IQSLES QUARRY 2016
The transition of Isles Quarry West Industrial Area and derelict Quarry into Crest Nicholson's Hazlebourne Housing development has been a controversial issue for many years. This website contains over 20m seperate pages of evidence of the whole process, but I have attempted to strip the narrative to its bare bones here, but below are links to those pages.
THE EARLY CONSPIRACY:
In December 2003 BGPC Chair Sue Murray met with TMBC Planning Officers and Hanson's Development Manager, discussed to future of development on Isles Quarry East and West. Sue passed on the "Hanson Plan" discussed at that meeting at a meeting of Borough Green Parish Council. BGPC idscussed Hanson's proposals in Confidential, so there is scant reference in the minutes . That plan was not made available to the public until 2011, despite multiple Freedom of Informations requests.
THE FORGED PARISH PLAN
In February 2005 we had a public exhibition in the Village Hall to consult with residents how the Village moved forward. Charles Willsher did a comprehensive analysis of comments reflecting the fact that no-one had ever heard of Isles Quarry West and the Hanson scheme. But when the Parish Plan was submitted in evidence to TMBC it included the ACTION PLAN referring to IQW Housing, and had changed "Villagers oppose more development" into "Development supported by villagers". (Note Action Plan is initialled by "BH" Barry Hughes). Sue Murray subsquently sent a copy of the "forged" Parish Plan to Chief Planner BRIAN GATES . The submission was never put before the Public or the Parish Council, and was subsequently declared invalid. But the damage was done - the Inspector approved Isles Quarry Housing. LDF CORE STRATEGY.
Despite many Freedom of Information requests to BGPC, the "HANSON PLAN" was not released until 2011, when the old Parish Council was deposed in an election.
An extremely comprehensive CONTAMINATION SURVEY was carried out by URS Scott Wilson, but unfortunately TMBC did not bother to ensure Crest's compliance. Crest began clearing contamination in November 2013, although they did not have Planning Approval until December 2013. When we complained to TMBC they said "It is species related ecological investigations". Photographs proved Crest had buried contamination on site , instead of being exported to a Hazardous Landfill, and the detailed sampling demanded was reduced to ONE SINGLE SAMPLE. It was not until October 2014 that TMBC finally bought them to book , with a subsequent emergency report to Area 2 Planning Committee . We were also able to prove that TMBC Scientific Officer did not even visit the site until 28th February 2014, 3 months after remediation had started, and even then her position was to attack us.
Whilst it is true that the extensive deep percussive piling should stop subsidence of the houses, that may not be true of open ground on the estate. Crest are a commercial company, and one of the country's better developers, but the problems at IQW are solely the fault of TMBC in their abject failure to monitor the site properly, and ignoring clear evidence that the site was not suitable for housing, and Crest Nicholson have made the best of a bad job with a development that will stand up against other modern estates.
We must be ever vigilant - TMBC have form in allowing a partial development, that gives them a precedent to expand the development in the future. Isles Quarry East may well be Greenbelt, AONB, Special Scientific Interest, Bourne Valley Conservation Area, and Planning Conditoned as Public Amenity Land. Very strong constraints against development indeed, but just a stroke of the pen to TMBC. I am sure TMBC still have a copy of the Hanson Plan in a drawer, ready for the future, we must be ever vigilant, and move heavan and earth to accept Crest's generous donation of Isles Quarry East to the Parish Council in perpetuity.