- seeking justice
This infrastructure development project involves the already developed Glan Usk Primary School on the southern part of a hazardous chemical waste landfill at the Glebelands. The project also includes a residential development on less contaminated land to the south of the school site.
The planning application was registered as Application Number 00/0768 (application type ‘Deemed Consent’) on 7th July 2000. The Planning Application Schedule describing the proposed development, as submitted to the planning committee, is dated 25th October 2000.
On 31st October 2000, Newport council (then Newport County Borough Council) granted itself outline planning permission for a replacement primary school, all weather pitch, soft and hard play areas and residential development at the Glebelands, St Julians, Newport, Wales.
Because the likely environmental effects of the development were not known at the time of granting planning permission, and because Newport council failed to insist upon the provision of such information before granting planning permission, Newport council attached conditions to the planning permission requiring investigative work to be carried out to ascertain the likely environmental effects of the development.
By not insisting upon the provision of environmental information before granting planning permission, Newport council deprived consultees the opportunity to be consulted on the likely environmental impact of the development.
Possible conflict of interest
As the local authority, Newport council was, at the time of granting planning permission:
(a) the owner of the severely contaminated site;
(b) the Applicant for planning permission; and,
(c) the local planning authority
The Glebelands Alliance alleges that:
1. Prior to granting planning permission, Newport council:
(a) disregarded, or deliberately circumvented, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive [more];
(b) failed to properly consider the applicable EIA criteria [more];
(c) treated EIA as a discretionary risk assessment process [more];
(d) failed to properly consider a request for EIA screening [more];
(e) failed to consult with key statutory bodies concerning the need for EIA [more];
(f) failed to carry out an effective EIA screening exercise [more];
(g) appointed a transport consultancy 'Gwent Consultancy' that was part owned by Newport council to carry out a rudimentary site investigation – the results of which were later relied upon by Newport council when granting planning permission;
(h) controlled the scope and thoroughness of site investigations by restricting the budget ('financial ceiling’) for the site investigation and risk assessment activities;
(i) failed to follow-up elevated levels of radiation detected on the development site during initial site investigations [more];
(j) failed to ensure an end-use risk assessment was carried out prior to granting planning permission; and,
(k) released information about the development via newsletters and planning documentation in a way that was very likely to mislead members of the public and members of the local authority planning committee, thereby leaving key decision makers poorly informed about the risks of the proposed development.
2. Prior to the granting of planning permission, the Welsh Assembly failed to give sincere consideration to call-in requests relating to the Glebelands development [more].
3. At the time of granting planning permission, Newport council:
(a) relied upon inadequate site investigation reports that failed to consider the end-use of the development site or consider the likely environmental effects of the proposed development; and,
(b) presented misleading information to members of the local authority planning committee that was overly biased in favour of proceeding with the development.
4. Subsequent to granting planning permission, Newport council:
(a) permitted an unlawful planning permission amendment in 2002 [more];
(b) permitted works to commence on site unlawfully in 2006 [more];
(c) permitted an unlawful planning permission amendment in 2008 [more];
(d) failed to give sincere consideration to a request to revoke planning permission submitted in July 2009 by the Glebelands Alliance [more];
(e) permitted the new school to be occupied unlawfully in January 2010 [more];
(f) failed to screen for EIA the planning application to discharge Condition 07 [more]; and,
(g) permitted the unlawful discharge of planning condition 07 in January 2010 [more].
5. Subsequent to Newport council granting planning consent, the Welsh Assembly failed to give sincere consideration to:
(a) early requests to revoke planning permission [more]; and,
(b) a revocation request submitted in October 2009 by the Glebelands Alliance [more].