There were four items of interest - on yesterdays Agenda:
1. Sainsbury - listed as item 4
2. SBC's Report to NYMNPA on the York Potash Project - listed as item 5
3. York Potash Application for Park & Ride & Construction Village - listed as item 6
4. Peasholm Gap - demolition of existing structures at Atlantis - North Bay re Benchmark's Multiplex - listed as item 8
Hmm, so it was a choice of lunch or getting there early ... early birds n worms for breakfast n all that, thanks to the Proudfoot gang that were very organised and let me scan the Agenda. Cllr Bastiman was not due to attend as he was not on the Planning Commitee... OK so who was:
keeping it simple : http://democracy.scarborough.gov.uk/mgMeetingAttendance.aspx?ID=5863
And who turned up? In the chamber, most of the above and Jane Kenyon-Millor, David Chance and a few speakers. In the Gallery alongside the Proudfoot gang were the York Potash gang - Fraser, Gartland, Aisley, and Matt who had left Edmunds down stairs to do his stuff.... He's a tough guy ... Needless to say Frazer was on form .... though Justin seemed reluctant to be unleashed? Bit of polite chit chat before the proceedings ... Icecold in Alex.
Anyhow down to the business: Sainsbury. This was refused, despite a brave attempt by the rep to overcome the traffic concerns and the amendments to the structural design car spaces etc etc, Followed by 3 mins from Adam Smith on behalf of Sainsburys ... 20 jobs created, design more traditional, a convenience store not a supermarket, bread n milk and only two deliveries per day... then he got cut off...
A great objection 3 mins from Valerie Aston (Proudfoot); How Proudfoots were the only independent supermarket in the area, how many local people they employ, directly, indirectly, using locals supply chains, their independent status extremely rare in todays retail economy - £1.9 mil, 170 people direct 50 local suppliers etc etc - Proud foot - whats a name? Very proud indeed they were.
Mike Read - then pointed out this was not about Sainsbury v Proudfoot but about the Use of the building to A1 retail (anything goes) etc. from a former bank. Clarification on exisitng permssions was needed.
Steve Siddons acutely followed up this point Under Chapter 7, 7.4 & 7.5 the figures regarding development rights under 300 m2 was acceptable ... proposed development 400 m2 took it ouside the current permission. Of most concern was the Pelican Crossing and the safety of pedestrians as well as traffic management, if the junctions & pelican crossing had to be changed then that should be a sepearate and much more complex planning application.
Cllr Smith - thanks for the policy explanations ...
Cllr Allanson - would cause total chaos ...
Cllr Haddington - the design was appalling
Cllr Ward - not safe
Cllr Cluer - should be refused on Road Safety not Highways Authority
Vote taken - Refusal - Unanimous.
Item 5 - York Potash - REPORT to NYMNPA
The Chair, Jane Mortimer introduced this next item, to consider and formulate the Report. A rep from York Potash gave a briefing of the project and the changes made since the previous application regarding bundings, spoil, MTS etc. Afterwhich Jane Mortimer was rather pleased that as a Parish Councillor she had been privileged to go on the recent site visit to Doves Nest and went on to explain about that visit, and many of the aspects of the project that she now clearly understood regarding visual impacts on the site ... after about 13 minutes of a comprehensive and most impressive summary of that site visit and about the project concluding that nobody wanted to spoil the National Park but after a 5/6 year construction period the gains over the immediate impacts on the locality, and the quality of the replantation scheme including Oaks, Beeches, and other English varietys and species of plants and fauna .... this was to be a magnificent opportunity to transform the area, not only economically but environmentally ... the mine itself a huge underatking ... it would be closely monitored during its construction and development.
First up was Cllr Ward who asserted he had not yet made up his mind ... but wanted to refer to full council - what they were discussing today could be open to legal challenge etc etc (system?) This was quickly refuted by Mike Read who confirmed "it is abosolutely within the remit of this Planning Committee" followed up by Cllr Ward declaring his uncertainty over the reports of the jobs are there 750 jobs or 2500 it was down to 31 local jobs at one point etc etc ... he was joined in his concern by Cllr Robinson (declared by some to be independent ... tho the historic evidence suggests otherwise). Concerns about water and the 6m wide tunnel.. Cllr Ward then asked about the construction methodology reiterating his view that if they were to build the tunnel first then the spoil from the mine could be transported first. This was countered with - but that would extend the construction period by a few years longer causing more impact. Cllr Ward Questioned the number of HGV movements 24/7 seven days per week? The road system 60% increase and 100% increase in HGVs' Whitby couldn't cope with the traffic now ... the lighting would be 24/7 ... he was totally confused by every report he read ...
Cllr Billing - he felt reassured there would be no impact on tourism ...
Cllr Haddingtton - the lighting - ilumination only on the areas worked on
Cllr Cluer - Why has no air quality assessment been included, what about the lagoon? ... concerns about the water, and referred to Para 5.1 NPF and that no demonstration of need had been included.
Cllr Siddons - had been following this project a long time and understood the overwhelming benefits economic and employment ...
Cllr Clegg - the Co has done everything possible to mitigate any environmental impacts ...
Cllr Allinson - not wanting to spoil the National Park but many parts of it and other National Parks were turning to dust and neglected areas. Whilst some may be crawling out of the woodwork to condemn it this was an opportunity to enhance the Park as well as the area as a whole.
Cllr Clegg (amazingly) recalled the three first atttempts from 1979 for potash extractions from the Moors, describing the old solution mining application and stated those would have been far more hdieous coompared to this ... "There may be trouble ahead" but supported this project (resistance is futile) :-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjJHnKw7YNA
Cllr Robinson - we have one chance to get this right - it needs to be right from the very beginning
Cllr Hatton - lives in the National Park "... doesn't want to be pickeld in aspic" yes there are concerns but there will be montioring
There then followed some discussion tween Ward, Hatton & Robinson about what exactly was going to be loaded onto the conveyor belt (that was quite funni)
(Note that one Cllr declared his interests in SXX shares and Kenyon and Chance were absent from the Chamber during any of the Potash dscussions)
The vote was taken to Recommend the Report to go to NYNPA - No objections, 2 abstentions. Passed.
Item 6 - York Potash - Construction Village
A rep (Whitmore?) went through the presentation showing the locality as close to Eskdale School, yet opposite the business park (the Super Sainsbury btw) explainiing the locations design and temporary nature of the site along with water and waste access, drainage strategy, some bunding to reduce visual impact. Further explained that an Archaeological Survey that had and was to be undertaken along with geophysical surveys including the find of former 'magnetic disturbance'. (splut) The description of the site two portacabins high, up to 400 of them to accommodate 267 workers and the provision of 504 car spaces although five 62 buses would probably be used to transport the workers, along with underground water storage tanks along with tight secuity of the site with a gatehouse 24 hr CCTV etc etc
Up for York Potash was Gareth Edmunds who sprightly ran thru the advantages of the park in its wider purpose of supporting thousand of jobs, a smaller but very important part of the project, the site would be fenced, safety measures were not only there for the site but for the school with New fences to be erected.
Speaking on behalf of the objectors was Cllr Tina Davey ; concerns about 24hr light and noise, extra traffic air quality and the lack of consderation for renewables on site. Whilst the 'village' was temporary, the visual impact of grey portacabins for up to say six years was slightly depressing. Could the applicant consider improving the visual aspect of the portacabins ....
There followed some discussion about the possibility of improving the appearance of the Portacabins. Finally the vote was taken - All greed, with one objection from Cllr Ward. - Approval.
Mike Read then added something about the Councils status as approving this application but something to do with being forwarded to the Secretary of State.
As the York Potash team in the Gallery prepared to leave I asked Justin Garland if I could ask a question, ask Gareth, oh but yeah but no but and very kindly Chris Frazer intercepted and said he would be happy to answer any questions. so outside the Galley I asked about what was meant by the referral to Secretary fo State statement- this was just a precaution, the approval stands, and would be forwarded to the Secretary of State should it ever be needed in the future. So no worries there then. I also asked him about the R&CBC recommendation for approval and one or two other matters that he was satisfied with, but I won't bore you with the details ..
Anyhow, it was great to see Frazer and the Potash team up their in the gallery with us 'muggles' and wish them luck with their project.
Whilst item 7 was being set up I noted Nick Edwards appearance in the Galley along with the 'fab four' (made some inappropriate overheard comments (Ooops - ever the Clown)) had a few words about the forth coming elections. the Futurist, Benchmark ... and went in search of a rather late lunch... did I mention something about a rather hairy person in A& E at 4.00 am - best not go there ... anyhow enuff for one day, apologies I couldn't stay for Item 8. more coma inducing stuff no doubt.
To sum up - was really impressed with most of the Councillors knowledge, especially Clegg, Mortimer, Siddons, Allinson. Missed loads of stuff out and not necessarily in the correct order - Ooops was rather rattled by some of the Cllrs comments "Are you still with us Cllr XXX " (nearly choked) and a Cllrs response to Tina Davey was extremely patronising and spoke of the incoming miners as if they ought to be living in some Sth African mining ghetto which was quite erm, disturbing and I wanted to pull both ends of his mustache rather sharpely, fortunately Tina Davey did not bite back. Anyhow, done and dusted.
On a brighter note ;-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-I_T3XvzPaM
First draft - EOE - get the gist - can be amended by request :-)
is izzy bizzy