Friday, December 21, 2007



Rugby Councillors have thrown out a planning application for a BUTCHERS PET CARE factory and a one hundred foot chimney, in the COTON PARK DEVELOPMENT - because of the experience gained (suffered!!) with the Rugby Cement plant! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH - or too much even!!

Various people commented:

* "We already have one dark satanic mill in the shape of the cement works, we don't want another one!"
* "The people have won the battle against the planners!"
* "Thousands of people have protested against it - they thought it was a done-deal but we gave them a bloody nose!"
* "They say that it is safe but that is what they said about the cement factory - and everyone knows that is simply not true!"
* "This goes against all the town's plans to improve itself!"

The Warwickshire Telegraph reported that it boiled down to protection of amenities, and a 700 strong petition - the RUGBY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE did not want it - RUGBY SCHOOL did not want it - surrounding businesses did not want it, and thousands of residents did not want to live near the factory in the shadow of a 100 foot chimney, which would generate smelly emissions, create extra traffic, and impact badly on house prices!

Cynics might ask then why have these same Councillors done absolutely nothing to protect the residents against the increasing impact of the CEMEX CO-INCINERATOR? They have ignored an 8,000 strong petition, passing planning applications one after another to convert the old cement plant from a 300,000 tonne environmental disaster into a 2,000,000 tonne a year waste co-incinerator, allowing the emissions of 3,000 tonnes a day of polluted gas from the main 115 metre chimney and much other pollution from the low level sources, and not to mention the occasional eight tonnes of pulverised fuel (etc!) on our heads, and 800 or so lorries a day!

Could it be that the nearest residents to that industrial behemoth are in deprived wards with Councillors who do nothing, while the middle classes at Coton Park have more influence and clout? But maybe this is a turning point and Councillors are now prepared to fight back against these planning officers who they are, after all, supposed to instruct? Rugby residents need a champion within the Rugby and Warwick Councils - which COUNCILLOR will step forward, and rise to the challenge to HELP RUGBY IMPROVE ITSELF?

RBC Environmental Health Office have said that Cemex and EWS only need a Permit (LA-PPC) for the unloading of coal at the site. For the loading/unloading of "ALL OTHER MATERIALS INCLUDING ANY MANNER OR QUANTITIES OF WASTES" they will not need any application or permission. So the Cemex conveyor/s, due to be put in the £330,000 tunnel under Parkfield Road, thoughtfully provided by the tax payers as part of the Western Relief Road scheme, will carry what exactly?

Meanwhile the cost of the Relief Road Scheme has soared from £11 million in 2000 to £37 million due to the interference of Rugby Cement (RMC) who "claimed" they wished to re-open the railway - when in truth they would only do so if the great British public paid for it for them. Now there seems to be some areas of contention between WCC and Cemex about the WRR route, and the ownership of the land over which it will pass. PLANNING CONSULTANTS have advised REDROW residents to take legal action against the developers and against Rugby Council for "misinforming them" about the status of the railway siding which has actually been in use since the late 1990's. Rugby Cement did not use the railway siding as it was CHEAPER FOR THEM to run 20,000 coal-laden juggernauts in Rugby town centre - regardless of the environmental and health impact! RBC seem set to face yet another OMBUDSMAN inquiry.

INCOMPETENCE AND THE TANGLED WEB OF LIES AND DECEIT: has lead to the cement/co-incinerator installation falling foul of all the various planning and environmental laws, including the EIA Directive, Public Participation Directive and the Aarhus Convention - not to mention HUMAN RIGHTS! Have a look at the paper "Environmental Law and Planning Update" given at the Planning Law and Practice Conference by David Elvin QC on 29 March 2007 for more information. Between 25 June 2005 and 15 January 2007 the UK was in breach of the Directive and during this time Warwickshire County Council was busy rushing through the installation of bag filters to permit the burning of wastes, and various other permissions without complying with the relevant Law - which may lead to further court action against them. So far WCC have declined to answer questions about the storage of hundreds of tonnes of various unquantified and unqualified industrial wastes at the site, and about their consideration at the planning application stage of the impact of the massive plume, which loops, and falls, and hangs over the whole town of Rugby and beyond. Watch this space!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007



The "spilling of the beans" has not been greeted with great joy by CEMEX, and by Warwickshire County Council, as plans now focus on Rugby as a Rubbish Dump, even though the Scoping Plan has been issued for the disused Southam Cemex cement works. No planning application has yet been made, for either site, but residents are being asked for an opinion on what the Environmental Impact Assessment should contain. However, as all the burnable waste - aka Climafuel - has to be transported by road to Rugby then maybe it would be better to bring all 400,000 tonnes of household, commercial and industrial waste here in the first place, rather than destroying yet another area of Warwickshire? At least that would save "juggernaut-miles", and public money in exposing the county roads to more destruction. Or would it - as Rugby is hardly the centre of Warwickshire it is? Of course some wastes would still have to be exported from Rugby again.

The Scoping assessment says "The facility will be designed to produce 240,000 tonnes of Climafuel, from 240,000 tonnes per annum of Municipal Solid Waste, and from 125,000 tpa imported SRF type materials or Climafuel from other MBT facilities - sourced locally, or nationally. There will be a Blending House and a Reception and Process Building, containing MBT and MHT equipment.

Strangely this is the smallest section of the scoping report! "An assessment should only be undertaken if the development causes a greater than 10% increase in the two way traffic flow, adjacent to the site access, during the typical weekday AM and PM road network peak hours." "This is in line with the IHT guidelines for Transport Impact Assessment." So that is easily controlled - they can hide outside, or inside, the works, till the rush hour is over! And what ever you do, make no mention of the "SENSITIVE LORRY MILES" required to get to the site! Never having had any environmental assessment at Rugby, nor any lawful planning permission, nor lawful operating permit,nor any proper public consultation they now intend to "build on that foundation". Look out RUGBY!

The jury is still out. Who knew what, and when? Who told who what, and why ,and when? RBC remain in "denial" as the local plan and searches had, they claim, not revealed the presence of a fully operational railway - that has been working since last century - from Rugby station to New Bilton. But their committee reports, and those of WCC tell a different tale. As does their correspondence with Network Rail and Railtrack. The REDROW land was highly contaminated landfill and for that reason is sold for a pittance: 4.5 hectares for £1,250,000 so the story goes, due to the very high costs of site remedy! Were the houses and flats able to sell at a higher price without the potential purchasers knowing there was an active freight line under their very windows? Who was responsible for telling them?

Protesters are to be "controlled and marginalised, and even excluded" by an army of Cemex placard-waving supporters, who wish to get relations back onto a more friendly and "constructive footing". This may have the "welcome effect" of attracting the Agency back to the table in Rugby, where it has abandoned the residents to their fate. In 2008 a new Constitution, a new Mission Statement, a Fresh Start, and Positive Community Engagement with new, not-so-disgruntled members at the RUGBY CEMEX CO-INCINERATOR FORUM?

Sounds too good to be true? Rugby residents would also love a fresh start, a clean sheet, a new beginning, fresh air, and a town without the ominous plume and giant industrial behemoth looming over us all! Come on Santa we know you can do it!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


The County Council has been "invited" to "share the gain" of having the fortunate siting of a huge CEMEX CO-INCINERATOR in Rugby town's smoke control area, (and also an Air Quality Management Area) and to sign a contract with Cemex to burn the County's household and commercial waste. Otherwise WCC will have to "export" its waste while Cemex imports waste from elsewhere - possibly Holland as they do at their South Ferriby plant, because "British made RDF is not as good as imported waste for burning", so we are told, and causes all manner of problems.

The Environment Agency has recently given Cemex permission to burn up to 30 tonnes an hour of RDF, known as CLIMAFUEL, and also to double the tyres to 6 tonnes an hour. And to increase the 600-800 juggernauts each day that smash our streets to bits and poison us with emissions.

At a meeting, from which I was unceremoniously ejected by the renowned county councillor Gordon Collett for simply making a few notes, it was revealed that they have secret plans and clever tricks that they did not wish to see "splashed over the newspapers." This has caused great consternation in Rugby where the Editor of the Advertiser has remarked on the attitude of arrogance and superiority displayed by those who are employed to serve the best interests of the Rugby and County residents, and not simply to serve themselves. "I think councillors should remember that they are ultimately there to represent their constituents, not to gain power and lord it over everyone!"

Looking back through our articles you will see that Gordon Collett recently received the keys to a £22,500 minibus from Cemex - a charitable donation to help elderly villagers do their shopping?
Also when the first meeting about the burning of household waste was held in June 2006 it fell to Councillor Collett to "warmly" thank Cemex for their wonderful presentation and to make the infamous closing remark - "if we don't get hysterical we can get this through!"

Now he says that he doesn't want any lorries through his village of Dunchurch before 9.00 am on Saturday mornings. And the Parish Councillors at the meeting do not want 140 daily through their villages of Long Itchington, Marton and Princethorpe. They suggest they leave them all in Rugby where the residents are used to it! So much for the Western Relief Road - planners do not seem to have considered what would happen at the Potsford Dam end of it.

A row is going on now as the public have finally woken up to the fact that the WRR is being built in a circuitous route merely to get the Cement plant lorries in and out, and to open up the MALPASS reclaimed Cemex land for industrial development. WCC sold out the people of Rugby in 1996 for a promised £660,000, the interest on which has been paid to Rugby Cement for ten years before that cash had to be given back in February 2006 - SECTION 106 EXPIRED! But due to the "friendly relations" between Cemex and WCC they renegotiated it and got the princely sum of £660,000 back again. BUT then WCC have had to build a new tunnel under the new road solely for Cemex to access its old disused quarry, because the "existing tunnel is not strong enough to take the new road." And no prizes for guessing who will pay £330,000 for that! Well done the great British Public - as Rugby residents face a LOSE-LOSE situation.

RUGBY CEMENT COMMUNITY FORUM UPDATE. Rugby Borough Council, Cemex and the Environment Agency all got together behind the backs of the Forum members and decided RBC would not fund the secretariat for the meetings, basically in effect shutting down the lines of communication in July 2007.
Since then there have been no meetings to discuss all the planning applications, LAPPC applications, doubling of tyre burning, household waste burning, changing of raw materials to waste, increase in lorries etc etc. Plans are afoot to "engage with the community in a positive transparent and open way, and to move forward together!" It is not certain that the community wishes to move where Cemex is taking us! In the meantime it was a clever idea to keep the RCCF initials, but call it the RUGBY COMMUNITY CEMENT FORUM.

However the way things are going on a more appropriate name would be: RCCCF: