H+H CELCON - CAN WE TRUST THEM?
|H+H CELCON have been excellent neighbours since they took over from Kent White Brick in the late 80s. They are generous with local funding, donating materials to many local projects, and most famously pledging to build the Borough Green Bypass in exchange for permission to build a new factory. That fell through when KCC's planning permission turned out to be written in smoke.|
But of late there seems to have been a shift in attitude, a hardening towards the local community. We can almost understand them signing up to the Sand Mafia's Borough Green Garden City, if it came off it would be worth a fortune, not just the mass housing profits, but H+H own some of the land needed for the "Relief Rd".
I was still gullible enough to believe what we were told when all the Local Parishes were invited to a meeting at H+H Celcon's offices in November 2016. I made these notes, circulated to members, and it is apparent that at that time I believed what we had been told. Basically, H+H told us PFA was running out, and they were spending £10million upgrading the plant to run on the sand they were applying to extract from the Western Extension [map] . At that time I beleived what Celcon told us.
But since then other evidence has come to light - not least a blog post by H+H MD . This contradicts completely what Ed Surman told us, saying that the pfa supplies were fine for the forseeable future, and that they were investing £1m in upgrading the plant to increase production by 25%. No mention of the £10m, using sand for the process, or running out of pfa. And their accounts say £3.5m for Borough Green
Now we know that pfa is not toxic , although it does contain metals that can be toxic under some circumstances, but probably not here. The danger is dust, including the microscopic light ash particles that we are breathing in every day. There has always been some dust around, but since H+H began stockpiling pfa in earnest, as the picture below shows, open storage of pfa results in wind blown ash, and a fine slurry that gets tracked everywhere through this once immaculate factory. Just take a look at the stock tipper truck and the loading shovel, and how every square inch of the yard is smothered in dark grey slurry and mud.
The Parish Alliance are opposing H+H's application to excavate the Western Extension [BGPC submission]. There are many reasons for this as the submission shows, but there are deep suspicions locally that H+H will close the factory and release the land for a vast housing development, and that the sandpit will be used to supply the building market. The Western Extension land is Greenbelt and Kent Downs AONB, and will impact on Ightam Court, a listed building. Those constraints will prevent the Extension being opened whilst there are large local reserves available in this area of Kent, and it could be that H+H are attempting to dupe us into believing they need that sand to keep the factory open.