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Contamination 1

Dodgy LibDems Toxic School

No-one at Stockport Council listened to the very real concerns of local residents and the excellent local MP, who were sadly proved correct in all they said.

The Council knew the land had been intensively tipped from 1954 to 1974. Why, then, did they pretend it wasn't contaminated when they knew all along? Why did they try to take chances with the lives of children?



In the document above, The Council and Greater Manchester Geological Unit (part funded by Stockport Council) state 1) that the site where the school was going was free of contaminants - it wasn't; it was entirely covered with lead, arsenic and brown asbestos and 2) children could be protected from the rest of the contamination hotspots on the site by means of prickly bushes. This is a complete and utter scandal. The prickly bushes would have soaked up the contaminants and lost their prickly leaves, even supposing this was any kind of reasonable solution, which it wasn't.

Having got their assessment of the contamination on the site to dangerously wrong, GMGU was allowed to continue their work on the site. They should have been removed from this project.


The You Tube video opposite shows how the brown asbestos was allegedly removed from the site. Two bored blokes with bin bags and a stick. On "expert" even takes off his own respirator, showing he has no understanding of the importance of the task he is undertaking. A builder walks past unprotected in contravention of planning conditions. I told the Council this brown asbestos was being improperly removed. They said I was "vexatious".


The Council was fully aware that a planning application had been refused in 1974 (three in fact) due to the land being tipped and unsuitable for building.

"This land is tipped and unsuitable for building", I said. "Don't be vexatious", they replied!


This is a still gassing former toxic waste dump. The Environmental Health Officer at Stockport Council in the document above points to the fact that "a serious health risk would occur if one fibre of asbestos were to be released during the venting of the landfill gas." This site has brown asbestos. How can the Council ensure that asbestos fibres are not currently being vented out with landfill gases on that primary school site? Why on earth was that site chosen in the first place given the dangers, when the existing schools could have been renovated and renovated far more cheaply?

The Director of Public Health says cancer can be caused by a single asbestos fibre. Why put a primary school on a still-gassing asbestos dump then?



I had a meeting with Executive Councillor Weldon and Assistant Director of Children's Services Donna Sager to show them the site was contaminated. They were both still claiming it wasn't.

They banned me from ever raising the issue of the school again because they said I was being
"vexatious".

BS 10175, which the Council and Greater Manchester Geological Unit (part funded by Stockport Council) claim to have complied with, states the contamination investigations should be carried out on a strict grid pattern. This was not done and GMGU admitted that they didn't bother to investigate under the football pitch, which is where the school was going. "You have not complied with BS10175", I objected. "Don't be vexatious", they replied. Weldon, Goddard, Schulz, Sager, Khan, Pantall, Smith, Candler, Khan, Derbyshire, Bodsworth et al.

Local people claimed four footpaths over the site. The Council applied to divert them. I objected saying for all I knew they were going to divert them into areas of contamination, so they were forced to prove to the public inquiry inspector that the land was safe. For that public inquiry and for that inquiry only they finally carried out proper contamination investigations on a site they knew had 50% toxic hotspots in the trial pits they had dug (and BS 10175 states if they find toxic hotspots they should consider the whole site contaminated but they didn't). The entire site was found to be contaminated with lead, arsenic and brown asbestos. The school should have opened in September 2007 and babies in the nursery and 550 primary school children would have been day-in and day-out on that toxic site had it not been for my dogged intervention and that of local people. How utterly disgusting is that! Yet, Stockport Council - Boylan, Khan, Webb, Sager, Goddard, Derbyshire, Weldon, Smith, Bodsworth, Pantall et al still brand me as
"vexatious".

They didn't bother to investigate for contamination under the football pitch, which covers a lot of the site. Well, had they complied with BS 10175 as they claimed, they would have had to have done just that.

"You have not complied with BS 10175 as you claim", I objected. "Don't be vexatious", they replied.

When I forced them to comply with BS 10175, it turned out the entire site was contaminated with lead, arsenic and brown asbestos.

Below are the inadquate contamination investigations done on what the Council knew all along to be a contaminated site. The investigations marked CBR were simply to test the stability of the land and were nothing to do with contamination.

The paltry four trial pits for contamination were all dug at the far end of the site and not where the school was being built. This is directly over the old tip. I suppose the Council and Greater Manchester Geological Unit decided if they didn't bother to look for contamination wherethe school was going, then the wouldn't find it and could say, as they did, that the site had been shown to be safe. Trial pit 5/05 was never dug, as the Council didn't own the land.

They should have done contamination investigations on a strict 25m grid pattern. They didn't. When they were eventually forced to by this "vexatious" lady, they had to admit the entire site was contaminated.

On two sister sites - all former Jackson's Brickyards opened like the Mill Lane one in 1922 , with the same history of tipping (land off Midland Road, Bramhall and Bredbury Industrial Estate) - the Council demanded far more stringent investigations of developers even as far back as 1982 than they were demanding of themselves for a 550 pupil primary school and 78 babies nursery in 2006. This is a complete and utter scandal and those responsible are, in my opinion, not fit people to hold public office.

Don't trust these people with the safety of your children.


The site is gassing up to 14.7% v/v carbon dioxide. The Council told the Persimmon Homes public inquiry in 2006 that sites should not be built on if they are gassing above 1.5%v/v.



 

Below are the inadquate contamination investigations done on what the Council knew all along to be a contaminated site. The investigations marked CBR were simply to test the stability of the land and were nothing to do with contamination.

The paltry four trial pits for contamination were all dug at the far end of the site and not where the school was being built. This is directly over the old tip. I suppose the Council and Greater Manchester Geological Unit decided if they didn't bother to look for contamination wherethe school was going, then the wouldn't find it and could say, as they did, that the site had been shown to be safe. Trial pit 5/05 was never dug, as the Council didn't own the land.

They should have done contamination investigations on a strict 25m grid pattern. They didn't. When they were eventually forced to by this "vexatious" lady, they had to admit the entire site was contaminated.

On two sister sites - all former Jackson's Brickyards opened like the Mill Lane one in 1922 , with the same history of tipping (land off Midland Road, Bramhall and Bredbury Industrial Estate) - the Council demanded far more stringent investigations of developers even as far back as 1982 than they were demanding of themselves for a 550 pupil primary school and 78 babies nursery in 2006. This is a complete and utter scandal and those responsible are, in my opinion, not fit people to hold public office.

Don't trust these people with the safety of your children.

The site is gassing up to 14.7% v/v carbon dioxide. The Council told the Persimmon Homes public inquiry in 2006 that sites should not be built on if they are gassing above 1.5%v/v.

Please see below.




 

The Council "forgot" to tell the Environment Agency about the plan to build the school on toxic waste, although BS 10175, which they claim to have complied with, states the EA should have been informed at the outset.

When the Environment Agency emailed the Council to tell them not to decide the application on grounds of contamination, the Council
"forgot" to inform the Planning Committee.




 

I was right all along. The site was contaminated. Everyone knew it was contaminated, including the Council, but they tried to pretend it wasn't.

Did they apologise to me for having publicly labelled me "vexatious"
? Not yet!

 

It is stated in a full council meeting that BS 10175 has been complied with. It hadn't.

Above, the Chief Executive of the firm which got the initial contamination investigations so horribly wrong admits his firm are not experts assessing the health risks associated with airborne toxic contaminants. Then, why did his firm do the job and do it so badly?



"Dear Stockport Borough Council,

Can you please provide me relevant documentation for the safeguarding of local waterways and ECO SYSTEM adjacent to the ValeView school for the prevention of LEACHATE leaking into the Eco System.
For your information, Leachate is the liquid produced in a landfill sites. As the acids from decaying waste react with other rubbish, the leachate can become toxic. To prevent leachate contaminating nearby streams, it is collected and disposed of at a waste watertreatment plant.

Please provide the relevant documenation the LEACHATE safeguarding has been provided at the Vale View school."




"Screening works for asbestos containing material has been proven to be sufficient...demonstrating there has been a reduction inthe asbestos content of site won soils"

That was done by the two bored blokes with a stick and a bin bag (please see the You Tube clip on this site), one of whom even takes his own respirator off, so has no understanding of the serious nature of his task. A builder walked by unprotected.



The Council has never in the past monitored the gas/contamination on this known landfill site.

Above is a map of the school site in maybe the 1940s.  The ////// lines are where the old infilled claypits are, which is directly where the school was put. They didn't bother to do any contamination investigations directly over the old tip.  I assume they didn't do them because they knew if they did they would find something.  For a school with 550 primary school children and 78 babies this is gross negligence.

This shows the location of the school - directly over the old tip.

Letters from local residents telling the Council of the contamination - all ignored completely as they pretended it was safe.

They knew there were toxic hotspots on the site, so had they complied with BS 10175 as they claimed, they would have deemed the entire site to be contaminated.  They didn't.  They said the part of the site where the school was going had been shown not to be contaminated.  It hadn't because it was entirely contaminated with lead, arsenic and brown abestos.  They knew if they didn't bother to look, then they wouldn't find anything!
Don't trust any of the people involved with this development with the safety of your children.


There remains a danger from carbon monoxide for future building users.  Why take the chance?

Local people gained the help of a professional chemist to help prove the contamination was a real threat.  His report, subsequently proved totally correct, was ignored by the planning members, Executive Councillors and senior council officers involved in this shameful project with the notable and much appreciated exceptions of Councillor Harding and Councillor Bagnall - gentleman with the intelligence to understand documents put before them, willing to take the time to listen and not prepared to vote through something that would endanger the lives of children and local residents.

Planting prickly bushes might screen the children from the toxic waste hotspots.  Which complete idiot came up with this idea and why were they allowed to continue on the project after their suggestion had been proved so dangerously inept?

The excellent local MP even managed to get a parliamentary debate on the subject of the dangers this site posed.  The idiots at Stockport Council ignored it all.  There was money to be made, so no safety issues could be allowed to stand in the way of that, whatever the evidence.

I was raising the implications of the potentially huge costs of contamination remediation. They branded me "vexatious" for even raising the matter.

 
 
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