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CONTAMINATED-LAND-STRATEGIES  October 2005

CONTAMINATED-LAND-STRATEGIES October 2005

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Subject:

Re: PPS23 and Residential Developments

From:

Neil Coyne <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Neil Coyne <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 21 Oct 2005 12:11:16 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (212 lines)

Excellent discussions,

I just have one major query that hopefully Jon and Christiaan can help
clear up for me?

Lol - what does it mean??

I was always of the understanding that lol stood for ...Lots of Love,
now I am being infomed by my learned text mates that it stands for...
Laugh out Loud 

Personally I'll still read the former meaning as its such a nice way to
end an e-mail, whatever the content...

Happy Friday!

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Parr [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2005 10:50 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: PPS23 and Residential Developments

But surely the only way to make ourselves heard is to shout form the
rooftops!  

I do think we undervalue our opnions and power (we do after all drive
Part
IIA and try our damndest to improve quality of work in our areas), and
maybe
we should all (that is all 400+ of us!) should bulk email ODPM with our
concerns, our issues and what we think needs doing.  

Now im not saying its possible, but one email sent by someone from the
list
and supported by every CLO in the UK should at least make them sit up
and
pay attention.  The Planning Inspector is up to them to sort out!!!  

Look, I know I live in a hypothetical dream world sometimes; as Steve
says
the Standing Conference is very busily and successfully lobbying on our
behalf; but maybe its time we added our voice as a majority to this
lobbying
and began to make people listen to us as we all have the same
concerns!!!

We all know that stopping kids shooting up with smack and supporting
single
parent families (all worthy causes I may add) take precedence with every
LA
in the country; and apart from some of the more proactive Council's out
there (usually those in large conurbations) land contamination isn't
seen as
important.  What we need to do as a body politic is begin to make
everyone
aware of how important this issue is and even more, how important
getting it
assessed correctly is!  Would you want your health checked by a fully
qualified doctor or by some bloke who is a mate of a mate?! (unless of
course he is a fully qualified Doctor!!!)  Whilst SILC status aims to
achieve this, and is excellent and I hope to one day achieve it for
myself;
it doesn't do anything to stop the awful work we see being handed in by
the
smaller Consultancies and the lack of knowledge and appreciation of the
issues by, probably, the majority of Developers.  One example I have is
of a
Consultant assuring his Client PAH's were not an issue as they were only
phytotoxins!  Quite apart from the fact anything can be toxic to humans
(too
much H20, air, pie's!) this Consultant was quite serious in what he
said; I
mean come on!!!

And another issue I have come across is Developers handing in
preliminary SI
work and a GQRA using Dutch/USEPA as screening levels to fulfil a
planning
condition on a contaminated site that needs a DQRA!  Now I dont want to
tar
all small consultancies and developers with the same brush as there are
some
excellent ones out there who are striving to improve, but we al know it
goes
on and it needs to be stopped!

At the core of the work we do; first and foremost is Public Protection,
and
that is how we should approach the job.  If a developer doesn't like the
approach and decides to do a development somewhere else where the
Planning
Policy isn't so rigidly stuck too, then the only person who gains is the
developer with his profit margins; certainly not the people who live in
the
development that blows up!!!  To me what this calls for is a countrywide
adoption of a policy that all us CLO's can put to DC and say this is how
it
is/should/will be done across the UK; if not the liability lies with
you!
And I know I bang on about liability but I have worked in LA's for too
long
and seen too much to not have learnt that one of the most important
things
is covering my own back!!!  

Anyway; at the end of the day I am up for the challenge; is anyone
else?!

Rant over lol!!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Guppy, Steve [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 21 October 2005 11:16
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: PPS23 and Residential Developments


This forum and my thread have demonstrated once again that this might
often
feel like a lonely task, but there's plenty of others out there dealing
with
the same old problems every day.  

The general consensus is that we should require a desk-study with all
new
residential developments.  Pragmatism has lost to fear of liability and
that
would seem a sensible result if your heads on the block.  Many, of you,
including myself have probably experienced sites with significant
contamination issues which were only brought to light by a good
desk-study.
In most cases a desk-study I had to fight for too.  However, planners do
seem generally reluctant to take this approach for whatever reason, and
I
think we have a responsibility to raise  awareness and ensure that
workable,
PPS23 compliant policies are adopted at local level.  This is not just
training at planninjg officer level but suitable briefings to the
mangers/directors responsible for making the decisions and allocating
sufficient resource.  Lets not forget the spirit of the guidance; it's
there
to promote environmental improvement not an epidemic of sloppy shoulder
syndrome.  The planners rely on the opinion of the inspectorate who will
apply the usual planning condition tests of reasonable, necessary etc
under
the circular and in my experience this means they expect a desk-study
only
where contamination is already suspected.  An approach not generally
supported by those writing to this thread (and apparently not in the
spirit
of PPS23).  So, if we want to make our planners more aware someone needs
to
approach the inspectorate as well?  Something beyond our remit.  

A few of you indicated that the wholesale application of such a
condition
could not be managed within their office.  I do sympathise.  The phase
II's
currently sitting in my in-tray are probably sufficient to balance the
city's carbon dioxide emissions!  But if the desk study's weren't so
poor we
wouldn't have to spend hours holding developers hands.   PPS23 clearly
indicates what is required of a desk-study. Awareness amongst developers
and
those that supply information is required and without the support of our
planners that's a thankless task.

I'm not trying to make the situation sound all doom and gloom.  I'm sure
the
situation can be improved and those out there with an opinion can help.
Should we not be asking for additional guidance for PPS23, a national
training/awareness programme for planners and the inspectorate and an
industry standard for e-reports?  Something that the standing conference
might want to add to their already packed schedule.

Regards

Stephen Guppy
Senior Scientific Officer
Environmental Services
Southampton City Council   
*   [log in to unmask]

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