On The Wight reader James Luke got in touch with us yesterday. He explained that after hearing leader of the council, David Pugh, accuse residents against the asphalt plant application at Medina Wharf of scaremongering earlier in the month, he emailed the councillor asking him to substantiate his concerns.
Having not heard back from Cllr Pugh, he sent an ‘open letter’ to the County Press asking for them to include it on the letters page. Unfortunately for James, who lives in Northwood, his letter didn’t appear, so we told him we’d be happy to run it here.
I listened with interest to your comments on IW Radio.
I am one of those who is strongly opposed to the Asphalt Plant so was naturally concerned when you suggested that the facts were not being accurately represented. I think the term “scaremongering” was used?
As a PhD Scientist with 20 years of industrial engineering experience, I have worked through the documentation supplied by the Applicant in detail. I have also taken the time to review independent 3rd party data from organisations such as the World Health Organisation (e.g. WHO report). This is just one example of the background reading that myself and others are undertaking in order to ensure our representations are accurate.
I would therefore be very grateful if you could point me at specific examples of scaremongering in the objections? Perhaps you could explain exactly which of the reasons (health, noise, visual impact, odour, dust, economic impact) for objection you dispute? Are there any 3rd party reports (not paid for by the Applicant) that you believe more accurately address the issues being raised?
Many thanks, James Luke
Pugh: Problem with artist impression
In advance of receiving James’ letter, we had previously got in touch with Cllr Pugh after hearing about his accusations, because like James, we were interested to know exactly what he meant. He told On The Wight, “As I said on the radio, it has been suggested by some of the campaigners (on their website) that a vast yellow structure was an indication of what it was going to look like.
“I understand that it’s not proposed to look anything like that at all. Publishing pictures of a huge plant that bears absolutely no relation to what is proposed is scaremongering and does not assist in having a balanced and informed debate.
“Planning is a quasi-judicial process and this means that the council and councillors must take a balanced view, listen to both sides of the argument and then make a reasoned judgement. That has to be based on the facts of this particular proposal, rather than what may or may not have happened in other places over the years with asphalt plants and such facilities.”
WRAP: “Never intended as a true representation”
Julia Hill from WRAP Medina – the anti-asphalt plant group that Cllr Pugh referred to as ‘scaremongering’ – told On The Wight, “The image was titled an artist’s impression of an asphalt plant on the Medina and was created as an obviously caricature style picture at the beginning of May.
“It was never intended as a true representation and any one with any common sense will have taken it in context. If the only fault councillor Pugh can find with our information is a satirical image then this again illustrates the strength of our argument and weakness of an application which circa 1000 people have found fault with.”
Image removed as soon as Eurovia released theirs
She went on to say, “It goes to highlight how lacking in detail the application has been, as Eurovia failed to provide an image until August. Our image was removed from the Facebook page as soon as Eurovia released an image of their own and has been removed from the Website, as WRAP do not and have never intended to mislead.
“The image Eurovia have provided shows mature 25 year tree growth and is from the perspective of the river several hundred yards from the plant from river level. The visual impact from Hawthorn meadows, Whippingham will be far more significant than their image implies. We would also like to highlight that WRAP is a residents group made up of local people giving their own time. We are not for profit. All information on the website is based upon sound, verifiable research.”