resists planning applications which do not utilise the sidings for transport of freight by rail.

The GreenN8 UDP objection form can be downloaded from
http://217.68.23.12/~greenn8.org/udp.html

19.9.04 | Development Control Forum | Take II

A second, highly charged Development Control Forum (DCF) meeting drew over 250 local residents to Hornsey School for Girls on September 16 as Haringey Council continued its consultation on London Concrete's controversial application to erect a concrete batching plant at the Ferme Park Depot site in the residential heart of N8.

London Concrete's application calls for the erection of not only the 14 metre (40+ feet) high batching plant itself, but also "associated hoppers, conveyors and ancillary facilities". London Concrete has said the plant would "serve the Haringey market", providing concrete in a "four to five mile radius", as well as providing for 12 jobs. As a result, residents can expect a minimum of 56 vehicle movements - involving 30-tonne concrete mixer lorries - through Crouch End's busy streets six days a week, passing close to at least two local schools.

There are also significant fears about the release of dust and particulates, some potentially carcinogenic, in such close proximity to hundreds of homes - notably the Chettle Court estate (whose play area and basketball court would be within metres of the plant) and properties in Uplands Road and Wightman Road - as well as schools and businesses. In addition, the proposed site for the plant is actually located just beyond the southerly boundary of Ferme Park Depot, in a wooded area that falls within the Stroud Green Railway Bank. This area has been designated by the Greater London Authority as an area of importance for nature conservation, and as a 'site of borough importance G II' is home to many wildlife species, including bats.

Despite sending along a lone representative to the first DCF on July 15, London Concrete were well represented this time around, with managing director Derek Casey joined by a raft of paid consultants specialising on noise, traffic, air quality and nature consultation. Residents, however, were clearly left unconvinced by the arguments put forward by these consultants. The noise 'expert' based his findings on readings taken on the opposite side of Chettle Court from the proposed development - he maintained he was refused entry to the estate proper by security - while the air quality specialist dismissed residents' concerns about the plant's impact on local asthma levels by describing it as a "lifestyle illness" caused by "psychological factors".

Under questioning from local MP Barbara Roche, Mr Casey himself said the plant would have an "insignificant impact" on traffic levels and went on to describe the proposed development as "an amenity for the area". He also maintained he would be happy for his children to play in such close proximity to the site. Finally, in response to a question posed by Lib Dem Counsillors laura Edge and Dave Winskill, Casey admitted that the quoted figure of 56 vehicle movements a day is based on the plant operating at 50% capacity. Residents could therefore one day be looking at over 100 vehicle movements a day - a very real possibility in light of London Concrete's success in overturning the original limit imposed on vehicle movements at its Battersea plant.

9.9.04 | GreenN8 Residents Group submit yesterday 2 reports along with 1535 petition signatures, as their objection to plans for concrete batching plant in cranford way N8

Green N8 Residents Group have submitted 2 reports and 1535 petition signatures to Haringey Council detailing their objections to proposals to build a concrete factory in the residential heart of the area.

The 50 page report, co-ordinated by Green N8 residents group, highlights the inadequacies of the research into the potential impacts of the factory commissioned by the applicant, London Concrete Ltd. It also challenges a number of the assertions made in the proposal. The Green N8 report:

  • provides evidence that large and heavy vehicle movements along Tottenham Lane will increase by 17% if the proposal goes through. The applicant has claimed that the figure will be under 6%.
  • analyses the applicant’s own noise report to uncover evidence that perceived noise levels in the surrounding area of Chettle Court, Uplands Road and Wightman Road could be doubled.
  • underlines how the proposal contravenes existing council policy aims, including that expressed in Haringey’s Unitary Development Plan, which states that Crouch End is: "a predominantly residential area with the borough’s heaviest concentration of conservation areas. The priorities in this area are ones of environmental management, improving the quality of life and its environmental assets such as its attractive open spaces."

A spokesperson for the residents said: "If it were to go ahead, the plant would have a serious impact on the area we all call our home. Our report explains why and how in comprehensive detail. We are confident that the evidence we have provided will be considered objectively and we are hopeful that Haringey Council will arrive at the right decision."

A meeting to discuss the proposals will take place on 16 September 2004 at Hornsey School for Girls in Inderwick Road, N8, from 7pm onwards. Green N8, which successfully mobilized over 120 residents to attend an initial meeting in July, is calling on residents to turn out again in force.

GreenN8 Summary of Objection (PDF 156 kb)
GreenN8 Statement of Objection (PDF 264 kb)

19.8.04 | Re-consultation and new date for Development Control Forum is set up for Thursday 16th of September

Haringey planning office have sent new consultation letters to local residents.
The letters invite residents to send in their views and comments within 21 days, the last date to submit any comments is 8th of September. Another development control forum has also been set up for Thursday 16th of September, 7:00pm At Hornsey Scholl for Girls, Inderwick Rd, London N8.
To read the letter click here

17.7.04 | Over 100 people turned up to here one representative of FIrstplan on behalf on London Concrete Ltd at the Development Control Forum.

Report on the Haringey Development Control Forum meeting held on July 15, 2004 in connection with the planning application by London Concrete Ltd.

It will come as no great surprise to anyone that a planning application by London Concrete Ltd to build a concrete batching plant at Ferme Park Depot in the heart of Crouch End, N8 has enraged local residents aghast at the noise, traffic and health implications of such a development. What did shock many of those residents, however, was the appalling mess Haringey Council's Environmental Services Protectorate made of the statutory consultation process.

Residents in just the two streets immediately adjacent to the proposed site received official notification of the application - even though, if built, the operation of the plant would not only see 33-tonne mixer lorries traveling through Crouch End throughout the day, but also the release of dust and particulates, some potentially carcinogenic, in close proximity to hundreds of houses and a number of local schools.

To make matters worse, many of the letters that were sent out were never received, leaving residents to learn of the application from their neighbours; moreover, the Council only notified residents living on one side of each of the selected streets, Uplands Road and Wightman Road. Meanwhile, the tenants of Chettle Court, the council-owned block of flats whose children's recreation area and basketball court both back onto the site, were never sent letters in the first place.

A meeting of the Development Control Forum convened to discuss the application on July 15 nonetheless drew over 100 local residents as well as local councillors, local MP Barbara Roche and a representative from Firstplan Ltd, the planning consultants representing London Concrete in this matter. However, no representatives from London Concrete were in attendance - a letter sent out by Firstplan in early July claimed that none of applicant's key personnel were able to attend the meeting due to "holiday and other commitments". This excuse was reiterated by Firstplan's representative at the meeting, who had already done his credibility no favours by repeatedly stressing the "independence" of his firm.

London Concrete's application calls for the erection of not only the 14 metre (40+ feet) high batching plant itself, but also "associated hoppers, conveyors and ancillary facilities". The proposed site itself is actually located just beyond the southerly boundary of Ferme Park Depot, in a wooded area that falls within the Stroud Green Railway Bank - designated by the Greater London Authority as an area of importance for nature conservation, and as a 'site of borough importance G' is home to many wildlife species.

It is worth noting that, while the Depot itself is home to a number of commercial enterprises, those businesses are solely engaged in activities of a very light industrial nature, such as distribution and storage (it transpires that the Council also failed to notify some of those businesses of the application, even though the main thoroughfare through the site, Cranford Way, would be the access route used by London Concrete's trucks). Accordingly, the application by London Concrete would seem to constitute a significant change of use on two fronts.

London Concrete says the plant would "serve the Haringey market", providing concrete in a "four to five mile radius", as well as providing for 12 jobs. However, there was much confusion among the audience as where the demand for the significant amounts of concrete the plant would produce each week would originate. It should also be noted that the firm already has seven plants in the London area, including one at Wembley.

Its rationale for selecting Ferme Park Depot is the site's proximity to the railway line: the firm argues that, by using trains rather than trucks to deliver the aggregate (sand and coarse stone) required to produce its concrete, it is removing traffic from the roads. Very laudable in theory - however, it is proposing no less than 56 vehicle movements a day through the site and, of course, the surrounding areas. The Firstplan representative produced a number of statistics, based on traffic movements on nearby main thoroughfares, to suggest that the impact on the local environment would be negligible. However, as one Uplands Road resident pointed out, in the context of traffic movements in and out of the Depot, London Concrete's proposal would result in a 170% increase in traffic movements.

London Concrete is proposing to operate its business on the site between 7am and 7pm, Monday to Friday (and 7am to 1pm on Saturdays) . As Firstplan's representative conceded, the demand among building sites for concrete peaks first thing in the morning: this means that the firm's trucks, which will be under the pressure of stringent turnaround deadlines, will be on the surrounding streets at the same time as many children are making their way to school (no nearby schools, needless to say, have been made aware of the plan by the Council). Not that traffic entering and leaving the batching plant will be restricted to London Concrete's five trucks, as the firm allows its customers, also working to tight timetables, to pick up concrete using their own vehicles.

As the firm states on its own website: "London Concrete is delivering with its own fleet of ready mix trucks, but also provides a collect service for a proportion of its business.. Customers in urban areas want a quick and reliable pick up service for relatively small quantities of material...We also deliver from Wembley, although our collect customers get priority because the site is geared towards this end of the market." http://www.aggregate-uk.com/index.html?press23.html&2

It is also proposed that aggregate would arrive by rail and be unloaded at the site two or three times a week. The Firstplan representative maintained that the unloading would only take place during operating hours. However, this does not rule out the arrival of the trains and their freight during the hours of darkness - a most unwelcome prospect for those residents whose properties back onto the railway line. The question was posed as to the level of noise generated by London Concrete's sated plan to unload "heavy stones from steel containers into steel hoppers within a steel enclosure [the plant building]". The Firstplan representative suggested that "there would be no noise and dust beyond 50 meters of the plant " - however, even if one accepts that claim and ignores the effect of wind in carrying dust and particulates further afield, many houses fall within that 'fallout' zone.

However, it is the issue of dust that causes many residents the most concern, not least because of various UK and US studies linking concrete dust with cancers . The links with childhood asthma , of course, are obvious - and Haringey already has a high incidence of the disease (some 10 per cent of the child population). During the course of the meeting, the Firstplan representative repeatedly backtracked on his earlier statement about the 50 metre fallout zone, suggesting that in fact there would be no dust emissions from the plant due to the "state of the art" technology and processes used.

However, London Concrete's parent company - Aggregate Industries - has already been fined £13,000 after pleading guilty to Barrow Magistrates to the charge of operating a concrete batching plant in Barrow without a local air pollution control authorisation and thus being in breach of the Environmental Protection Act . The court was told that Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council had advised the company that an authorisation would be required. Following a complaint of dust nuisance, officers from the Council found that the company had built and was operating the plant without authorisation. The cause of the dust was that the (illegal) plant was also being operated without any dust suppression equipment.

It was pointed out to Paul Tomkins, head of development control at Haringey's Environmental Services Directorate and chair of the meeting, that Haringey Council has recently initiated a Cleaner, Greener, Tougher campaign. London Concrete's plans would seem to be at odds with the Council's stated objectives: http://www.haringey.gov.uk/council/strategies_and_policies/better_haringey.htm

All these points, as well as a number of other concerns, were raised repeatedly by audience members during the course of the two-hour meeting. The clear consensus was that the proposed development would have zero benefits to the local community. By the end, a number of undertakings were secured from both Firstplan and Tomkins.

Having been accused of timing their application (and subsequent request for an adjournment of this July 15 meeting) to capitalise on the fact that many residents would be away on their summer holidays, and hence not around to express their opposition to the application, the Firstplan representative made it clear that both his firm and London Concrete would be prepared to see the consultation timetable extended.

For his part, Paul Tomkins agreed to restart the consultation process. As part of that undertaking, letters would be resent to the original 100 or so residents contacted in mid-June, while additional notification letters would be sent to another 200 or so addresses, including local schools. Originally, the application could have come before the Planning Sub-Committee for a final decision as early as August 31. Tomkins agreed, however, to convene another public meeting in early September, with the application then not going before the Planning Sub-Committee until later that month. However, he confirmed that just one week's notice of that date would be given to the public.

During a magnificent deconstruction of London Concrete's application earlier in the evening, MP Barbara Roche asked Firstplan's representative the question many local residents would no doubt like to put to London Concrete's board of directors: "Would you want this plant in your backyard?" The answer, when it finally came, was predictable: "No."

13.7.04 | Public meeting goes ahead as planned

The Meeting of the 'Development Control Forum' will take place as planned this Thursday, 15th of July | 7:00pm | Hornsey School for Girls, Inderwick Road, N8.
A Source at Haringey planning department commented on FirstPlan letter:
"The meeting was Scheduled in January to facilitate people ability to attend before schools break for holiday." Haringey Planning Department have extended the deadline for objection letters until the 31st of August 2004.

8.7.04| FirstPlan may need more time to defend their client's (London Concrete Ltd) Planning Application

Firstplan Ltd who are acting on behalf of London Concrete Ltd, have sent letters to few local residence. They tell us: their experts will be on holiday at the time of the public meeting. They are requesting an additional meeting at the end of July when most people and especially families with kids will be on holiday.

We suggest to both Haringey planning department and Firstplan Ltd to:

  • Schedule the second public meeting when everyone can attend it, in the beginning of September!!!
  • And take this opportunity to properly consult the larger community who will all be effected by this development!!!

To read the letter click here

London Concrete Ltd, has a far from unblemished record - we cite examples below of its operations in Battersea and Barrow. We hope that, as journalists, you may feel compelled to investigate their activities further. We are sure there are more stories to uncover!

Crouch End Residents Fight Plans to build Concrete Plan
Crouch End residents are mounting rapid and widespread resistance against plans to establish a Concrete Batching Plant on land adjacent the Chettle Court housing estate and behind Uplands Road in the heart of the borough.

GreenN8, a pressure group set up in response to the proposals, is leading the fight and the group has already set up a website at http://www.GreenN8.org

The site contains essential information on the plans and enables users to register their disapproval via the simple click of a mouse. There is also a discussion group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/greenn8

The group has secured the support of local councillors and is currently compling a detailed dossier outlining their objections to the plans. A similar plant was built by the same company, London Concrete Ltd, in Battersea 5 years ago and has wreaked massive disruption to residents' lives, with concrete lorries causing congestion and spilling loads according to pressure group leaders there. London Concrete is now applying to double its mixer truck limit from 4 to 8 in Battersea, despite earlier agreeing to the lower limit.

Meanwhile, in Barrow, London Concrete's parent company, Aggregate Industries,  was found guilty of operating a similar batching plant without adequate authorisation. Following complaints of dust nuisance, the company was found to be operating without the required dust suppression equipment and was fined £13,000. Concrete dust is a known carcinogen and can also cause bronchitis and silicosis.

In a statement, GreenN8 commented: "This development will have a huge impact on the environment we've all chosen as our home. It will change the overall flavour of our community, with lorries using the one-way system around Tottenham Lane and Hornsey High Street to deliver their loads. Its impact will be felt by all residents of Crouch End, Hornsey Vale and Hornsey, not just those living adjacent to the plant. The pollution of the air we all breathe with harmful concrete dust is a problem that may also affect those to the east of the borough around Green Lanes as well residents of Stroud Green."

The proposed development will extend an existing business park, whose entrance is off Tottenham Lane opposite the Post Office. The current site is home to mainly storage, removal and distribution companies, and GreenN8 argues that the heavy industrial nature of the proposed batching plant is out of character with the rest of the estate and an utterly inappropriate use of land in such a residential area.

Other problems the plant will bring to the area, according to the group, include noise pollution, as well as damage to local plant and animal life. They also believe it will not maxmise the employment potential of the land and are actively encouraging alternative plans that will deliver more jobs while having less environmental impact.

For further information please contact: info@greenN8.icom43.net
Background information on GreenN8
Our immediate objectives are:
Inform the wider community of the implication and its impact. We encourage all to research into it which is why we set up the website, so everyone can find out how it may affect their lives and their environment. If you feel like us about it, voice your concerns by writing to Haringey planning office
We need as many people as possible writing letters/emails. Easy copy & paste letters and relevant addresses are on our website here http://www.greenn8.icom43.net/library/letter.html
We invite as many people as possible to turn up at the public meeting on: Thursday 15th of July 2004 at 7:00pm At Hornsey School For Girls, Inderwick Road, London N8
We are also anxious to talk to other groups which have already formed and/or are forming, so we could co-ordinate our efforts in a creative and effective way, especially those from the Wightman Rd/ ladder areas. We have printed leaflets and posters , which we need to distribute there.
Expand the group to include and represent the concerns and comments of the wider community.
Expand the team that is researching these issues more in depth. It will allow us to strongly defend our objections, based on planning guidelines at all levels from national Govt. to local council.
Any help on these and other issues would be welcomed: Employment, Transport , Ecology, Environmental, Conservation, Noise, Pollution, and so on.
We would also like to invite/see other proposals for a more appropriate use for that green/ employment land, which will:
Fulfill all the guidelines.
Maintain and enhance the character of this area.


Background information on the Battersea development


Behind the eco-friendly façade of London Concrete Ltd's operations in Battersea

Looking at how another residential community is coping with hosting 'London Concrete Ltd'. And the impact this development created 4 years down the timeline. Not good news!


9:30am Saturday 23rd January 1999
http://www.harrowtimes.co.ukp

Depot Row Verdict Date
People complaining about plans to put a cement depot in their street should find out by March if their battle has been successful.
Around half-a-dozen spoke out against plans by London Concrete to open a concrete batching plant in Stewards Lane, Battersea at public inquiry last week.
The inquiry followed a decision by Wandsworth Council last June not to allow the scheme to go ahead and a subsequent appeal by the company.
Residents said they already put up with train transporters and buses thundering past their homes and the noise, dust and traffic created by the plan would be the final straw.
But the company says it will deal with traffic problems.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

9:30am Saturday 23rd January 1999

from: http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/archive/display.var.86665.0.depot_row_verdict_date.php



Residents? fury over proposals
http://www.eppingforestguardian.co.uk

Angry Battersea residents are planning a mass protest against proposals to double the number of mixer trucks at Stewarts Lane Cement Plant, amid claims it has turned their once residential area into an industrial estate.

The plant, near Queenstown Road, sparked controversy in 1999 when it was approved on appeal by the Secretary of State despite protests from residents and the council.

Planning restrictions were put in place for only four mixer trucks to be used but London Concrete Ltd is now applying to increase the number of trucks to a maximum of eight.

Last November the company applied to have the restriction lifted but this was thrown out by the council. It will now be considered at a public inquiry later this year.

Residents are up-in-arms about the latest proposals and say they already live in an industrial nightmare with lorries driving on pavements and spilling cement on the road.

Kathy Martins, who has lived in Silverthorne Road for 22 years and is leading the campaign, said: "The cement lorries spill their loads everywhere, making the area dirty and dangerous.

"They frequently block the road and there have been many accidents.

"When planning permission was granted in 1999 it was on an experimental basis for five years. Yet before barely three years are up the company concerned is applying to double its capacity.

"We will be protesting at the planning meetings and public inquiry. The company must realise it is dangerous running so many heavy lorries through what is essentially a residential area."

Supporting the residents, Queenstown Ward councillor Richard Vivian said: "The council didn't want the plant to open in the first place. The number of vehicles was restricted to four to cap the amount of traffic at the site.

"Any more trucks will certainly cause further spillage and further antagonise the residents.

"I have confidence the council will throw this out and we may then have to make a strong case to the planning tribunal to prevent it going through on appeal."

Battersea MP Martin Linton added: "No-one should be allowed to increase the lorry movements. They cause a huge amount of inconvenience and distress to the residents.

"I would like to see proper access to the site from a main road instead of using residential streets."

No-one at London Concrete Ltd was available for comment.

10:07am?Friday?22nd?March?2002
We would like to find out how this story ended. Perhaps you can find out!

 
Background information on London Concrete parent company's operations in Barrow

Aggregates business fined for unauthorised LAPC process
 
One of the UK's leading aggregates businesses, Aggregate Industries, has been fined £13,000 after operating a new concrete batching plant without an authorisation.
The fine was imposed by Barrow Magistrates in August after the company pleaded guilty to operating a concrete batching plant in Barrow without a local air pollution control authorisation in breach of the EPA.

The Court was told that Barrow-in-Furness Borough Council had advised the company that an authorisation would be required. Following a complaint of dust nuisance, officers from the Council found that the company had built and was operating the plant without authorisation. The cause of the dust was that the plant was also being operated without any dust suppression equipment.

http://www.clarkewillmott.com/sectors/property/introduction/bulletins
.html?Article=665

 

 

 
 

Not In Our Back Yard
A new book by Antony Jay

Listen to Antony Jay talk about his book - BBC 4 Today show 3.10.05

So what are they trying to do? Put up a mobile phone mast near the school playing field? Build a hundred new homes on the edge of the village? Close the local hospital? Construct a wind farm on a popular beauty spot?
 
Fighting against local government or big bureaucracies can seem overwhelming for small communities. But in fact the odds are often better than you think.
 
Antony Jay, co-creator of Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister and its arch bureaucrat Sir Humphrey Appleby, knows a thing or two about how to defeat bureaucracy, public or private, national or local. In Not In Our Back Yard he sets out the strategy you need in order to win your battle, whether you’re fighting a major town bypass scheme or the closure of a small village school. Discover:

  • how to organise your community into an effective force
  • tactics for delaying, blocking and attacking the plan
  • how to get maximum attention from the bureaucrats, the media and the local people
  • how to plan and execute your campaign
  • how to deal with the bureaucrats’ counter-attack

This is your guide to turn indignation and outrage into effective, organised opposition.

 

November 04
These images were taken on a site visit to London Concrete plant in Wembly and are copyright free.

For high res images click on any of the images below.


 

November 04
These images were taken on a site visit to Cranford Way where london Concrete wish to build a new batching plant. The images are copyright free.
The pictures below feature Sub planning committee councilors, planning officers and Mr Derek Casey, managing director of London Concrete.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

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