Billet Road, Bellway Homes Meeting 1st Nov ’22 Minutes

On 1st Nov 2022 AHDA invited members, local residents groups, local residents, Bellway Homes, Councillors from Aldborough WardLondon Borough of Redbridge and from Marks Gate, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Wes Streeting MP and Jon Cruddas MP to discuss the proposed planning application from Bellway Homes to ‘cap’ the contaminated land at Billet Road and then to build homes.

Welcome and introduction
Our Chair thanked residents from Aldborough and Marks Gate, local residents’ associations: Chadwell Heath Residents Association and Seven Kings Residents Association,  residents’ groups and representatives from Bellway Homes for attending meeting. The only Councillor to attend was Cllr Simon Perry (Marks Gate) who joined the meeting halfway through. Over 40 people attending the meeting.

Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence received from Wes Streeting MP and Cllr Jyotsna Islam (Redbridge). No response received from Cllr Howard, Cllr Phakoe or Cllr Bright.

Bellway Homes Presentation

Bellway representatives took us through a number of slides as shown below. (Click on the images to expand) see also Bellway Homes Billet Road Consultation

Main information provided during the presentation

The yellow area on the maps is the current landfill, considerable investigation performed to establish the position of the old pit. Proposal to leave the landfill. Removing it would be simpler but vehicles such as tipper lorries can drip material. Consider it better to cap it with clean material. The capping will be thick so that normal maintenance can be performed. The problem is that some of the waste material compresses more readily than other so need to regularise it with surcharge to squeeze, push water out. Drains to be installed to facilitate the water/ material to drain out. Each phase is 4 to 6mth can’t tell in advance. The water drains out, is cleaned and disposed of.
Access to the site will be where the car sales and scrapyard and kennels are.
The capping comes very close to residential properties where it will be 2m high. Dust monitoring will be across the site to minimise nuisance.
They hope to acquire clay soil from large tunnelling projects in London.. A series of lorries entering at Billet Road and exit on Billet Road. Phase 1 & 2 will last 40 weeks.
The land will rise gently to the crown at the centre, because of the size of the area it’s a gentle increase and not a mound.
A slurry wall will be installed at the boundary on the west side, it will clean the materials for activated carbons suitable for 75 years and will be managed by the management company and should improve the quality of the water course.

AHDA concerns

We are concerned about the level of contamination, you name it, it went in there literally including a tanker.
Looking at the supporting documents for planning application 3376/22 and there are a lot of them, Idom took water samples and found Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Chromium Hexavalent, Copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, zinc, cyanide, sulphate, TPH, benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, Xylene, PAH (total), PAH, Benzo(a)pyrene, Naphthalene, Phenols.  This includes the same contamination as the  Hinkley contaminated water made famous by the Erin Brockovich film. As well as Asbestos in the soil (added by a local resident). AHDA are concerned if this is squeezed it will come out the sides onto neighbouring properties.

Traffic levels, bad enough if its was only this but need to take into consideration the gravel extraction lorries at Aldborough Hatch will be in competition for road space with Bellway.

On site – one 1 parking space for site personnel and 4 for lorries, and these will be larger than average lorries. Will they abide by the weight restrictions or will Thames Water be coming out  to fix more bust mains.

Only space for 1 lorry to wait at the booth, the rest will be waiting on the road. Plan to start at 6.30am (meet with loud objections), take it back, review it again, 7.30am at the earliest. Make more provision on site for lorries as they will get there early. Billet Road has bus routes.

Dust risk assessment shows sensitive areas nearby, dust will track down the road depending on wind direction.
Noise – what is a ‘short period of noise’, what impact on shift workers, they get in and the road is blocked, horns going, and they want to sleep.

Questions and Answers

Resident: Concerned about the traffic on to A12 which has ‘intelligent traffic lights’ adjusted for those travelling in from London. Leading to heavy congestion at the bottom of Hainault Road. Waiting traffic doesn’t register on surveys, the only relevant monitoring is journey time surveys, how long it takes  but none have been done by the developers. 15 lorries turn up at 7 – 7.30am will double the amount of problems along with rat running. We will put up cameras along the whole road to monitor this if it goes ahead. Will you be able to change the Chicane on Billet Rd by speaking to LBBD?
Bellway: acknowledge that it is disruptive but it’s the least disruptive method.
Resident: How many exits on to Billet Road, one. So opposite where the scaffold lorries come out (Red House Farm). West Ham have sold their land.
Resident: TFL being consistent in refusing entry from A12.
Resident: why don’t you go build elsewhere
Chair: Bellway have taken an opportunity site and bought what Redbridge sold. Unfortunately, the ward Councillors are not here to contribute to the meeting.
Resident: LBBD havn’t told us anything, my son goes to a Special Needs school, lorries, noise traffic cause him to head butt the car due to suffering from autism. Will Bellway pay for the damage?
Bellway: we will be consulting with the school.
Resident: all the dust, what about people with COPD, Asthma, not consulted not thought about.
Resident: Where are all these people coming from are they on a waiting list
Chair: I was a Cllr of Aldborough and the waiting list for Redbrdige was 12,000. The greatest need was for 3 bed houses.
Resident: I live next to the site, in Lbbd I wrote to LBBd and they said they know nothing about it. Its all hush hush. Huge project next to my garden. We wrote and got no response. How extensive was the testing – no one knows. How reliable is the testing, tons of clay going on it, what happens to our children – we need to know!
Bellway: The site was investigated with deep bore holes, 4 times the amount of holes. Lab testing. Heavy metals will be removed and taken to a landfill site. The site has a high water table.
Resident : what guarantee do we have that we won’t be breathing it in?
Bellway: offered residents Air Quality monitors in their gardens. Several said yes.
Resident: how will it be collected (reference to contamination)
Bellway: we are not removing it
Resident: I live next to it. Willow Farm we used to farm the area you call the ‘Boggy ‘ part. Until the water level became high it was a cricket pitch. What makes you say it was unlicensed? I have a letter from 1969 from Redbridge stating that there will be gravel extraction and what it can be filled with. There was no Environment Agency back then. It was licensed. It was also a standing joke in the area. Filled with crap, including chemicals, medical waste and waste from local factories, Plessey and others . They even wanted to take the landfill further east. The slurry is only round half of the site, what stops it coming out around the edge?
Bellway: The water will be pumped into the sewer,
Resident: Thames Water main sewer Hainault Rd?  The one that get blocked all the time?
Resident: If I go to the dentist with a bad tooth they don’t put another on top they remove it (applause)
Resident: question on behalf of Marks Gate residents, Marks Gate is a village connected on 2 sides. Everyone in Marks Gate knows how awful the traffic is, just to get to the station through the traffic, if this goes ahead it will be grid locked.
Local resident: what is the area of the land? (Discussion with Bellway as to size of the contaminated area) calculates that a 150 lorries a day will be needed to bring in enough clay.
 resident: Local planning was refused because the local roads can’t take it. There’s 150 years needed for cool off, this will stir up landfill gasses.
Resident: All the waste from the local factories examply Plessey went in, probably medical waste too
Resident: How will Bellway guarantee we won’t be flooded?
Bellway: it won’t be flooded.
Resident : we already have floods.
Bellway: When developed there will be drainage and it will be controlled,
Cllr Perry: Angry that LBBD don’t know, only reason I know is Bellway told me. (Cllr Perry then spoke to some very upset residents outside of the meeting).
Jenny: Compare this to Fairlop Waters which was a dump with black ooze rising to the surface. Capping is short sighted environmentally. Look at the Olympic site.
Residents of Coral Close: we do not want an entrance/ exit to the site from their Coral Close for pedestrians and cycles, we don’t want to be joined to Redbridge, we are in LBBD. It will cause more crime. Keep it separate.
Bellway: Redbridge have said they want it.

Ecology

Slides were presented on: Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) – in terms of Environment Act, London Plan and Local Plan. Local designated nature sites, what is known / not known about the site’s Biodiversity, Some of the site wildlife caught on camera (Bats, Barn Owls, hedgehogs). Is it possible to integrate wildlife into a development site? (click mages to expand)

Cllr Perry: addressed the meeting, explaining that if Bellway Homes meet the planning requirements, then Redbridge will approve it. Its best to work with Bellway.

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