Things have gone very quiet at the moment while we wait to hear whether the Secretary of State has decided to call in New Monks Farm. The word is that he needed more time but that he was sympathetic.
In the meantime we have furthered our discussions with the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) who are looking into the details of New Monks Farm. Their aim is to see if there are issues which provide valid reasons for calling for a Judicial Review (legal challenge) should the Secretary of State decide not to call in NMF. If the development is called in it would be to our advantage to be able to provide a barrister who is well informed on the issues. ELF isproviding some help free of charge (pro bono) but we will need to do some serious fundraising should we proceed. It would be good to have some feedback from you on these aspects – proceeding if we think we have a good case and financial support.
CROWDFUNDING – We have drafted a letter for a crowd funding site.The crowd funding is necessary to cover the costs of engaging a transport analyst and a barrister should that be necessary.
TRAFFIC ANALYSIS – ELF has advised us that getting the help of a traffic expert for a thorough analysis would be advisable. An AREA supporter has already done a detailed analysis which showed that the traffic predictions provided by IKEA’s consultant, Vectos, were underestimated and inaccurate. However, an analysis from a traffic consultant would prove to be more valid and carry more weight. The analysis would be further ammunition should NMF be called in or if we were to proceed with alegal challenge. We will need to findfunding for this and are looking into the cost of a consultant.
IKEA – We have written further strong letters to the CEO of IKEA in England and their headquarters in Holland. We have had no adequate response toour challenge of their claims to be good neighbours and their environmental credentials. So, no surprises there.
AIR MONITORING MACHINE – An engineer was working on the monitor on Shoreham High St and when questioned said that there was DUST IN THE MACHINE! A Freedom of Information request to the council has shown that NO2 levels on theHigh St were 36 average between January and September 2018 as measured using diffusion tubes. The highest month was January at 45.6. The legal limit is 40. The automatic monitor readings for September showed NO2 readings between 18 and 10, considerably lower than thediffusion tubes. We question the accuracy of the readings from the automatic monitor. Automatic monitor readings of particulate matter (PM10) for the same period were as high as 45 and generally ranged around 25 to 36. The legal limit is 40.
The average readings for NO2 between January and September 2018 on West St., Shoreham were 34.37. This gives no indication of pollution levels at peak times. The highest average was 41.01 for January.
We hope to be setting in operation an air monitoring machine at ahome in West St. This will give real time monitoring, linked to a home computer or mobile phone. We will let you know how we get on. The cost of the machine is approximately £40 so may spark interest for others.
Following our next meeting we will be sending out our last newsletter of 2018. Wouldn’t it be a great present to hear that the Secretary of State has decided to “call in” New Monks Farm or, better yet, that IKEA has withdrawn. I would almost believe in Santa.
Any offers of help with fundraising or social media would be welcome.
WITH THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.
Barb and all the AREA committee