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The truths they don't want you to read....

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How Community Planning works in the Western Isles

Following on from my last posting about the Council's growth plans, I was contacted by a very good source and updated on the Council -v- Stornoway Port Authority battle.

You didn't know they were are war?

Nor did the SPA, until they receive a planned missive in the next few weeks.

Given the rejection of the Bayhead Infill by the SPA, the Councillors were told on Monday - in private session - that the Council is looking again at the lease of the old oil depot for car parking, and particularly the contaminated land issue.

You may recall that I highlighted this issue last month, and until the blog was read, no-one in the Council had given it any consideration. This despite having had a Contaminated Land Officer who surveyed the entire islands and reported back to the Environmental Services Committee (prop: A Nicolson) in or around 2004, flagging up that site as being a particular problem.

So the proposal is being looked at again, and the done deal is now considered undone, in light of the 'new' information that the Council knew about 6 years ago.

The SPA are to be told to acquiesce to the Bayhead Infill or the Comhairle will raise the contaminated land issue with the SPA and threaten them with having to undertake immediate and complete restitution work on any piece of contaminated land that they might control.

The carrot being that the Council will overlook what it now claims is its legal obligations over the control of contaminated land. I am sure that there is another, much less polite, name for such an approach.

Is anyone seeing a pattern developing in the Council's dealings with third parties and those who have differing views?


Anonymous said...

I believe there is also a considerable amount of contaminated land at the Marybank Depot. This area drains surface water into the Glen River, which feeds into Bayhead- where the mud is known to be badly contaminated with oil.
Perhaps the harbour board should also contact SEPA?

Anonymous said...

The 'contaminated land' at the pier was in fact the area at the corner beside the barrier where the old filling station was located. This area was cleared when the Harbour laid lockblock for the net bins storage. The gasoil fuel depot where the cooncil have plans for car parking was capped with concrete decades ago and will be found to be uncontaminated.

Anonymous said...

Suspect that this might be the juncture where the kremlin runs out of rope. It can only be hoped.

Anonymous said...

I know one other third party who have been shunned and blocked at every turn by the Comhairle. Seems like a case of bite yer nose off to spite yer face. Councillors need to grow up, become open and practice democracy.

Captain Swing said...

Well done anon 1:11 I agree.

Democracy and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are not words that you normally expect to see in one sentence, aside from that we don't want anybody 'practicing' democracy we want proper fully fledged joined up working democracy.

Anonymous said...

WOW YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST - Top of the Cooncil's Contamination Worries -is wait for it -FANKS-
What idoit compiled their web- little wonder the Islands are laughing stocks- Angus Og et al

"Contaminated Land
Contaminated land is land that has been affected by substances in, on or under it that could cause harm to the end user or have a negative impact on the surrounding environment.

It can affect you if you live on or near a site that has been identified as being contaminated. It will also be of benefit to know the status of a site if you are going to buy or sell land in future.

Causes of contamination include:

•Past land uses, i.e., FANKS, industrial areas
•Spillages of oil or diesel
•Naturally occurring chemicals.
•If you are a builder or developer a condition may be attached to your planning consent regarding contaminated land. Please contact us for advice.
Soil contamination can harm plants when they attempt to grow by taking up contaminants through their roots. Similarly contaminants in the soil can have an adverse impact on animals and humans if they inhale, ingest or touch the contamination.

Cleaning up (remediating) contaminated land sites is the best way to tackle the problem. There are numerous ways of cleaning up a site depending on what type of contamination is present.

The services provided by the Comhairle can help establish what type of contamination is present on site by doing a historical search and taking soil samples, depending on what the site is to be used for.

If it is thought that there is contamination present on-site, and a site investigation is required, the Contaminated Land team can review the site investigation reports.

Captain Swing said...

Sheep Shit! Dangerous stuff, the whole island is like one big Fank and therefor contaminated. We'll all have to go, clear the island and blockade them never allowing man to access the land forever more.

Still, that is one solution to all the Western Isles problems!