enz-NO DEVELOPMENT - GLYNNEATH
This page contains information about the proposed enz-NO Housing Development in Glynneath. The site was previously owned by the Cuddy Group who used it predominantly for landfill for their demolition and asbestos removal business. Several residents have witnessed what they believe to be asbestos and chemicals being tipped at the site. The site was tested and proven to be contaminated with the grade 1 classified carcinogens Arsenic and Benzo[a]pyrene in 2008.
The Neath-Port Talbot Council have a duty to ensure that this contamination is recorded and dealt with as defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. However the council planning department have covered up the fact that the land is contaminated, they are refusing to provide further information relating to the testing and the Council Leader is refusing to investigate our concerns. The local councillors are either ignoring our communication or are refusing to ask the relevant questions on our behalf. It is the opinion of most of us that the development has in the past and will in the future cause serious health problems to those of us living in the vicinity of the site.
The plans also include building on an existing inland flood plain which will increase the flood risk to the lower parts of Woodland Park and Brynhyfryd. It is currently in the application stages at the NPT council planning department.
The purpose of the page is to provide information to local residents with information relating to the site so that they are made aware of the potential hazards related to the development and to identify which organisations have been negligent in historically allowing the development to continue to its current stage.
We believe the development will have a negative impact on the following Glynneath locations, Woodland Park, Brynhyfryd, Waun Gron, the Inter Valley Road, Heol-y-Glyn, Aberdare Road, Ynys Las.
REASONS WHY THE DEVELOPMENT SHOULD NOT GO AHEAD IN ITS CURRENT FORMAT
HISTORICALLY LANDFILL - FLOOD RISK - CHEMICAL TESTING - CONTAMINATED LAND
|The company that conducted the
tests of the development site in 2019, Terra Firma (Wales) Ltd
are the same company who tested the land in 2008. In 2008 their
survey of the land identified potential sources of
Potential Sources of Contamination - The only potential source of contamination is the spoil heap of made ground, which occupies the majority of the site. It is unknown what soils the spoil is comprised of. As well as potential contamination from the made ground, given its thickness it is likely that ground gas may also be generated from the spoil. (20080500a-DO-TFIR-geo.rpt.cuddy.3.2)
It also evidenced contamination in several locations on the site. The 2008 chemical survey of the made ground showed that in places Arsenic, Zinc and Benzo(a)pyrene are almost 3 times above the accepted safe levels (20080500a-DO-TFIR-geo.rpt.cuddy.5.4).
Both Arsenic and Benzo(a)pyrene are classified as grade 1 carcinogens. They can cause cancer.
There is no record of this contaminated land being removed. The locations and other info can be seen on the right hand illustration.
Neath Port Talbot Council and the Glynneath Town Council have a duty of care to the people of Glynneath to investigate further when contaminated land has been identified. There is no evidence of the Contaminated Land Team having been informed about the contamination on the site.
Protection Act 1990 - Part IIA............
Identification of contaminated land.
|The Neath Port Talbot Council
Environment Strategy states that................
"Since 2001 all Local Authorities have had a duty to inspect, locate and ensure the remediation of all statutory designated Contaminated Land in their locality. Neath Port Talbot has a Contaminated Land Strategy which outlines a programme for identifying and inspecting contaminated land.
Whilst the Council leads on contaminated land, it works with other partners, notably the Environment Agency and the Welsh Assembly Government.
Council owned and privately owned land are always treated in the same manner. Land identified outside the general approach to inspection is sometimes identified and are dealt with as they arise.
Polluter Pays Principle
Neath Port Talbot Council Environment Strategy (page 63) - CLICK HERE
ACTIONS RELATING TO CONTAMINATED LAND
is: "To identify, remove and prevent significant harm occurring from contaminated land to people, property, animals and the environment"
(Neath Port Talbot Council - Environment Strategy
When the land was found to be contaminated in 2008 nothing seems to have been done about it. According to the Neath Port Talbot Council's Environment Strategy the council have a duty to inspect this land so we requested confirmation of this from our local County Councillor Del Morgan and the Planning Department at NPTC. The following are a series of actions which we have undertaken to verify this information.
20200405a-EM-RICD-NPTC-enzo14 - We started off by sending an email (from Dai Richards) to Steve Ball & Councillor Del Morgan referencing Councillor Morgans's facebook post about how he was to going to make sure that planning checked for contamination etc at the site. The purpose of this email was to identify the actions that the councillor and the planning department had taken in 2008 when the site was previously identified as contaminated. Evidence in the form of an extract from the 2008 report was attached to the email.
The email was copied to Nicola Lake (planning), Haulwen Jones (Glynneath Town Council), Christina Rees MP, and the NPTC Leader Rob Jones. - CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS EMAIL
20200409a-EM-NPTC-RICD-enzo16 - We received an email from Steve Ball (to Dai Richards) in reply to the email dated 5/4/2020 (CLICK HERE). Again the planning officer has avoided relevant questions and has refused to answer any further emails. - CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS EMAIL
20200419a-EM-RICD-NPTC-CLEA-contam2008 - Further to the planning officers refusal to answer questions we sent an email to the Council Leader advising his that the council had probably contravened the Environment Protection Act 1990. That the council had a legal responsibility since 2002 to identify contaminated land and that their 2008 Environment Strategy stated that it was their aim to identify, remove and prevent significant harm occurring from contaminated land to people, property, animals and the environment. We also highlighted the planning departments failure to observe the council's code of conduct. - CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS EMAIL
20200420a-EM-NPTC-CLEA-RICD-contam2008 - The council leader made an error in judgement when he decided that our email was a complaint as opposed to a request for information. He passed our email on to the planning department who are the root cause of the complaint. - CLICK HERE
20200428a-EM-RICD-NPTC-complaint-no - We emailed the council leader with our refusal to complain. - CLICK HERE
20200504a-EM-NPTC-RICD-contam2008 - The head of planning in shrewd move entered my request for information as a Stage 2 complaint and refused to reply to any more emails which passed on any further response by myself to the Ombudsman. - CLICK HERE
20200507A-EM-RICD-plan-s-ball-CP1-notice - When I actually did complain, Ceri Morris, the head of planning stated that he'd already investigated my complaint. - CLICK HERE
RECENT CHEMICAL ANALYSIS INADEQUATE
|The above quote is taken from an objection by a chemistry graduate Simon Thomas. The recent chemical analysis of the site taken for the current application tests to less than a metre in places. Previous tests have showed that the land is contaminated. We believe that the test for this planning application has deliberately avoided testing to a reasonable depth because of previous negative results. If we look at the photographs below taken recently at the site, we will see that it is leaking chemicals in several locations|
RECENT PHOTOS AND NOTES FROM THE SITE
|20/3/2020||oil? chemicals? in a pond/puddle on the top of the plateau|
what looks to be chemicals leaking from the site into the stream, and a small pool of water containing what looks to be unhatched frog spawn. If this is frog spawn the tadpoles should have hatched by now and be swimming in the pond.
THE LAND IS INCORRECTLY IDENTIFIED AS SUITABLE FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
The land on which the proposed Enzo development is planned has been incorrectly identified on the Local Development Plan. This plan states that the land is 'gently sloping' and suitable for housing development. However, the land is clearly industrial landfill for the majority of the site and wetlands/bog in the remaining area.
On the Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council Local Development Plan adopted in January 2016 - (CLICK HERE for the LDP) the land at Heol-y-Glyn has been identified for housing development. It is described as 'gently sloping'.
However the land is far from gently sloping it is a large plateau of industrial waste with a steep bank and a flood plain.
Over the last 90 years it has had two historical uses.
1. LANDFILL - Historically the land has been used for the last 90 years as landfill. However, there is no information about the land having previously been used for municipal or industrial landfill in the Local Development Plan . The 2008 survey states that here has been no historical evidence of a landfill location for 1km. This information is taken off Ordnance Survey maps and is clearly incorrect. In the 2003 planning approval on the site conditions 17 and 18 refer to the access road to the site requiring testing prior to the construction of the access road because the land had been 'tipped on'. This provides evidence that the Neath Port Talbot Council Planning Department were already aware that the land had been used as industrial landfill. Local residents who have lived in Glynneath all their life always refer to the land as 'the tip'. This includes 84 year old Ray Jones whose father was the refuse collector in the 1930's and 1940s. Testimonials collected from other residents provide evidence that the land has always been either a council or industrial landfill site.
2. FLOOD PLAIN - The land in the south west of the proposed development acts as an inland flood plain. The plan shows several houses being built in the location. The land has historically been known by residents as 'the bog' because it has traditionally been a flood plain / marshland area. In heavy rain the surface water on the site has always flowed to that corner and two streams converge in the corner causing the area to 'flood' in heavy rain. The ground was tested to 3 metres in 2008 which showed only peat at the location. The 'bog' is situated above a fault line in the earth's crust. The 2008 survey 'assumed' that no-one would build there because in the words of a local resident 'only an idiot would build houses there'. Building on the flood plain will move it to the neighbouring properties (see illustrations below of the areas and streams in flood).
ACCOUNTABILITY - Neath Port Talbot Council are negligent. The person or persons accountable for the accuracy of the information about the Heol-y-Glyn site in the Local Development Plan (page 132 row 2) is/are negligent for not undertaking due diligence. They have not identifiied that this land which had been historically used as landfill for the last 90 years or as an inland flood plain. They have said incorrectly that it was suitable for housing development.
ACCOUNTABILITY - Glynneath Town Council and County Councillors for the area of the development land are negligent for not undertaking due diligence in scrutinising the information made available to them by the NPT Council. Notably the Local Development Plan and planning applications by the Cuddy Group. Specifically the 2003 initial application, passed on 12 July 2005 (20050712a-WB-NPTC-CUDD-plan-approval) and the 2008 planning application relating to condition 17 (20081106a-WB-NPTC-CUDD=cond17 - CLICK HERE).
TIMELINE & FURTHER ACCOUNTABILITY
|2003||Condition 17 (& 18 not
illustrated) from the initial 2003 planning approval
(P2003/1330) provide evidence that the NPTC Planning department
were aware of the land's historical usage as landfill.
The use of the term "in view of the tipped material on the site." is evidence of this.
From the lack of evidence of a registration in the previous planning applications on the site it must be assumed that the waste landfill added by the Cuddy Group has been unregisitered.
Conflicting evidence in the 2008
geo-technical report shows that the land was already being used
by the Cuddy Group as unregistered landfill. It was said that
"Made ground is known to overlie the superficial deposits
across the majority of the site", the report used Envirocheck, a consultancy firm from Reading, Berkshire for this information.
They provided information that no historical or current landfill
sites situates within 1km of the site" The British
Geological Survey defines made ground as:
"Made ground — man-made deposits such as embankments and spoil heaps on the natural ground surface."
ACCOUNTABILITY - The company submitting the report, Terra Firma (Wales) Ltd., have misrepresented the information contained within it. The introduction of the report says that checks were made by the Environment Agency and evidence contained in the historical information document shows that Envirocheck a commercial company based in Reading, Berkshire provided this information.
ACCOUNTABILITY - NPTC Planning Department are negligent for accepting this survey and not checking back against the 2003 approved plans to see how this information compares with the approval in place. What is clear from the 2008 survey is that this survey should have been conducted before any planning applications contained on the site were approved. They have not undertaken due dilligence as to its contents.
|2016||On 29 March
2020 we forwarded email chain from 2016
which included Nicola Lake and Steve Ball as planning officers
on the Cuddy development. We added a cover letter as an
objection. The email chain provided proof that the land was
being used as industrial landfill in 2016.
The email exchange in 2016 provided evidence that NPTCBC are negligent in allowing Cuddy to tip for 6 years and not re-defining the land as industrial landfill on the Local Development Plan in 2016 . - CLICK HERE FOR THIS EMAIL - 20200329a-EM-RICD-NPTC-cuddy-2016-1
Below is an excerpt from this email sent on 29/3/2020 to Nicola Lake, NPTC Planning Department
"Condition 27 of the 2010 approval stated that tipping should cease 12 months after commencement. Satellite images of the site readily available on line show that this is not the case. Your department and the local councillors of Glynneath are negligent for allowing this to happen. That the Cuddy Group continued to tip industrial waste on the site without attempting to improve the access road is evidence that their intent was to tip industrial waste as opposed to building houses. The company Primrose Homes is also evidence of this, it remained a dormant company (not trading) from its creation in 2006 to the Cuddy Groups demise in 2018. Primrose Homes also known as Heol-y-Glyn Developments Ltd did not build a house in the 12 years of its existence."
|The 2008 Geo-technical survey of the
proposed Enzo development stated that:
"It is assumed that no development of the area in the southwest of the site, adjacent to the stream will take place. (20080500a-DO-TFIR-geo.rpt.cuddy.9.1)
The reason why the survey assumed this is because the area has been traditionally wetlands, in effect it is an inland flood plain which regularly floods in heavy rain. The same report also identified that this ground had not been tipped on and a test of the ground (TP8) showed that only peat was present. The test did not go further that 3.04 metres so there is an even greater deposit of peat than that: (Frances No 57 and Gareth No 60 and Ian No 53 will confirm this because they have lived in the area all their lives and played in this wetlands area / flood plain as children)
There is no evidence of stable ground suitable for the construction of houses at this location.
"No made ground was identified in TP8 (close to the stream), where peat was present from ground level to the full investigation depth of 3.04m (20080500a-DO-TFIR-geo.rpt.cuddy.4.5)"
The same report also notes that the stream follows the line of a fault in the earth's crust.
"The weakness of the underlying mudstone may be related to the proximity of the fault that runs through the site (the stream is above the fault line) - (20080500a-DO-TFIR-geo.rpt.cuddy.4.5)"
The Enzo development shows three properties being built in the southwest corner with the ground being raised a further 5 metres above its current height. This ground will then slope down to the boundaries of numbers 60, 58, 56 and 66 Brynhyfryd. This action will move the current flood plain from behind these properties to the actual properties themselves.
The proposed development is on an inland (current) flood plain
The consequences of building over the flood plain are that it will move to the neighbouring properties with the overspill affecting properties in the neighbourhood already susceptible to flooding.
This document also includes photographs of flooding in the flod plain and in the streets and gardens of the local properties. Flooding is already a problem in the lower parts of Brynhyfryd and Woodland Park. Excess floodwater will run off and affect Aberdare Road which has already been flooded twice this year. (2020)
|There will be many - info to follow|
THE NOTIFICATION &
PLANNING PROCESS IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE
|The council have failed to inform residents of the extent of the
application and have confused residents by avoiding giving pertinent
information in the title of the application.
Who is responsible for determining the titles / relevant information on planning notices?
|Notices were placed on private property and became unreadable within 24 hours.|
Residents who live next to the development have not been directly informed
of the development.
These include residents of Waun Gron who will have properties overlooking them and Brynhyfryd and Woodland Park residents.
The neighbourhood consultation process is taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The council employees who are working at home expect over 70s to break UK Government isolation guidelines to view planning notices, none of which refer to the extent of the proposed development.
Residents whose houses are likely to be affected by additional flooding
have not been directly informed of the development.
55 & 57 Brynhyfryd
|The NPTC council website is broken and even if residents have the internet they are unable to download files relating to the planning application..|
The original housing development for the Heol-y-Glyn site was by Primrose Homes which is a trading name of Heol-y-Glyn Developments Ltd. The company was incorporated on 1 September 2006.
The original company secretary was Miss Margaret Michelle Davies and the sole director was Emma Watts whose occupation was listed as office clerk (presumably at the Cuddy Group), both of Merthyr Tydfil (source Companies House website - CLICK HERE).
On the 21 September 2006 both the secretary and the director resigned, they were replaced on the 12 October 2006 by John Cuddy operating in both roles as both the secretary and sole director. (source Companies House website - CLICK HERE).
On 1 November 2006 Mike Cuddy joined his brother John as a director. (source Companies House website - CLICK HERE)
The company throughout its history from 2006 to 2018 submitted dormant accounts. Dormant means that the company did no business throughout the years of its existence. (source Companies House website - CLICK HERE).
A full history of the company can be found on the Companies House website.
We have seen that Primrose Homes did not build any homes so its likely that the purpose of the company was to provide a cover operation for other means. The two directors John and Mike Cuddy were also owners of the Cuddy Group. The Cuddy Group industrial waste.
The Cuddy Group according to an article about the company on the originally published by the Western Mail, the Cuddy Group was the 12th largest demolition company in the world with demolition and asbestos removal as the core of its business. SOURCE INFO - CLICK HERE
HISTORY - PLANNING - NPTCBC
ORIGINAL PLANNING DOCUMENTS PAGE - CLICK HERE
ORIGINAL LAYOUT OF HOUSES - CLICK HERE
DECISION & CONDITIONS - CLICK HERE
The original plans were approved on 12/7/2005
Illustrated is condition 17 which states "tipped material on the site" which identifies that the ground is historically landfill.
PLANNING APPLICATION WITHDRAWN - P2008/1462 (submitted and withdrawn together with
Details relating to condition 17 (access road borehole testing)
VIEW PLANNING APPLICATION WEBSITE SUMMARY - SEARCH P2008/1462 - CLICK HERE
(17/4/2020 - these documents which were previously available for download and/or viewing are no longer available) an error message pops up.
VIEW PLANNING APPLICATION DOCUMENTS - (20081106a-WB-NPTC-CUDD=cond17 - CLICK HERE)
KEY DOCUMENT - P2008/1462 - GEO-TECHNICAL and GEO-ENVIROMENTAL REPORT - Prepared for Moore Knight Limited by Terra Firma (Wales) Limited
This document contains a mass of information relating to the site including the identification of contaminated ground and advice against building on the peat bog, however there are several contradictions contained in the report relating to its historical use as a tip. For example the majority of the land is made up mainly of 'made ground, (landfill) yet the report says there has never been a tip on site ever.
KEY DOCUMENT - P2008/1462 - ENVIROCHECK HISTORICAL INFORMATION
includes maps and test results for boreholes etc for the above report.
Application received by the NPTC Planning Department on 6/11/2008
The decision date was due to be 2/4/2009 however the plans were withdrawn. At the time of writing (19/4/2020) the NPTC planning website is showing error messages for the downloading of documents relating to this application.
This application was most likely withdrawn because the contaminated land report and remediation recommendations would have cost the Cuddy Group several thousand pounds.
FULL APPROVAL WITH CONDITIONS - CLICK HERE
approved on 23/4/2010
The council gave approval for Cuddy to tip materials onto the site up to a level of 15 metres. full planning permission on the site in 2010 with conditions. The approval on more than occasion referred to "tipped material" at the site.
Conditions 17 and 18 state
"In the interests of highway safety and structural stability, in view of the tipped material on the site."
Condition 27 states - (27) Any importation of material shall cease within 12 months of its commencement, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority. The Local Planning Authority shall be notified in writing when operations commence within 7 days of the commencement of tipping operations. Reason In the interest of amenity.
The condition states that Cuddy was only allowed to tip for 12 months. What is the start date? There's an email from Nicola Lake in 2016 that says there are complex issues however the condition is quite simple, Cuddy is to give a start date, then tip for 12 months and finish. Cuddy tipped for around 5-6 years which would indicate that he gave no start date or the condition was not policed correctly by either the NPTC or Glynneath TC.
|2010||PLANS APPROVED WITH CONDITIONS - P2010/0562 - 1/7/2010
Condition 1 of the development states that the development needs to have begun within 5 years of the original planning approval on 12/7/2005.
"(1) The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of five years from the date of the original planning permission P2003/1330 (approved on 12/07/05). Reason To comply with the requirements of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990."
The last fully approved permission with conditions were made on 1/7/2010. There is no evidence of the development beginning since 2005 and only the tipping of industrial waste has occurred since 2010. Even if this permission carried forward to the 2010 approved plans, there has been a considerable alteration to the shape of the site and the make up of the ground. The satellite photographs below provide evidence of this. Therefore the permission for P2003/1330 has lapsed because the owners of the land have been unable to meet this condition. It is therefore inadmissible with this application.
|2016||PLANS DECLINED - P2016/0974 (not found on the 2003
search) - REFUSAL OF PLANNING
failure to meet conditions including the cessation of tipping.
What the NPT Council Planning Department said when we asked them to delay the Enzo planning application because of COVID-19 and the social distancing restrictions for the elderly in our street.
"However despite the current circumstances in relation to Covid 19 we are unable to hold the application until after the present circumstances have been relaxed. Instead we would suggest that you consider using social media"
|Condition 1 of the development states that the development needs to have begun within 5 years of the original planning approval on 12/7/2005.
"(1) The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of five years from the date of the original planning permission P2003/1330 (approved on 12/07/05). Reason To comply with the requirements of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990."
The last fully approved permission with conditions were made on 1/7/2010. There is no evidence of the development beginning since 2005 and only the tipping of industrial waste has occurred since 2010. Even if this permission carried forward to the 2010 approved plans, there has been a ten year gap since then without approved planning permission. There has also been considerable alteration to the shape of the site and the make up of the ground. In 2016 this necessitated a cessation of tipping order. The satellite photographs below readily available on-line provide evidence of this. Therefore the permission for P2003/1330 must be considered to have lapsed because the previous developers were unable to meet this condition. There is no extant planning permission for this application.
SITE HISTORY - SATELLITE AND OTHER IMAGES
image courtesy of Ian & Dorothy Williams
1 - Image one shows the Cuddy machine busy at work.
2 - Image two shows recently disturbed ground in two isolated spots in the tipped area.
3. Image three shows machine tracks to these isolated locations.
The following is a statement from a local resident which formed part of an objection to the planning application for this site.
"The back of the house including my garden overlooks the tip as I am on top of Bryhyfryd Hill. I get up several times in the night to use the toilet. I have seen a number of lorries dumping in the pitch dark, also at one time with Cuddy and company they kept a machine over there, by day the Cuddy worker would turn up and unbury everything [meaning they would dig up the top of the previous day's hole just above what they had dumped the previous day] I (Dai Richards am also witness to this type of activity, I cycle regularly down the Banwen Rd and I used to stop and watch the Cuddy' vehicles at work]. "I've also been over there (to the proposed Enzo site) early in the morning and seen large metallic barrels containing what I believe to be asbestos, I am familiar with asbestos and I have seen broken bits pushed down into the ground . The barrels also contained chemicals and when the Cuddy machine driver turned up at 8.00am in the morning they were pushed into the ground. There were lorries during the day which were bringing stuff from I don't know where but they were burying all the waste. (I asked this resident how far away he was from the barrels?) He replied. I kicked them and they were full, they were not empty.
WHY YOU SHOULD OBJECT
|Timescale - It is likely that the
window to object will stay open longer that the 2nd April
deadline. Reading the small print in an email from the planning
department it should be open for a couple of weeks at least.
Please join me in objecting to this proposal on the following grounds.
2. Building over the stream increases the flood risk to the lower parts of Brynhyfryd and Woodland Park. In torrential rain, water running off the higher ground will settle in Brynhyfryd and Woodland Park and flood the lower houses.
3. There will be excessive noise and disturbance from the tipping, once the stream is piped underground, we will have bulldozers and earth movers working right up to our boundary fences, any trees or shrubs in the way will be removed.
4. During dry periods contaminated dust clouds will form and cause a health hazard for residents who may have asthma or bronchial conditions. You won’t be able to dry clothes on the line, cars and windows will become filthy.
5. Heavy earth moving machinery working near our boundary walls and properties may cause damage to their foundations or structure.
6. The new houses will overlook the street and we will lose our privacy.
7. The chemical testing on the ground has been inadequate.
(Due to the corona virus, the only way to object at present
is by email)
Via the planning website www.npt.gov.uk/planningonline ( NOT AVAILABLE )
- view the application (search for P2020/0195) and click on leave a comment. This will allow you to object.
By writing to NPT Planning, The Quays, Brunel Way, Neath, SA11 2GG
RESOURCES / USEFUL INFORMATION
|NPTCBC Planning website - https://www.npt.gov.uk/planningonline|
|Exchange of emails with the planning department at NPTC - CLICK HERE|
|Planning Committee home page - CLICK HERE|
|COUNCIL INFORMATION - APPLICATION REFERENCE P2020/0195 - https://www.npt.gov.uk/planningonline - CLICK HERE|
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