On behalf of The Gasworks Site Coalition
A completely misleading impression was given in the article by Ellie Crabbe in The Argus on the 4th December that much local opposition to the controversial East Brighton gasworks site development has now been addressed by the latest iteration of the plans recently submitted by the Berkeley Group to BHCC planning. This is in fact quite false since the new proposals are in most essentials almost exactly the same as they were when brought forward this time last year, except for the addition of a further 4 townhouses and 8 apartments.
Local residents still remain deeply concerned by the highly polluting effect of developing the site with deep foundations which will stir up and spread the highly toxic dust and air-born gas contaminants currently buried in the site over a wide area, stretching at least half a kilometre beyond the outer boundary of the site, where many schools and open playgrounds put many vulnerable pupils at risk of illness and developmental problems, along with patients in the hospital, during the more than 6 years of construction envisaged on the site.
Such fears are well-founded, and based on the personal testimony of local residents in Southall, Hornsey and other redeveloped gasworks sites around the country.
Jo Griffin, a Guardian journalist who reported on the experiences of the residents in Southall has written that: “there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that the air around the gasworks in Southall was toxic.”
On her visits there she herself experienced watering eyes and a burning sensation in her nose followed by nosebleeds. “I was really shocked” she said “at how many people told us about the same issues: mostly pneumonia and pain in the eyes.”
Her interviews with local residents also revealed miscarriages, mental confusion, hallucinations and many types of breathing difficulties such as asthma as well as nausea, dizziness, headaches and vomiting.
One family had to hire an oxygen chamber to assist the breathing of their 7-year-old daughter. Griffin also found that many people on Beaconsfield Road, which backs directly on to the Southall gasworks site, had someone with cancer in their family.
MANY OTHER OBJECTIONS
The Council has received well over 600 objections relating to the fact that this is a massive overdevelopment of the site which proposes that of the 565 new dwellings 94% will be tall buildings, despite the fact that the recent Brighton City plan stipulates that the site is NOT in a tall building zone and is suitable for a development of some 85 dwellings.
Other residents’ concerns relate to the danger of wind-tunnel effects from the concrete canyons created by all the tall buildings which would be perched on an exposed cliff-top, and to the serious over-shadowing of local streets from sun and light deprivation.
Also many have raised concerns that the provision of only 178 car parking spaces for a new population of some 1500 residents will cause traffic gridlock and chaos in the surrounding streets, which are already at full capacity.
What Do You Think Of The Controversial Development Plans For The Former Gasworks site in East Brighton?
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