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Stop the Concrete Factories next to the Olympic Park and rezone the site from being SIL

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In 2016/17, almost 12,500 people demonstrated their opposition to the proposed concrete batching and asphalt factory that was proposed on Bow Goods Yard, East London. The application they submitted was full of lies, there was no public consultation and the long term effects of building a concrete factory on this site would, undoubtedly cause long-term social, environmental, health and economic damage to the residents of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney Wick. 

We won that battle and the application was rejected. Since that time, within metres of the site, 2 schools (Bobby Moore Academy) have opened their doors, a running track and sports complex has opened up for children and local residents; whilst there is a budding community of people moving to Hackney Wick under the impression this part of London, and neighbouring Newham, was designated for regeneration. 

Against this backdrop, and fully aware of residents anger towards them, it is perhaps even harder to accept and much more frustrating to learn that the same applicants are now planning to come back with an application to build another concrete factory on the very same site.

If the application is approved it will bring more than 100 HGVs streaming through Tower Hamlets and Newham every single hour, running past the children going to those schools and past the cyclist and young families of existing residents and those that have spent their hard earned salaries to come to and live in an area that was publicly touted for regeneration. This site will take this area back in time - it will not take it forward. 

It will have a devastating impact on the air quality that is already at deadly levels. The cumulative impact of that site will be devastating and traffic will be gridlocked around the entire area. We already have photos and videos that show how bad things already are. As a consequence, cyclists' lives will be put at genuine risk, public transport will also be at a standstill, emergency services will suffer time loss and the health of children will worsen.

This time the application is supposedly being fronted by Bates Aggregates because they are; apparently, more polished when it comes to speaking to the public. This time round they have tried to pretend that they are fully engaged with the public by holding a public consultation; however to those of us that attended it is clear that their total lack of care or consideration for the public remains in tact and I would like to point out some of the questions that were asked of residents on some leaflets they handed out. I think pointing them out demonstrates the disingenuous points of their consultation. Residents were asked the following questions:

1. Do you agree that the proposal will help reduce overall lorry movements?

This was a simple yes or no answer they were after and during the consultation they provided the public with no evidence or information that could allow them to make an informed decision. 

2. Do you agree that the proposal is better than current activities? Yes or No.

For context, the current activities on the site are 24 hour train movements of the unloading and loading of trains, currently being done by DB Cargo. The plans on this site will not prevent the continuation of these activities which demonstrates a genuine attempt to mislead the public. 

3. Is the planning process clear? 

The fact that residents did not know this would prevent DB Cargo from continuing their work demonstrates it was not, but given that none of the representatives of the concrete applications are planners, it is clear this is not something they can provide clear guidance on, so again, this is misleading the public. 

4. What are your main concerns?  

The option to answer this was large enough for no more than 4 words which is effectively suppressing people without them even realising it. 

We even asked the applicants if they would be prepared to put their children through Bobby Moore Academy with their factory next to them and they refused to answer - which speaks volumes.

I also asked the question that if their application was approved would they then make an application to open for 24 hours and the refused to answer, citing 'who know's what might happen in the future'. They also gave the same answer when they were asked if they would re-submit their application for an asphalt factory.  

Finally I asked the question as to what happens when there is a 'late-night pour' taking place and it is clear that things simply do not stop when it hits 7pm.

They applicants tried to claim that this site will bring more controls, but the site is already licensed and you can see from the photo above just how poorly managed things would be. Allowing a concrete factory onto this site will, without question, be like opening pandoras box. Indeed, the Chairman of the LLDC, Peter Hendy, is also the Chairman of Network Rail - the very people that own the site in question. There is a clear conflict of interest at play here which is being overseen by Sadiq Khan which clearly needs to be addressed and as residents, we need to be clear - no more.

The school and residents are already suffering from this site and the fact this area has been designated Strategic Industrial means this area will always be under threat from applicants looking to build highly polluting, unsafe and hard to regulate industrial services.

This petition has been set up to tell the Mayors of London, Newham and London Borough Tower Hamlets that enough is enough. We do not want this application or any other applications like it to even be considered let alone approved - ever. We want this entire site to be rezoned to prevent further applications like this being made in the future with the land to be used for environmentally friendly, socially and economically beneficial and acceptable purposes that fit in with the shifting nature of the area. 

Ultimately, it is quite clear that this land can be used to create an abundance of much needed social housing, schools and affordable working space that can drive the local economy forward, not backwards. 

The link to the proposal can be found here:

https://www.boweast.co.uk/our-proposal/

You will notice they have strategically whitened out the buildings sitting at the backdrop of the panoramic artists view of the site. One of those buildings, to the immediate left - is Bobby Moore Academy School. The big open space to the left, was going to be the site of the proposed Asphalt Factory; whilst the state of the art safety being proposed for the traffic is, as clearly shown further down the page - a zebra crossing. 

Please help us stop this and sign the petition.