David Pugh’s anti-asphalt plant scaremongering claim challenged

On The Wight reader challenges Cllr Pugh to substantiate his concerns against anti-asphalt plant campaigners.

David Pugh

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.

Mr Pugh

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.”


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Tuesday, 23rd October, 2012 6:02pm


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Filed under: Cowes, East Cowes, Green Issues, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. “the council and councillors must take a balanced view, listen to both sides of the argument and then make a reasoned judgement”

    Really? Who knew..?

  2. Keith Eldridge

    23.Oct.2012 7:34pm

    I too wrote to Mr Pugh 3 weeks ago (via IW radio on the day of his interview) to ask him his views about the quality of the data contained in Eurovia’s application. I have not had a reply, or even an acknowledgement back and so sent him a further e-mail today asking for his comments.

    I also pointed out to Mr Pugh in this e-mail the conflict of interest(s) that exist in his employment (regardless of his role) with Cratus communications given the fact that they are working for Infinergy to try and gain planning permission for a wind-farm on the Island. I suggested he considered his position(s) given the conflict of interest(s) that exist.

    Oh, and who else works for Cratus? Infinergy’s ex-CEO.

    And who employs Cratus for their PR / lobbying? Eco-Island.

    One look at the Cratus website shows all this.

    Who is going to benefit from all these links?

    Something smells about all this, and it’s not just asphalt.

  3. I actually agree with Pugh on one point. Publishing an inaccurate picture, even a satirical artists impression, before the official picture was released was if not scaremongering, very close to it.
    Having said that, Eurovia are guilty of gross incompetence in not releasing a picture earlier, and apparently not being honest about various things which have now been highlighted by the Environmental Health department.

    All in all, it seems like half a dozen of one from WRAP, and 60,000 of the other from Eurovia.

  4. Black Dog

    23.Oct.2012 8:15pm

    Councillor Pugh has more complaints made against him for not responding to letters and emails than any other councillor. This is a well known fact which can be verified by the relevant officer.

    This is classic boy blunder behaviour. This clearly highlights his obvious lack of talent and demonstrates his inability to manage his office, let alone his position as leader of the council. This leads me to question exactly what he does on his Blackberry and laptop at meetings (sharing????). Perhaps he is communicating with Cratus or advising the Government on how to improve education in the UK, given the excellent results on the Island!!

    In a previous blog I suggested the Boy Blunder might be suffering from Hubris Syndrome – “Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.” YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST FOLKS.

    Like Nero he continues to fiddle (MEDDLE) while the Island burns.

    David I know you are trying to identify me (no luck yet!!) You are looking in the wrong place. I am closer that you think or even know.

    Bring on the elections as there is a raft of detail waiting to be released.

  5. Island Monkey

    23.Oct.2012 8:42pm

    The consultancy must take up a lot of his time these days? As you say, advising on education issues is a complex subject when you are in charge of England’s worst performing education area.

  6. downwind resident

    23.Oct.2012 8:47pm

    I just don’t understand why Cllr Pugh used the word ‘scaremongering’when WRAP were simply portraying a real photograph of the enormous proposed asphalt plant (Starbatch 2000)http://www.phoenixtransworld.com/products/starbatch#3 using photomontage to show how it might look (if heaven forbid planning permission were ever granted)on the banks of the lovely River Medina being used by children in kayaks right next to Sites of Special Scientific Interest(SSSI).
    I don’t think WRAP were being satirical I think they were being as realistic as they could be.
    How can Eurovia have the cheek to show a picture of the site in 30 years time when the trees may have grown up to hide this industrial eyesore if the contaminated land allows the trees to be other than stunted.

    • Im puzzled as to how WRAP can portray a “Real photograph” of something which hasnt yet been built. No matter how much computer trickery is used to superimpose this on that, no-one can know how it will look until the architects release their plans.

      • downwind resident

        23.Oct.2012 10:05pm

        look on the Phoenix website…these are off the shelf asphalt plants

        • I did. It still doesnt change the fact that the architects picture will be more accurate than some photoshopping. Yes, it will show the plant from the best angle, and may attempt to hide details using various devices, and thats when an alternative picture should be released. When Eurovia released a picture drawn from river level with mature tree growth, WRAP should then have released an alternative photo from different angles showing freshly planted tree growth.
          Releasing “satire” before any architect picture is very near to scaremongering.

          • downwind resident

            24.Oct.2012 8:43am

            Just read the ‘story’ and note that Eurovia didn’t want to worry the public during planning consultation with its ‘vision’ and scurrilously waited several months before doing so at a meeting forced upon it by an unbelieving public.

    • Black Dog

      24.Oct.2012 6:27pm

      Let us get down to basics, If yo were planning an extension to your house (let alone an Asphalt Plant) you will have to produce a street view to help planners, councillors and potentially affected neighbours. This allows all interested to make informed judgements. WRAP I am sure would not have published their image if the application had provided the necessary images in the first instance.

      Questions yet unanswered

      Why was the application presented without the street view/impact image? Was it because they were given the nod???

      More importantly, if you made and application and there was something wrong with it (like the plant that is currently being recommended for refusal)it would proceed to planning and get turned down, you will be advised and then have to re apply. Why has the Asphalt application being allowed to provide more information before going to planning??

      What if any involvement has Cratus in the application/lobbying/communications/
      directorships of the Asphalt application and any associate companies?

      Perhaps our esteemed leader could answer that before outside agencies get involved.

      • Keith Eldridge

        24.Oct.2012 11:17pm

        I received a reply today from Mr Pugh (DP) (3 weeks after my first e-mail regarding Eurovia’s data in their application and 24 hours after this story appeared on On the Wight and the sending of my second e-mail asking about conflict of interest(s) given his dual roles.)

        In the reply to my first e-mail DP said, amongst other things ‘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.’ In my reply to this I am querying how words such as ‘scaremongering’ and ‘not grounded in facts’ fit with this statement.

        In his reply to my second e-mail DP said, inter alia, that ‘…my (KE) creative efforts to link Cratus to the application for the asphalt plant and the PFI are entirely without foundation.’ Also that ‘…I (DP) can confirm that it is my (DP) considered view that my (DP) part-time employment with Cratus does not represent a conflict of interest in any respect.’

        He continued ‘My (DP) work with Cratus, since 1st August 2012, is focused solely on education and political campaigning (i.e. election campaigns) matters in other parts of the country. Furthermore he said ‘I (DP) have no involvement with work undertaken by other Cratus employees in relation to other clients and in any work they may or may not do in connection with the Isle of Wight.’

        My second e-mail was copied to the relevant planning case officer and relevant monitoring officers, as was his second reply.

        • James Luke

          24.Oct.2012 11:44pm

          Anyone employed by a company has a vested interest in its profits so Councillor Pugh cannot claim to have no interest in the broader activities of Cratus. In addition, surely he meets and converses with his colleagues from time to time? It is unacceptable to say that there is no conflict of interest.

          It is also disturbing that he questions your “creative” efforts to demonstrate a link. In the last few years, the electorate has learned of the MP Expenses Scandal, the Financial Crisis and associated banking scandals, telephone tapping by the press and most recently of the police falsifying evidence (Hillsborough and the Miners Strike) whilst the BBC turned a blind eye to child abuse by a major celebrity.

          Against this backdrop, the responsibility should be on public officials to behave appropriately and avoid any circumstances where their motives and actions can be questioned.

          In 2010, David Cameron himself described lobbying as “the next big scandal waiting to happen.”

        • Pugh is up to his eyes in it. Why would a company employ him to advise on education, have they not read his CV and looked at his achievements on the island as far as education is concerned?

          Always read between the lines when you read anything from Pugh, there are several indicators that suggest he knows more of Cratus’ involvement here.

          Do we now what he is being paid for his part time job, how many hours does he work for his salary and when exactly does he carry out that work given he is employed full-time by the council? His reply would be very telling?

          Time for action

          • (from the Cratus website)
            “Wise developers often ask for pre-acquisition reports from planners and environmental consultants. With new Localism Act now in place (and a requirement to consult), Cratus strongly recommends developers now undertake pre-acquisition research on the political and community issues that they might face.

            Every piece of land or an existing buildings has a planning history but they also have a political or community context. In order to reduce costs and inform developers of any special work required to achieve planning our reports give you a break down of the political make up of the council, when the next elections that will affect the land will be taking place and any historic events or issues that you need to be aware of before you buy.

            For example: A property currently having a usage designation for employment and offices looks good for redevelopment for housing. But the Leader of the Council has in the last year run a campaign to keep employment land protected. Your site is in his ward and he is standing for election in May 2012. Early discussion will be needed with the Leader and Planners or you risk difficulties in later securing consent.

            Katharine Marriott and our team will look to help you uncover these issues and more. Political and Community relationships will matter more in 2012. Best to be prepared!

            Our fees range from £250 to £1000 depending on the complexity of the site or history of the existing building.”

            Has CRATUS been employed on the Asphalt Plant applicaton by any of the interested parties?

        • Could somebody please rationalise the following statements for me?

          “To update my previous post I had an e-mail from EcoIsland (EI) – they say that whilst they did have ‘…initial conversations with Cratus…the relationship was never formalised.’ Their reply continues, ‘I can confirm that we(EI)have neither employed or paid Cratus…”
          http://onthewight.com/2012/10/23/david-pughs-anti-asphalt-plant-scaremongering-claim-challenged/ (Keith Eldridge 25/10/2012)

          “Eco-Island appoint CRATUS to help their Political to help their Political Engagement and Communications”

          (email from David Pugh) 2Furthermore he said ‘I have no involvement with work undertaken by other Cratus employees in relation to other clients and in any work they may or may not do in connection with the Isle of Wight.’
          reported in http://onthewight.com/2012/10/23/david-pughs-anti-asphalt-plant-scaremongering-claim (Keith Eldridge 24/10/2012)

          ” Mr Huhne also held a round-table discussion between leading figures behind Eco Island. These included Isle of Wight Council leader Cllr David Pugh who launched the Eco Island vision in 2008″,
          http://www.iwight.com/home/pressReleases/ 2 Aug 2011

  7. We have got used to Jon being very (sometimes fiercely) protective of David Pugh & other past & present council luminaries.

    No doubt there is no connection with the importance of shaping/ stamping on public perceptions in the run-up to the next IWC elections. After all, why would anyone in Island politics think OTW is influential? Well, it is, & I would be concerned to have a strategy to counteract it if I were Pugh et al.

    Please continue to put eye-popping facts & opinions here about this interesting topic, uncovering any machinations going on; & don’t get side-tracked into responding to Jon, is my advice.

  8. Island Monkey

    23.Oct.2012 10:01pm

    Has ‘Jon’ ever written anything critical of DP or IOW council?

    No, I didn’t think so.

    • So what…it called an opinion and is personal…

      Jon is often critical of this council and indirectly pugh….maybe he just doesn’t like to make personal attacks

    • I think Pugh is incompetent, makes foolish decisions, couldnt run a p*ss up in a brewery let alone a council, and shouldnt be in the job after the elections next year. However, he is actually quite a nice bloke, if not very good at his job. In this case I think he has a point.

      Tryme, Im not sure how I have been “fiercely protective” of Pugh. I have however had something to say when people try to link him to all manner of irrelevant topics. I am constantly amazed that Pugh hasnt yet been blamed for WW2, faking the moon landings, or even for the great depression. It seems he gets blamed for everything else on here. Thats not any sort of protectiveness, just pointing out that although he may run the council, he is not directly responsible for everything which happens on the island.
      Im also pretty sick of being accused of working for the council, which you imply in your post. Im also sure that anyone putting “eye-popping facts and opinions” on here will be able to support them, as it seems like most things that there is an awful lot of rubbish to sift through to actually get to the facts.

  9. James Luke

    24.Oct.2012 8:56am

    The really important point here is that the accusation of scaremongering is based on a single mocked up photo?

    I take it that Councillor Pugh is fine with the concerns we have raised about:

    1. health issues resulting from the emissions from the plant.
    2. dust.
    3. noise.
    4. odour.
    5. impact on the traffic between Cowes and Newport.
    6. economic impact – direct loss of jobs.
    7. economic impact – indirectly taking money out of the economy by devaluing properties in East Cowes, Northwood, Cowes and Whippingham.
    8. impact on the tourist industry.

    Against that backdrop is one photo really enough to question the motives of genuine Islanders with genuine concerns about an appalling planning application.

    • Black Dog

      24.Oct.2012 9:38pm

      Keep going Mr. Luke. You have raised many concerns, yet unanswered, by the Boy Blunder.

      We must hold this council to account and if necessary WRAP must instruct lawyers to proceed to a Judicial Review if the application is proved.

      Do we know if there has been an impact assessment carried out?

  10. downwind resident

    24.Oct.2012 9:17am

    It’s the cancer from the carcinogenic coal tar in the old road scrapings being recycled which is the main health issue.
    Who in their right mind thought that transporting these dangerous old road scrapings across the island to bring them to a highly populated area for crushing and mixing with aggregate would be a quiet and healthy prospect for the Medina Valley?
    How can the IW Council be seriously considering this appalling proposal?

  11. Mike Starke

    24.Oct.2012 4:35pm

    Let us not forget Eurovia is part of the Vinci empire. Let us not forget that Vinci is in charge of our highways PFI contract for the next two-and-a-half decades. Let us also not forget the last-minute addition of “investment fund” Meridiam as 50:50 partners in this project. Let us not forget Meridiam was founded all of five years ago, specifically to trade in PFI funding and is registered in the tax haven of Luxembourg. Let us also not forget Meridiam’s primary mission statement on its website is to “maximise returns for investors”. No wonder Cllr David Pugh is reluctant to enter into discussions of this modern-day version of the wartime PLUTO (Pipe-Line Under the Ocean)from the Island. In this case, it is not fuel but taxpayers’ cash that is being pumped across the Channel and into the tax-friendly bank accounts of multi-billion-euro conglomerates. Oh; one other thing IO certainly have not forgotten. All through my six years of questioning County Hall on the details of the PFI I was repeatedly told ours was not like other, failed versions, largely because it would not involve outside financial institutions… Er… like Meridiam.

  12. James Luke

    24.Oct.2012 5:01pm

    Interesting that a major international Corporation, backed by a private equity firm, both (I’m sure) full to the brim with lawyers and risk managers have signed a 25 year contract that they may not be able to deliver on unless the planning application is approved.

    Councillor Pugh has today stated very clearly, “there are no dependencies within the PFI contract relating to the planning application for the asphalt plant.”

    Doesn’t add up to me. If I was negotiating the contract I’d make sure I was covered in the event that the planning application was rejected … or I’d somehow (?) want a guarentee that it would be granted (but surely that would be illegal).

    18 days ago I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the contractual dependencies. I should have an answer by this Friday (or it’s a complaint to the Information Commissioner). I wonder if that will reveal anything? Of course, it might be considered commercially sensitive and why should we have a right to know? Apart from the fact we’re paying the bill as taxpayers, we’re the customers receiving the service, we’re the electorate who voted in the Councillors and we’re the ordinary people whose lives will be blighted if the planning application succeeds. Apart from that I can’t see why we should need to know!

    • downwind resident

      24.Oct.2012 5:26pm

      So the IW Council have signed a contract with a life of a quarter of a century with a company that doesn’t have the ability to perform it because they do not have an asphalt plant and are seriously unlikely to ever have one on the basis of their flawed planning application and simply ridiculous choice of location.

      Could it be that now the IW council have secured the PFI cash from the Treasury they really don’t care what happens and will enjoy invoking penalty clauses for non – performance by Eurovia?

      If that is the case why is the IW Council taking so long to grant planning permission for Bardon Vectis’ planning appication for a modern replacement asphalt plant safely located in a quarry in the middle of the island ?

      Answers please…………….

      • James Luke

        24.Oct.2012 5:40pm

        Well, let’s start by quoting Councillor Pugh who states that his consideration of the application,

        “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.”

        This is a standard Government approach to decisions that explains why a company can fail to deliver multiple times yet still be awarded a Government contract because this time they promise to do a good job. We all know many examples of this.

        In the case of the planning application does it mean we should believe made up, theoretical data about a hypothetical new type of plant rather than look for real evidence of the performance and impact of real, existing plants? It seems so!

        From a contractual perspective we should also ignore the Government’s past record in negotiating PFIs. That would meant that this time they have got it right and will be able to invoke non-performance clauses against Eurovia.

        So …. if we ignore past performance and real experience in other places, I’m sure everything will be fine!

        • Pugh is 100% right to say that.

          If you had a job interview, should your success or lack of be based on the person who previously held the job, or any of the other applicants? of course not.

          Planning, or refusal of, should be based on the evidence available in the application, environmental, visual, audible impact, and other things directly related to the proposal. Taking into consideration that there is a plant down the road should also be taken into consideration, but only from the point of view that there may be no need for 2 so close together. The emissions, noise etc of a previous plant at a different location cannot and should not be taken into account, only the projected impact of the site proposed.

          • downwind resident

            24.Oct.2012 7:25pm

            Although it was interesting I have to disagree with the validity of your interview comparison Jon.

            How the applicant has performed in previous occupations is a critical consideration in the determination of a successful candidate for the a position.

            Thus Eurovia who have other asphalt plants (I hope) should have been expected to demonstrate by real data from real life operations how ‘wonderful’ their proposed plant will be.

            But of course they chose not to do so even having been asked to do so repeatedly at public meetings.

            I wonder why?

  13. @jon “If you had a job interview, should your success or lack of be based on the person who previously held the job, or any of the other applicants? of course not.”

    But should not the applicant’s own performance (i.e. Eurovia’s) in similar situations be taken into consideration? How much research has been done on the impact of similar Eurovia asphalt plants? Where is it published?

    • yep, thats fair enough. But what Pugh is saying is that Eurovias proposal should not be judged by the validity or lack of at the Bardon Vectis site, or previous activity on that site.

      Downwind Resident, you misunderstand. Of course a job interviewer should take previous employment into account. I was saying that they should not take other applicants, or the previous occupant of the job into account. If the previous job holder was sacked, that should have no bearing on the current applicant because they are two different people, just as the Eurovia and Bardon Vectis proposals are two separate proposals.

      • wightywight

        24.Oct.2012 8:25pm


        “But what Pugh is saying is that Eurovias proposal should not be judged by the validity or lack of at the Bardon Vectis site, or previous activity on that site”

        Eh….! Where does he say that? Where does he say ANYTHING about Bardon Vectis?
        He does say that *it* (decision) has to be based on it’s own facts. No more, no less.
        Of course, it is a very clear matter of debate on what *facts* are relevant, pertinent appertaining to the issue.

        ” I was saying that they should not take other applicants, or the previous occupant of the job into account”

        What…? Are you serious. What kind of nonsense is that.
        Fact: the PFI has been awarded to Eurovia. Mike Starke (above) outlines the background to this company and it’s inception, it’s aims and its commercial goals. This Council has signed a 25 year contract with this company and, as yet, it has no facility to produce the ashphalt needed to comply with the contract.
        See any problems there?
        None that shipping the ashphalt in from across the Solent (if indeed that is possible) won’t solve….in the meantime, do you think it is not beyond the comprehension of many people that behind the scenes, in the run up to signing the contract – Eurovia NEVER mentioned this to the IOW Council..?
        In a nutshell, quality control was Eurovia’s justification for wanting to build.
        Do you think for one second that they were not *promised* a ‘smooth’ passage through planning for this scheme…?
        Expect the Council, including Pugh, to defend this plant construction to the back teeth.
        Which is why you will see and hear people pedalling like mad to get this approved.
        The interesting thing now… however inane Pugh chooses to be with objections to the plan, is what happens to the PFI IF Eurovia don’t get planning permission…?
        Large amounts of egg on the face for those in the Council that voted this contract through in the first place.


        • “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.”

          Now that sounds a lot like he is talking about Bardon Vectis to me. He could be talking about other Eurovia plants elsewhere. I beleive he is talking about the Bardon Vectis site.

          And yes, Im entirely serious when I say that the past record of Eurovia should be taken into account, but NOT the past record of the Bardon Vectis site, or any other site. The medina site should be approved or refused (hopefully refused) on its own merits, not on the merits of a site down the road.

          And no, I don’t think anyone offered a ‘smooth’ transition through any process. That would be illegal. Whilst this council may be incompetent, prone to mistakes, and hopefully voted out next year, I don’t believe they would intentionally do anything illegal. If they have, they should be prosecuted, but prosecution requires proof. Do you have proof for your bordering on libelous suggestion?

          Finally, I find it incredibly amusing that you have just posted a comment similar to the sort of comment that I was accused of just the other day. Thankyou again for proving my point.

          • wightywight

            24.Oct.2012 10:53pm

            “Now that sounds a lot like he is talking about Bardon Vectis to me. He could be talking about other Eurovia plants elsewhere. I beleive he is talking about the Bardon Vectis site.”

            So, he’ is not “saying…etc. ” you are saying what you *believe* he is saying…..that’s an altogether different proposition.
            Fact is, of course, he doesn’t mention Bardon Vectis.
            …and there you go again with your naivety…..I’m not suggesting “illegal” anything. Your naivety doesn’t allow you to comprehend the whole big picture so you appear top see things in short, small snippets of black and white.
            It’s probably more likely than not that Eurovia were *promised* a ‘smooth passage’ for the planning application in conjunction with the PFI contract. It CANNOT be so that the PFI was signed under the circumstances that prevail without some indication, some assistance, some signposting that an ashphalt plant *could* be built.
            It would be extraordinarily easy to understand that is exactly what happened…. not your myopic, black & white, legal/illegal scenario of the state of play.
            It would thus follow that the Council, to wit, elected representatives who have taken the PFI decision and entered into a binding contract, might be pushing very hard for the plant planning application to be granted.
            I am NOT suggesting for one moment that anyone has done anything *illegal* … but bending the rules, undue influences, block political strategies and face saving are all very obvious factors…

            …and please stop with the final silly child like remarks about point proving…it is infantile.


          • Sally Perry

            24.Oct.2012 10:57pm

            It’s worth pointing out that when we asked Cllr Pugh which other asphalt plants he was referring to, he said it was those not on the Island.

          • I made it perfectly clear what was my opinion. Learn to read. I am really sick of you trying to rip apart every other comment anyone makes. Grow up.

            You are suggesting that councillors smoothed the planning process. That would be illegal. Why can it not be so that the PFI was signed without that? You and several others hark on and on about how incompetent the council is, yet cant seem to beleive that they may have been incompetent in this case, and instead seem to prefer to speculate that something underhand has happened and try to present that insinuation as fact. You suggest that rules have been bent – again that would be illegal. Just because you think its true doesnt make it so.

            I really am done with this argument. Im really not sure how it became an argument in the first place, apart from once again I gave my opinion, and once again you tried to rip it apart with your opinions, which are apparently facts simply because you think you’re right. You accuse me of childishness? Look in the mirror.

            Now anticipating a post which points out that you said “infantile” not childish, and that even though the words have very similar meanings, in some way substituting one for another means that you are right and I am wrong – in your opinion, which surely must mean its fact. Im amazed I havnt used any stronger language in my replies to you yet.

  14. It certainly does sound as though Pugh is incompetent & makes foolish decisions, to quote a commenter here, & even that sounds like putting a positive spin on it.

    Those contributors who are clearly highly informed paint a remarkable & shocking picture of what is going on, & I’m very much afraid that financial self interest is the dominant driver here, rather than the benefit of the Island as a whole. How sad that is ….

  15. Whilst not wishing to too envolved in this argument I feel that it would have been more prudent if Eurovia had presented the application in a more honest and complete way.
    ie: Presented a full independant enviromental report with the application, this would have given the public a better view of things before a lot of the accuastions started flying around.
    The other point about the traffic on the Cowes to Newport Rd, this could actually increase above what is envisaged as if the “plant” is situated at Blackwater all the stone etc will still have to come from Cowes Wharf by road, and when they are re-doing the roads between there and Cowes make a return trip as the finished product.

    • James Luke

      24.Oct.2012 9:30pm

      Eurovia have tried to spin this line on the traffic between Cowes and Newport and it simply isn’t true:

      1. moving the raw material (i.e. importing the aggregate) requires fewer trucks as the volume of material is less (the final Asphalt product includes other materials).
      2. aggregate can be moved at off peak times and stockpiled whereas the Asphalt product can only be moved at times dictated by the production process and the receiving roadworks.
      3. the road scrapings taken from roads all around the Island will be returned to the plant for re-cycling – again all this traffic will need to move up Newport Road under the proposed plan.
      4. raw aggregate can be imported onto the Island via multiple different roots whereas finished product has to originate from the plant.

      For these reasons, siting the plant in Cowes will have a significantly higher impact on the traffic between Cowes and Newport than simply importing the aggregate and producing Asphalt at a central location.

      This is one of the many areas where Eurovia are trying to “spin” the situation but the facts above clearly highlight the mis-leading data being produced by their spin machine.

      Finally, please note that the route proposed by Eurovia is currently closed and will be for several weeks. If the plant had been operating now the Eurovia trucks would be navigating the rat runs through Cowes.

  16. And Eurovia not providing past & present evidence both of their own & from others’ experience, is inexcusable. This project is not something we should be expected to take on trust, how ludicrous is that…

    Once the Island is properly despoiled & new illness takes root, these people will find a nice, untouched place somewhere else to retire to, with our money!

  17. it strikes me that no-one here is actually for the asphalt plant. we are simply arguing about why we should be against it. how sad.

  18. I think that what needs to be established is this:

    If the PFI contract is NOT dependent on the proposed asphalt plant being built, and the Bardon plant is not big enough (or Vinci will not buy it from Bardon), where is the asphalt being produced and how are they getting it to the Island roads?

  19. James Luke

    25.Oct.2012 11:22am

    If Eurovia are genuinely confident that the plant will not impact local residents then they could put in place a compensation package along the same lines as that proposed for HS2 => http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20078270

    That would certainly reassure residents that the “new type” of plant is as harmless as they suggest!

  20. downwind resident

    25.Oct.2012 12:02pm

    I can’t agree with you on this one Dr.Luke. My family is not interested in compensation we just don’t wish to be subject to the very real probability of bad health caused by the asphalt plant.

    The only way to prevent (not mitigate or compensate) the awful health issues is for the IW Planning Committee to refuse planning permission for this abomination.

    We do not wish to live in the shadow of a cancer producing recycling plant for old roads nor do we wish to be subject to exacerbated high levels of local asthma , pneumonia and emphysema caused by breathing particles from the asphalt plant stack and its associated fugitive emissions.

    Eurovia’s dispersion data are flawed ,their proposals for monitoring are ridiculous and quite honestly they just appear to have just cobbled together a smoke and mirrors application.

    • James Luke

      25.Oct.2012 12:19pm

      I fully agree with you and am not suggesting for one moment that a compensation scheme would make this appalling application acceptable.

      My point is simply that if Eurovia genuinely believe their own claims then they should have no concerns about under writing the risk.

      In reality, the won’t because they know as well as we do that all the evidence tells us that the health risks are considerable and that this application must be rejected.

  21. Yes, if Eurovia isn’t prepared to put their money where their mouth is, it shows they don’t believe their own publicity….

    • downwind resident

      25.Oct.2012 9:45pm

      Has anyone noticed that the Eurovia team have been marking the comments this evening?

      Well I just hope they read them first!

      This could be a good moment for them to withdraw their planning application before the whole issue becomes national and beyond.

      • La Hofton leaps boldly into the fray on the proposed Eurivia asphalt plant. However she prioritises discussing how asphalt should be pronounced rather than giving an opinion on whether it should go ahead.

        It’s a bit like delaying discussion on the Holocaust until it is decided if the first two syllables are pronounced “holl-loe” or “hoe-loe”!

        One wonders why the CP editor wasted newsprint on such a diversionary tactic. No doubt readers will have their own opinions on CP’s latest treatment of vitally important Island political topic.

        • downwind resident

          26.Oct.2012 4:11pm

          Don’t worry not many people would open up the Weekender Section and far less would read it! Unless they were looking for photos of family members at a fete.

          Her opinions are not exactly a hot spot for intelligent people.

  22. So they have, how childish!

  23. James Luke

    28.Feb.2013 7:31pm


    I just found this in the Code of Conduct for Councillors in Kirklees ( http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/you-kmc/constitution/codes/code6.pdf ).

    3.1 Planning is not a quasi-judicial process. It is an administrative decision making process, which must be carried out in accordance with relevant statutory requirements. Councillors who sit on planning committees cannot therefore be expected to have the same strict level of independence and impartiality as judges or quasi-judges who make decisions in courts and tribunals.

    3.2 Councillors are elected to provide and pursue policies in a situation of democratic accountability. Accordingly, members of planning committees are entitled and indeed expected, by those who have elected them, to have and to express views on planning issues. They will have political allegiances and publicly known policies although Councillors must always remember that planning decisions are not political decisions.

    The same internet search revealed that many other Councils also talk about quasi-judicial processes so we’re not in the minority. Still, I thought the Kirklees Council view was quite enlightening.

    I should also add that at Monday’s Environment Permit meeting local Councillors did express their views on the Asphalt Plant and I am very grateful that they did so! It was very reassuring. I hope that in the forthcoming election we will see an open public debate on the asphalt plant.

  24. Black Dog

    7.Apr.2013 2:03pm

    Scaremongering? where is the Boy Blunder now and why has he not commented on this evidence?

    Pugh it is best you resign now rather than face the embarrassment of an election defeat. NO! NO! what am I saying I want to witness you clearing your desk out and being escorted off the premises.

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