MP blasts PFI asphalt company

By Martin Neville

Thursday, March 7, 2013

 

MP blasts PFI asphalt company

An artist's impression of how Eurovia Roadstone's proposed Isle of Wight asphalt plant would look on the banks of the River Medina.

THE company behind controversial plans for an asphalt plant on the Isle of Wight has come under fire from MP Andrew Turner.

In an explosive letter to Scott Wardrop, group managing director of Eurovia Group, Mr Turner raised serious concerns about the plans and what he described as the company’s refusal to answer reasonable questions from residents.

He revealed his own belief the proposed site at Medina Wharf was "highly inappropriate" for the development, being far too close to housing, a sensitive river and a large employer which operate clean rooms and closely controlled air quality.

And he listed 11 concerns which he said were matters of integrity and openness; two values the company said were key to its business.

They included:

•Lack of clarity on contingency plans to source asphalt should planning permission be refused and, as yet, no indication of where asphalt would be sourced from once the PFI started on April 1.

•A failure to invite him to a public consultation event and to respond to phone calls and e-mails from his office.

•Organising an information event after the formal public consultation had ended.

•Widespread worry about how the application was being handled by the company.

•Treating campaign group WRAP (Wight Residents against Asphalt Plant) as an irritant, instead of answering their concerns.

Mr Turner said Eurovia had stated at a public meeting the proposals would create jobs, but that statement was now being questioned.

In his letter he said the company appeared to be attempting to pre-empt possible problems for securing permits to operate equipment.

Some of the equipment the company planned to use was, he believed, 20 years old and not 'state-of-the-art' as Eurovia claimed.

He called for a straightforward and honest answer on whether the PFI could be delivered without an asphalt plant on the Island.

"If it can, Eurovia is misleading the public.

"If it cannot, I am alarmed you should have entered into a contract without knowing how it could be fulfilled," he said.

A copy of the letter, dated today (Thursday), was sent to WRAP, which released it to the press.

In a statement issued previously, David Binding, Eurovia director, said contingency plans to supply asphalt were in place, but the details were commercially sensitive.

He denied the company had struck a deal with existing IW asphalt supplier Bardon Vectis.

See a copy of Mr Turner's letter below:

Letter to Eurovia from Andrew Turner by

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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Displaying the last 10 of 23 comments - Show All Comments

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by neil jacks

7th March 2013, at 21:33:41

The whole thing stinks!

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by Marie Cheverton

7th March 2013, at 18:13:59

Mike lol!

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by Marie Cheverton

7th March 2013, at 18:13:15

I have just read the letter in full and it seems Eurovia Roadstone has deliberately tried to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. I cannot help think of the word, monopolising due to them being part of Ringway who have the PFI contract. worth millions, also greed comes to mind.

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by Jake Wallace

7th March 2013, at 18:03:15

Ha .. is that so we can enojy our pristine beaches in the summer

Maybe the unemployed parents can use that free car park to take their kids somewhere nice this summer .. like the newly refurbished paddling area ... i forgot they prefer to loiter the streets ..also they don't drive.

It's not just the 21st century technology reigns but the gap which it leaves between those that can & those that can't. More jobs less houses, more houses less jobs what next eh.

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by Mike Crowe

7th March 2013, at 17:50:20

""" thick oily smell that hangs in the air on many early mornings in the summer. """

Sun tan oil applied in anticipation?

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by Jake Wallace

7th March 2013, at 17:49:11

Is this a case of local parish coucilors making the decisions.

I thought it was a well thought out plan by the isle of wight coucil to wisely choose where such a monumental amount of money which should be benfiting the island way of life should be spent.

What happend .. did they not shop around.

But to be fair the island is a single problem in it's own, having to deal with logistics of such an event.

Also i hope this JS Whites renewal turns out well, be nice to have place where people might be interested in going for a day out. Even the promenade brings some relief to cowes, a little boost might go a long way.

As for the "what if" seminar, how about what if everything ran smoothly everday, we'd be ruled by monkeys in no time.

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by Marie Cheverton

7th March 2013, at 17:46:57

Jake I am very aware of the stench of East Cowes seafront, I grew up with it. No there is definately a thick oily smell that hangs in the air on many early mornings in the summer.

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by Marie Cheverton

7th March 2013, at 17:39:04

Augustus I have lived here all my life and have watched how the Island has been developed. At times tasteful and others distasteful. We are in the grip of the 21st Century technology reigns, where people have a voice now. Whether it being protestors or nimbys we all have a right to show our feelings and have a healthy debate.

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by Mike Crowe

7th March 2013, at 17:33:14

When I was a local Parish Councillor I had to go on a "What if" seminar. The idea being that if you made a decision about something and passed it, or refused it, 'What if?' ............... and we had to think of all consequences, now at the J.S.Whites meeting the other night that certainly came to the fore, which leads me to the question, "Has the 'what if?' seminar been dropped?"

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by Jake Wallace

7th March 2013, at 17:26:49

Another thing .. the fact that they use 25 year old equipment then .. in 25 years time plus give or take a few years to build the place .. by the end of it all thats 50 year old well used equipment there using.

What environmental regulations were they using back in 1988, i thought we were still worried about CFC's in hairspray's & refrigerators.
I think it's the small thing like that that may be missed as well.

I'm no expert on asphalt, but i read a document saying that hot asphalt can be kept for up to 3 days with minor degregation. Now to get this to the island 12hrs, storage for a possible 12hrs, & to the needed location, 6-10 hrs. Thats still half the time it can keep for ... or again is it more about expense & whether it's viable enough to do so.

Do we want a few good roads or many half-standard roads. I say no to a plant that will be redundant before long .. more of a pain than solution.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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