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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