SOS Jersey yesterday lodged a complaint to the Planning and Environment Department with regard to breaches in the Planning Conditions set out for Building 4, the Esplanade car park.
This comes after months of complaints received by our organisation from the public. It deals with airborne dust from the site, and surface water contamination.
We feel inadequate protection and consideration has been given to public health, since this site has been classified as a ‘Red Category High Risk Site’ by the Environmental Health, Public Health Department.
The site contains known and considerable deposits of incinerator ash and other toxic substances including asbestos – this is contrary to assurances given to the States by the Treasury Minister on 15 July of this year which were inaccurate and unhelpful.
(Click any of the pics below to see larger versions.)
It should be noted that the public, including infants in nursery groups, pass by just a few yards away from workers wearing full protection.
Whilst some dust monitoring equipment is installed on site to protect the work force, there has been no monitoring of dust in public areas.
Pedestrians are only separated by hoardings which do not do enough. Wind hitting the boards will merely lift over it, carrying dust, and gaps underneath means waterborne contaminants can also spread as water leaks underneath.
It is impossible to keep the site damped down and within hours excavated material can becomes airborne dust.
In July 2015, responding to public concern, we contacted the Regulator of Environmental Health. Both the Regulator and the CEO of SoJDC assured us that the public would very soon be protected by dust monitors which would be placed in the public areas such as the junction of Castle Street and Sand Street, and that the results would be posted on line daily.
We have been sent a video clearly showing dust blowing straight off the site towards the bus station.
The dust would have registered on public monitors (had they been installed) Limited netting has only recently been retroactively erected on the north east corner. It does not protect Esplanade users and office worker against south easterlies.
Where are the promised dust monitors?
The Regulator assured us by email on 29 September, 2015 that the dust monitors ordered in late July, (well after work started) were found to be defective and had been reordered. But by 29 September they had not been installed. The last news update on the JDC website was 29 June, over 3 months ago. Data are still unavailable.
Planning conditions have been broken
We have demonstrated by using the relevant conditions set out out in the The Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), and by referencing the Law, that planning conditions have been broken. You can see a copy of the (ignored/broken) recommendations in a 2013 letter from Environmental Health here.
A full dossier has been sent to the Planning Minister and copied to the Law Officers.
The SoJDC (read the States of Jersey), if faced with future claims against them, would be confronted with evidence that:
- There were no dust or asbestos particle monitors in public areas during the critical period when the excavation was in its earlier stages
- Large amounts of contaminated material were exposed to the elements, especially to often strong south and westerly winds
A full version of SOS Jersey’s complaint can be read/downloaded as a PDF here (http://sosjersey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/SOSJ-complaint-14-Oct-2015.pdf)
See above for all media or use these links – all open in a new tab/page.
Photo: Nursery children going by: http://sosjersey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/does-this-look-right-to-you.jpg
Photo: Workers in full protective suits: http://sosjersey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/asbestos-in-dust-men-in-hazmat-suits-sos-jersey.jpg
Photo: Dust hoardings/catchers: http://sosjersey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Esplanade-works-dust-hoarding-in-one-corner.jpg
Video: Dust blowing into road: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oClaEhhnQvs
Appendix 1 containing alternative links to photos can be downloaded http://sosjersey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Appendix1.pdf
Appendix 2, a letter from Environmental Health from 2013 regarding CEMP: http://sosjersey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/appendix2.pdf
Full version of the complaint (PDF): http://sosjersey.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/SOSJ-complaint-14-Oct-2015.pdf