Permit for asphalt plant being recommended by Environmental Health (updated)

Due to public interest, what would usually be decided under delegated powers, will be heard by the Regulatory Committee next week.

Further to the public consultation that took place near the end of last year, Eurovia’s application for a permit to operate an asphalt plant at Medina Wharf will be heard by the Regulatory Committee next week.

The paper work, embedded below for your convenience, states that an “Environmental Permit application has been submitted for the Hot Asphalt Mixing Plant only”.

This sort of permit would normally be decided by delegated powers, the report says, but due to large public interest in this development, the “Head of Planning and Regulatory services has considered that it is appropriate for the Regulatory Committee to determine this application”.

Environmental Health recommends that the Permit be granted with conditions.

Residents are invited to attend the meeting being held at County Hall on Monday 25th February from 10am.

Response from campaigners
Julia Hill from WRAP told OnTheWight, “This represents only a small part of the overall application and the recommendation is heavily conditioned. The environmental health recommendation for the planning application itself is for refusal. Our biggest concerns with regards to air quality have always related to the crusher and recycling unit for toxic road planings; We have campaigned for this to be recognised as a permanent part of the proposed plant and the environmental health officer has said in this report it cannot be operated under a mobile licence from another authority; this is fantastic news for the campaign.

“We are extremely concerned that the IW Council have no actual measurements of air quality in the Cowes area, just computer modelling. Without real measurements we feel this application should be deferred because they cannot make an informed decision. With asthma rates an unexplained 39% higher than the national average real air quality measurements should be insisted upon by the public.”

Monday, 18th February, 2013 9:15am



Filed under: Cowes, Green Issues, Isle of Wight News, Planning, 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. Don’t hold your breath or be fooled by cosmetic democracy!

    The Chair and 75% of the Regulatory Committee are members of the ruling bloc and- as usual- will take their lead (orders?) from you-know-who.

  2. Black Dog

    18.Feb.2013 1:15pm

    Having just Googled (PO31 7PG) the site I am astonished that this site is even considered as suitable for an Asphalt Plant.

    I have lost all faith in Bill Murphy for allowing this to even get this far. How on earth are the people living opposite going to survive the Noise, Smell, Traffic?

    Let us hope that The planning committee see sense and reject this application and stop wasting any more time. If they do vote with the recommendations I hope voters remember who voted yes in May.

    I know the Bardon Vectis Plant owners have deliberately priced themselves out of the market thinking they will eventually have get the asphalt supply contract for the PFI at an inflated price. However, the Council should have been aware of all the issues and potential issues (exactly how much did we spend on consultants) instead of foisting this totally unsuitable location upon the Island. I just wonder who owns this site?

    I hope at least some of the planning committee visit this site and grow a pair. Vote against Party Whips and Officer Recommendations, Vote with your using COMMON SENSE

    One thing I am certain of there will be a forensic investigation of all the decisions made by this regime.


    I know the PFI contract starts on the 1st April. This does not justify rushing the planning application through. Even if it were approved now, they will not be able to start production for several months – SO NO RUSH WAIT FOR THE ELECTIONS.

    • James Luke

      18.Feb.2013 10:49pm

      Black Dog – most people are astonished when they realise the location. Councillors (and the County Press) like to say that normally objectors are more vocal than supporters. In this case those who don’t object simply haven’t looked into the subject. The moment most sensible people read the facts they are immediately opposed.

      A few weeks ago both the County Press and OnTheWight published my letter asking if anyone could explain the positive case behind this proposal. There wasn’t a single response!! When challenged, not one person stood up to try and justify the plant. Yet the Council continues to work closely with Eurovia to secure planning permission. Why??

    • Considering the site was owned by Borough Council, and before that by Cowes UDC I imaging the current owners must still be the IWC ! Does it help explain why they have bent over backwards to assist their French friends!

  3. mike starke

    18.Feb.2013 1:47pm

    Presumably the surveyor and his theodolite I saw from the cycle path, working on the proposed asphalt plant site, was just testing his equipment.

    Heaven forbid that he and his employers were pre-empting Isle of Wight council’s planning “decision”.

  4. Matthew James Martin

    18.Feb.2013 8:14pm

    Shock bl**dy horror..shame on many of you, who shall remain nameless…..for now

  5. Island Monkey

    18.Feb.2013 10:39pm

    A foregone conclusion Mike? No, never!

    How could you think our independent minded (mostly Tory) planners would just rubber stamp such an important foul smelling eyesore, just to keep the PFI rolling? You’re a cynic.

  6. I think you will find that this “parcel of land” is now privately owned and has no connection with the council, also and I do not profess to know the in’s and out’s of the situation but I am led to believe that there is no love lost between Eurovia and Aggregate Industries (Bardon Vectis).

    Please see the following comments / observations that some may have seen already when they were printed in our local paper.

    There are always two sides to any proposal / argument but I think that at the moment, gathering from the amount of “fliers” etc being banded around it could be getting a little one sided.

    Yes I am in total agreement after reading some of the several statements and comments that have been made by other people who live near to other Asphalt Plants that an independant enviromental risk assessment should be carried out to ascertain if there are any potential health risks etc. Should the results of the assessment then disprove any forthcoming health risks then perhaps people would have a more open view on the proposals.

    One has to remember that both the East and West Cowes towns were built around the river because that is where the employment was, mostly of the ship building nature, J.S. Whites, Saunders & Roe along with many others that have now passed by the wayside, these companies along with all the smaller boat yards and associated businesses provided the majority of the employment for the townsfolk. In later years these businesses have been in decline and lesiure activities have taken over a lot of the sites. At busy times some of these companies operated round the clock 24hrs a day, I can remember as a boy hearing the “riverters” still going at midnight in J.S. Whites.

    Now some one wants to inject a new business with employment back into the riverside, big uproar, please bear in mind that this will be a very modern up to date Asphalt Plant which will be as enviromentally friendly as you can get and cannot be compared with the many existing older plants that are around the country.

    A lot of pro’s and con’s are being banded about, some quite valid, some are questionable.

    The Asphalt Plant by the sheer nature of what it needs in terms of raw materials needs to be close to a wharf, if it were to be built inland then all the raw materials would still have to be transported by road to it’s location. As it stands the access to Medina Wharf has been greatly improved in the later years from what it was, primarily by the relief road that was built by the developer of Nelson Drive etc,and I think funded by the owner of Medina Wharf, before this all traffic had to use the full length of Artic Road.

    Another outlook is that it will be built on what was a “waste” tip and the land is unlikely to be suitable for housing or anything similar. The only other site which had Wharfage was the West Medina Mills site which was released to Vesta’s to build what can only be described as a giant blot on the landscape.

    So yes there are fore and against points of view but please keep an open mind when considering the alternatives.

    We need a modern Asphalt Plant to service the road re-building program, and put to use some of the PFI that our Council has commited us to, before what is left of the roads deteriorate back to what will be no more than tracks, more suited to farm vehicles rather than modern day cars, buses and lorries.

    • James Luke

      19.Feb.2013 9:24pm

      John – I fully agree with your point on the need for an independent environmental assessment.

      I have to disagree with the remainder of your comments.

      The proposal has been branded as a “state of the art plant” by the Applicant, however if you look at the detail of the application that isn’t the case. The crusher for example is a 25 year old, second hand piece of equipment.

      Locating the plant near to a wharf does not reduce the amount of material that has to be transported inland by road. The completed product (which is greater in volume than the raw material) still needs to be transported inland. The bitumen is being brought in by ferry so that needs to be taken overland to the new plant. The scrapings from the old roads need to be taken to the plant and then back to form the base of new roads (i.e. two journeys). Finally, the asphalt product is time sensitive so it has to be moved immediately from production to the site where it is being laid. If they were just moving raw materials, the movements could be scheduled to the most appropriate times and material stock piled. There is no benefit at all in placing this plant at the proposed location.

      The number of jobs created by this plant is very low and potentially offset by job losses at Bardon Vectis. This isn’t a growth industry – the IoW can’t become a global exporter for asphalt.

      The Council has made it clear that the PFI can be delivered without the Asphalt Plant. If that is not true, then surely Councillors and the Public should have been made aware of the fact prior to signing the contract.

      As someone who is primarily concerned about the health risks to my family, it would be easier for me to keep an open mind if more attention was given to the genuine concerns of ordinary, decent people.

  7. If a local authority has made a decision without correctly going through the required process, the redress is application for Judicial Review. The court cannot say anything about the rights & wrongs of the decision itself, it’s purely about the technicalities of process.

    Wouldn’t this freeze certain actions of the IWC until a court has adjudicated, & then require them to start again from scratch & do it correctly – Is there a lawyer out there?? At the very least it would delay matters….

    • James Luke

      20.Feb.2013 6:50am

      It would (will) slow things down.

      I have no doubt that if the planning application is granted it will result in a judicial review. Too many people are too upset for this not to end up that way.

      However, I hope that events are not allowed to go that far. I hope that the Council will realise what a terrible situation this is and work with Eurovia to identify alternative, more suitable sites. Eurovia need to work with the local community. Starting a 25 year PFI with this type of issue is not good.

      The professional action for both the Council and Eurovia to take is to work to find an alternative site.

      • Judicial Review:for other topics here, maybe, too….

      • Black Dog

        20.Feb.2013 9:49am

        Having Googled the site/Road there is an aggregate company as you come down Arctic Road to the right of the mini roundabout. If that site could be used/shared it would take it away from the houses at the very least. However it would not address the Traffic or Environmental issues, Nevertheless it would show a willingness to negotiate and work with the area to minimize the impact this plant would have in Cowes.

        The council is hell-bent on this site which makes you ask the question Why?

        If this goes ahead I volunteer now to support any ACTION the residents take from financial to occupation. If the council are up for a fight lets give them one.

        Does anyone know who owns this site and do we know what value is being put on the site? I am sure (given the numbers involved) a cooperative can be set up to purchase the site from the owners – that is if it has not already been sold secretively!!!!

        Finally I thought the Council said that having a NEW ASPHALT PLANT on the Island was not part of the PFI Contract Or is that more lies??????

        • William House

          20.Feb.2013 2:31pm

          Why this site?

          Well I heard that the island’s core strategy plan, strangely required more industry on the western side of the medina than the eastern side – new Vestas Research Plant, new road and junction at Stag Lane, etc and the proposed asphallt plant also on this western side.
          Which beggars belief when the transport infrastucture and two of the three vehicular ports are on the eastern side – Fishbourne and East Cowes.
          Never mind sending all the wagons thru Newport/Coppins Bridge to leave and enter the island.

          In terms of land ownerships, opportunties and future opportunties it may be worth asking the Planners, Directors and certain key members why this change was promoted and pushed through?

          Better be quick though, the PFI begins April and elections in May.

  8. This issue is of concern for all islanders.

    Please write to your councillor and ask him/her if
    they supported this proposal. Not many councillors will read comments on this forum, but if they receive plenty of mail the just may take note.

  9. wightywight

    23.Feb.2013 1:57am

    @Don Smith:

    If it’s any help Don, This, like every other motion passed in the past 8 years, was supported by all the Conservative Councillors….no need to write and ask them anything.
    Look, there’s only one way out of this mess… May every voting age resident on this Island should get into the Polling stations and put a cross against the Independent Candidate…. to a man/woman.
    Do not consider 4 more years of this abject administration and do not risk dilution of votes by selecting a libdem – thus taking away an Independent vote –
    People really do have to see this clearly…65% of people who were eligible didn’t vote at the last elections …it’s a fair bet that the 35% that did will have pretty strong views (unchangeable even…)about what Political bias they want. There’s no point wasting energy trying to convert a lifelong ‘blue rinse’ (for example) or lifelong Labout supported to change their views.
    SAome may, or may not, vote against central government as a protest but generally these voters go with their historical voting pattern. However, twice as many people either cannot be bothered to vote, are disinterested or just don’t see the need…. they are the people to convince that change has to come…and that change will be better on this Island if it was not tied to some Political Party whip or central office dictat.
    This is a clear opportuinty to put a majority of Independent Councillors into County Hall……what have you got to lose….! There’s little left (to lose!) after the past 4 years…and in any event, let’s not let these b*ggers get away with their actions unpunished…eh?


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