I am afraid that Ken Wills and his co-director at CGP Ltd ,'I return a quick buck' Chris Seymour-Prosser, probably have a problem. (By the way, to digress slightly, rumour has it that like the cessation of work at The Sea Bathing in Margate, and at St.Augustine's in Westgate, work on Summit Aviation's big new spread at Manston seems to have stopped. Cash flow problems?)
Well, what are the Environment Agency (EA) telling TDC, CGPLtd and its agents PRC Architects?
Quite simply that the cheap option Klargester cess-pits and dinky little sceptic-tanks around the site are just not on and that foul sewage must be connected to main sewerage and shifted off site. (Back to Southern Water then fellows or Mid Kent?) Here's what the EA wrote:
" All foul drainage should be directed to mains foul sewer. An on site package treatment plant discharging to ground WILL NOT BE ACCEPTABLE AT THIS SITE. The Agency's Groundwater and Contaminated land Team WILL OBJECT to any application made under the Water Resources Act 1991 for consent to discharge."
"The volume of treated sewage effluentwould be so large it would pose an UNACCEPTABLE risk to the groundwater in the underlying aquifer and therefore to the public water supply abstraction."
This is seriously good news for those concerned about protecting Thanet's drinking water. What did the rest of the letter cover? As you know , I'm not a very technical chap, (we 'aviators' just fly our Sopwiths, not build them) but it seems to me the EA is not happy with the soil analysis done so far on the bits of Phase 1 that have had previous use and is seriously concerned about nasties lurking in the soil being washed into the aquifer by the new development. Pilings will need special measures taken to prevent seepage down the side of them into the underlying ground water and all oil and chemical storage areas will need bunded areas. There's a wealth of technical stuff for those of that bent but it does seem to me that PRC Architects are going to have to go away and dig a lot more holes and then come back to that nice chap looking after these matters, Doug Brown at TDC.
The really good news from the EA is this; they require a whole series of reconsidered plans and programmes from the developers and what for?:
To ensure that the development complies with approved details in the interests of protection of the environment and harm to human health."
What does the EA want?
" The relevant planning condition should not be discharged until such time as all relevant works are complete and a closure report submitted and approved by the LPA. Any construction on site should not commence until this approval has been granted."
The EA seems to be taking a tougher line here than their 'strongly recommend' wording on a new Flood Risk Assessment for Royal Sands (Pleasurama) in Ramsgate. Joseph Williamson of the EA is clearly made of sterner stuff than some of his colleagues.