Time to get involved again with Ken's 'Golden' Gateway project. CGP have just presented an up-dated and revised Water/Sewage strategy to our Planning Dept and you can access it yourself on F/TH/08/0400 as it was added today , 19 June 2008.
The gist of it for foul sewerage is, yes, the same as before, KLARGESTER septic tanks to be maintained by individual leaseholders or connected to a centrally maintained unit. So 2 months have passed and despite the EA saying it must be mains foul sewerage, Ken's guys are still trying to push Klargester on TDC!
At least they are now talking about Source Protection Zones but I have just read 18 pages that put exactly the same arguments as their original proposals. I trust it will be sent back to them.
It does however make fascinating reading and gives a wonderful insight into the developer's mentality to keep profit margins high whilst going for the cheapest options. The first quote I give you is :
"Under current legislation developers triggering demand for new water and sewerage have to pay the full amount of installing the service even if they only intend to use a small amount of the connected capacity." i.e. we are talking big money here for CGP when it is in short supply!
They then talk about a group called East Kent Spatial Development Company (made up of SEEDA, KCC, TDC and DoverDC) who put in electricity at great cost to allow development and the costs are paid back by users/leaseholders. Is this a big hint that tax-payers money could be used to bail them out over water and sewerage costs as this report is about water and sewerage NOT electricity? I digress!
The problem for CGP is that they will need to link into mains water at Alland Grange Lane/ Manston Rd and lay 3km of freshwater main. The foul drainage mains sewerage costs awould be even more eye-watering for them! Let alone all the work on site, they would need to construct a pump house to pump it away 3.5km to join mains sewerage in Birchington. Having 'dumbed down' our wildlife and environment to build the Gateway, when it comes to having to put an expensive mains sewer in, all of a sudden they are hinting that a badger set is within 30m of the route; reptiles(snakes) could be in grassland; protected trees could be affected and archeologically sensitive sites affected.! Why not throw in a crested newt or two whilst they are at it!
Of course it's got nothing to do with putting a sewer in along 3.5km of road amidst gas mains and water mains where careful traffic control and even hand digging might be needed! So what do they suggest? What they wanted originally (that the EA said it would oppose) KLARGESTER septic tanks! Its SUSTAINABLE, they say (not nearly as sustainable and sure as mains foul sewerage but certainly CHEAPER!
Now lets talk storms and runoff! They think they could collect water off roofs and use it for non-drinking purposes which is highly commendable but given the roof area ( 292,219m/sq) have they planned for water collection tanks to accommodate 5, 844, 380litres that would have hit their roofs at 0200 on Wed 28 may 2008? They show their Storm Water Storage total as 3, 820,000 litres. Now assuming there is water in the storage tanks already where would 2,000,000 litres of water poured to on Wed 28 May?
Their ideas for the parking areas and roads etc is a special rock that breaks down hydrocarbons below permeable hard-standing. Little microbes would break down all those nasty hydrocarbons and any way they would have tanks built to catch some of it! Enough to have caught 4,000,000 litres that fell in 30 minutes on Wed 28 May? No way. So hydrocarbon and whatever else was spilled on parking for 400 HGVs and almost 4,000 cars would have ended up in the ground water! Those little microbes would have been hard pressed to do a nice biological miracle in that time!
CGP's revised plan does not address the two huge 'X' Type warehouses and all the HGVs sitting around with a foot-print on SPZ 1 . There is very little to suggest that this corner and its particular threat to water quality has been addressed.
Why are CGP so anti the idea of large balancing ponds? I am told that Cummins two main balancing pond sites are little marvellously rich wet habitats with coots, dace etc! No sign of wildfowl and seagulls that would pose a threat to planes. It may have escaped CGPs attention that large reservoirs sit on the Heathrow landing flight path in close proximity to the runways. CGP say they are not acceptable because of KIA's proximity. So how come Cummins' ones are acceptable.? This is of course utter tosh! Balancing ponds are expensive to lay out and of course take up space that no one is paying leasehold rents on; so no income and less buildings can be squeezed in; result is less profit.
So where does this revised report to TDC Planning Dept and to Ken Gregory and his team take us? Right back to the inadequate proposals in the original application. It just confirms for me that CGP are utterly cynical in this serious matter of protecting Thanet's already threatened water aquifer and that they are seeking to convince everyone that their cheap solutions will do. The question we all need to ask is will it preserve our water supply now and in 30 years time when this site has become like Sandwhich Industrial Estate? The answer must be a resounding NO!
I trust Doug Brown and Ken's team realise that 18 pages of waffle from CGP brings the argument back to where it started; their original unacceptable proposals. Why? Because the cost of ensuring a safe project is just too expensive.
Time to look at Eurokent site instead perhaps?