On November 15th we asked EWD to go on record either for or against Essex County Council’s waste disposal plan for Morse’s Lane before moving on, and have duly postponed our Silent Protest for this Monday 20th. If EWD work with us this would ensure that no other waste company can squeeze them out protecting EWD’s long term security as well.
Essex County Council’s waste disposal plan goes against guidance, best practice and even common sense, but it will be a challenge to overturn. If EWD agreed with us that the location is too close to the school, the Co-Op and a residential area, we have a better chance of tackling the Essex County Council’s decision.
We are certain a company which makes such a valued contribution to our community would not use a location that is simply too sensitive for this kind of waste processing and await EWD’s response.
Last week we wrote to EWD for a meeting to discuss their plans, we were delighted to have heard back from them yesterday and we confirmed we’d share their letter today.
However we are disapointed EWD have not given us the courtesy to put the letters up as agreed… instead they have just posted theirs.
In the interest of fairness please take your time to read both letters.
15th November . For the attention of Eastern Waste Disposal.
Regards yours 14th November.
Thank you for your swift response to our letter dated 10th November inviting you to meet us. We are grateful for your assurances that at this time you are not looking to submit a planning application to expand waste processing at Morse’s Lane, and that should you choose to do so you would duly consult residents and stakeholders. We have published your letter on our site and social media. In this spirit of openness we welcome the opportunity to respond to your criticism on some of the matters raised and to address them publicly at the same time.
The Brightlingsea Residents Action Group is exactly what it says on the can. We are not a professional organisation, our face book page isn’t even a month old yet, we’re just concerned residents passionately reacting to frightening developments which appear to ignore all regulation and putting 1357 children and many others at risk.
Our recent public meeting on October 25th.was widely advertised and open to all, with some 300 people including Town and District Councillors in attendance. It provided everyone – including yourselves – with an ideal opportunity to speak with us. Furthermore our new website and facebook pages are public and the fact that you have asked us to publish your letter on those sites shows that you know how to reach us and have had the same opportunities as any other members of our community to contribute and comment on our campaign and the public’s concerns. So forgive us for getting the impression that you did not want to talk to us, as there have been plenty of opportunities to do so. That said we are delighted that we are now exploring ways forward.
The issues of image and your efforts with cancer research are very sensitive, so let us acknowledge that such initiatives by companies like yours are welcomed and respected. If any comments made during our campaign have been seen as offensive we wholeheartedly apologise.
However the reason this point needed to be explored is the fact that concrete crushing creates silica dust, which is carcinogenic. It can cause silicosis. Additionally, there is a possibility that some waste materials arriving on site could have beeen contaminated by asbestos or other hazardous substances during demolition which can also be fatal . The recommended safe distance for such waste processing is a minimum of 250 metres from sensitive receptors because of these known risks. Guidance on good practice recommends that it should be carried out on site or in close proximity to the site of construction and demolition work. On face value the waste plan puts EWD on a site 80 metres from a school with1357 pupils plus staff and an additional 145 sensitive receptors. That puts over 1600 people at risk. It may have been an unreasonable criticism, but it’s not an unreasonable fear.
By and large the focus of our effort has been on ECC’s inclusion of this site in their waste plan and the manipulation of the regulations that permitted it. What’s really needed now is a clear statement by EWD (and/or any subsidiary, partner or associated company) stating categorically that you/they would never pursue a development that would allow the crushing of concrete or the processing of any hazardous or mineral waste on the site proposed by Essex County Council (ECC) at Morse’s lane which sits right next to the Co-Op and other retail outlets next to the school, sports centre and playing fields and on the edge of this well-populated residential area.
Such a commitment would draw a line under the matter as we believe the real issue is the site designation by ECC which remarkably ignores best practice by putting the lives of school children at risk and EWD in a position of conflict eroding the good work you are so proud of. Given your 20 years of expertise we believe a company of your standing would never endorse a scheme that posed risks of this kind. Your agreement and support on this matter would go a long way in removing the continuing threat to our community from the Essex Waste Local Plan site allocation and deter possible predatory rivals from exploiting opportunities at this location.
We fully support the principle of recycling of inert mineral waste at appropriate locations but are committed to ensuring that it is done safely and without risk to workers and others who may be affected by the activity, wherever it is carried out. We trust that you in turn support this principle in all your own activities.
We are confident that in the spirit of openness the residents of Brightlingsea can count on you insisting this sort of waste processing is located well away from our town and children. We look forward to you confirming these points and welcome moving things forward in a positive manner.
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For the Attention of the BRAG Steering Committee
14th November 2017
Thank you for your letter, received Friday November 10th concerning possible development on the land at Morses Lane, behind the Coop Fiveways store.
Whilst we have been approached by Radio Essex, this is the first time that anyone from BRAG or the Town Council has contacted EWD to ascertain what our intentions, if any, were for this land, since the adoption of the Local Waste Plan earlier this year.
Before addressing any other points, we would like to say, as we did in the statement that we gave to Radio Essex, that we fully recognise the genuine concerns of all local residents if faced with a planning application for any waste development site.
The planning process gives all stakeholders chance to examine a detailed operational proposal that would cover every aspect, such as the types and volumes of materials and the operational hours and methods that would be required for the proposed activity. In these circumstances it would only be right to expect the local community to work together to organise a constructive campaign to address the concerns that would naturally arise.
Unfortunately, instead of contacting us early on, the steering committee of BRAG chose to campaign through public meetings and social media in such a way that has caused a lot of unnecessary stress to local residents, the land owners and to everyone involved with EWD. The subsequent claims that have been made on social media have at best been misguided, exaggerated and incorrect, with some bordering on libellous.
Before looking at the real issues that underlay the current situation, we feel it is first necessary for EWD to address some of the incorrect statements made on social media.
EWD has been trading for the last twenty years and everyone involved has enjoyed supporting both national charities such as Guide Dogs for the Blind and the many local community activities, for example Brightlingsea in Bloom, that we regularly provide sponsorship or waste disposal for.
EWD has not been engaged in “buying ourselves a clean image “by supporting cancer charities and road safety awareness campaigns. Like many people in the local community, both the owners and our employees have been closely affected by losing people to cancer and this is why we have chosen to support this particular concern.
It is also surprising how readily several of the commentators on the media sites dismiss the wide variety and number of job opportunities that we have been able to provide for local residents. For information, we currently employ approx. 75 full time staff and regularly use agency workers to work with us in addition to our permanent team.
We are all lucky that we now live in a period of very high employment, but this has not always been the case and all communities need employment opportunities to be provided for the people within them.
Returning to the main point of your letter, EWD does have the opportunity to expand its operation in Morses Lane and ECC were very keen for us to help it deliver the waste targets that have been included in the adopted waste plan.
The site in question has long been identified as suitable for industrial /employment use and as it adjoins an existing waste activity it was deemed suitable for inert waste processing by ECC and the Planning Inspector, with the provision of much greater control on issues that affect local amenity.
That said, at present EWD has no plans to submit a planning application for recycling inert waste at Morses Lane. However, at some point in the long-term future the situation may change and if this happened, we would of course advise our neighbours, as we did last time that we submitted a planning application.
Many of the comments made have automatically assumed that it would be EWD that would develop this site, which is by no means certain. It is feasible that a new operator could put in a proposal that would not have the opportunity to use the many available” backloads “that arise from EWD’s existing operations already at Morses Lane. This would lead to higher numbers of vehicle movements from a new operator at the site.
In the short term we may apply for some ancillary activities such as staff car parking and storage of plant and empty skips on part of the site. If we do put in such an application, we would of course be happy to meet with Brightlingsea Town Council to discuss any potential proposals that we submit.
We would also suggest that to conduct this in the most productive manner, the hostility shown by BRAG is reigned in and the site used in a positive manner to discuss actual details of actual operational proposals and the implications that come with them.
Would you kindly ensure that this letter is uploaded to both the Spotted Brightlingsea and the BRAG social media sites IN FULL to ensure that the complete content of this letter to you is available to view by all of the local residents concerned?
We genuinely hope that now you have finally given EWD a chance to comment we have been able to put your minds at rest. However, if anyone would like to contact us further, please feel free to do so by e mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.