Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Surrey County Council Document:
"Spelthorne has the poorest health of any Surrey borough from the 2001 census and is quoted on page 9 table 1.9 of the Surrey Waste Plan Sustainability Appraisal. Wellbeing and Public Health is the number one issue on sustainability in PPS 1.

Furthermore Spelthorne is surrounded by 7 other AQMA boroughs, 3 of which are London Low Emission Zones (LEZ’s). Road access is fraught with environmental problems from every aspect, local populated roads, trunk roads running above pollution limits, and bridge access to the south of the Thames.

Nationally, gravel is obtainable wherever it is needed from other sources. This means that the fundamental precept of the plan - using externally imposed quantities on a historical basis of supply - is unsound. Surrey is “scraping the barrel” on an exhausted resource.

Historically there is a legacy of poor restoration and in Stanwell for example over a period of 40 years there has been no interest in enforcing restoration agreements that contractors have failed to honour.

Whilst we have not mentioned the GeorgeVI reservoir, we would ask you to question the method of handling the once dredged material on the surrounding environmentally valuable “Green Area”.

There is a major concern in the press of that Council officials have enjoyed hospitality of mining companies during discussions that could influence the plan. We would ask this to be investigated in the public interest...

The attitude of SCC and its predecessors has been to exploit the mineral resources of Spelthorne because they are there without any consideration to the cumulative loss of useful land and the consequential environmental deterioration.

Spelthorne has a legacy of flooded gravel pits and degrade landscape where previous gravel workings have been poorly restored. This was recognised in Spelthorne BC’s 2000 Local Plan. Much of this poor restoration has resulted in land contamination.

Maps and aerial view show an inadequate amount of quality green land to be enjoyed by the high density of residential population.

The health of Spelthorne residents, which is the worst of all Surrey boroughs, is suffering from the effects of air pollution arising from many causes. The whole of Spelthorne is an AQMA with nitrogen dioxide exceeding the EU limit on the principal roads.

Reference to Spelthorne BC’s 2009 Air Quality Monitoring Overview (library ref.CD610) page 4 shows average NO2 levels for 2007, 2008 and 2009 of 47 monitoring stations. Page 5 shows a graphic representation which indicates how little margin of acceptability there is on those locations that are not above the limit.

The Government’s Environmental Audit Committee Air Quality Report, March 2010 (library ref. CD606) is very critical of the effects of poor air quality on life expectancy and that the UK is failing to meet the European maximum pollution targets which should have been met in January 2010. There are consequential costs for health treatment and fines.

Para. 33 states “Defra believe that there is a ‘pretty good chance’ of not being fined for particulate matter limit value exceedences . They recognised that the NOx emissions ceiling targets and Nitrogen dioxide limit values present a ‘significantly bigger challenge’.

The size of any fines will depend on rulings from the European Courts of Justice but could be a contribution of a lump sum payment and fine levied each day until targets were reached. It has been reported that fines could reach £300m should the Commission continue to reject the UK’s application for an extension, but there is no precedent for a similar environmental contribution and the magnitude of the fines cannot be predicted with certainty...

As the SE Plan (library ref. CD 400) has been scrapped there is no overriding need to produce concreting aggregates locally. It does however contain very relevant clauses as it was responsible for setting aggregate targets in the first instance:

Although the apportionment is based on a logically and reasonably robust analysis, it is recognised that it is essentially derived from past rates of production, rather than appraisal of future needs and likely availability of materials, taking into account a more detailed analysis of environmental and other constraints.

Mineral working and processing can have an adverse impact on the environment and local amenity and as a consequence extensive mineral resources will remain unavailable for working.

Spelthorne has a history of flooding both fluvial and ground water that can be found in Spelthorne BC’s Strategic Flood Risk Assessment produced in support of its LDF. Gravel workings interfere with the natural drainage on which the safety of the whole borough depends. The 2003 floods had ground water at the Abbeyfields gravel pits actually overflowing before the Thames rose above its banks. A photograph of this was provided in the options stage of the consultation.

Further aggregate winning in Spelthorne is non-sustainable under PPS1 and will only result in material harm for future generations."
Now go here: 'Government let Somerset Levels flood as a matter of deliberate policy!'

Kwarsi Kwarteng's constituency blog hasn't been updated since 14 November 2013.

A Google search doesn't suggest he has been busy seeing to his constituents' needs over the course of the last month or so.

Click on image below to enlarge:

Further reading:

January Flood Analysis Report - Runnymede Borough Council

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for the Surrey Minerals Plan

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