Staffs Knot Green

Stop the Gailey Freight Hub


LATEST NEWS   2017



September 2017: We are quietly progressing with our preparations. Please join us if you want to assist.
This month there are public consultations for the M54 northern link which may affect some readers.
Refer to http://roads.highways.gov.uk/projects/m54-to-m6m6-toll-link-road/  for details. 

August 2017: The proposers public consultation responses have been sent to them. In the next few weeks they have to consider those responses !?! make any changes and either walk away or prepare their application to submit to the Planning Inspectorate. We expect that around Xmas.

August 2017: There are a range of  help & advice days planned by Parish Councils and ourselves. Response forms were available at the exhibitions, the planned advice days, on the proposers website, or from us. Advice notes have also been prepared. Respond to the proposer using this advice and hopefully indicate your opposition - by 30th August. This stage is to tell the proposer what you think of his plans. Don't give away campaign information or helpful suggestions and keep a copy.
The next and most important stage is to give your comments to the planning inspectorate shortly after the official application is made - possibly around Xmas. Save your main ammunition for that.

July 2017: Public Consultation Exhibitions were held by the WMI proposer at four venues (Calf Heath Village Hall,  Brewood Jubilee Hall, Haling Dene Centre, Penkridge) between 11th & 22nd July. All dates were well attended and opposition was high.                
Please refer back to this group after visiting the exhibitions for discussion.
July 2017: On the 4th, the proposers made a presentation to South Staffs District Council in preparation for the public exhibitions listed below. The latest plans and documents are now available on the WMI website or at Penkridge Library, Brewood Library and the District Council Offices at Codsall.
The published layout is virtually unchanged from the March revision (shown on this website as "The Proposal" ) but with much more detail.
Their latest information suggests 10 freight trains per day generating 6300 HGVs and 12300 additional cars and vans per day .... but still manages to claim that journey time will reduce (despite 3 additional traffic islands and all those extra vehicles)!!!  Visit the exhibitions, absorb the information, question the culprits and get in touch.

June 2017: The General Election is over bar the shouting. Our Local MPs remain the same: Gavin Williamson and Jeremy LeFroy (and Amanda Milling at Cannock) so there is continuity for the work so far.
WMI's mapping consultants Terraquest were skulking around Gailey on election day and several times since. Signs asking for information on certain land areas have been placed in various spots. The proposer has now been asked to publish the information in the proper manner. Anyone who sees any signs or unidentified personnel please take a photo and report back.
There have been some ground radar people working in the fields trying to detect gold or water pipes. If you see any such works, take a photo and report back.
Road disruption continues on the A5 & A449 due to Four Ashes work and M6 events.


May 2017:  The WMI proposers are arranging their Statutory Public Consulations in July at Calf Heath Community Centre, Penkridge Haling Dene Centre, Brewood Jubilee Hall, and Coven Community Centres. More details when confirmed.
They are required by law to do this before making an application.
Considerable road disruption on the A5 & A449 particularly during the night due to Four Ashes work and M6 events.
May 2017: An excellent Variety Fundraising Night was held at Calf Heath Village Hall on 11th May. Enjoyed by all those that attended and a big thanks to those who performed at the event and those that organised and staffed the event.
April 2017: Our two MPs, Gavin Williamson and Jeremy LeFroy MP, held meetings in their respective communities to launch their campaign against the WMI Rail Freight Hub. An excellent and lively turnout at each venue.

April 2017: In addition to ongoing serious delays caused by Bericote Four Ashes factory access on the A449 we experienced more delays on the A5 the week prior to Easter due to utilities work and cable damage forcing temporary traffic lights, level with the Monckton quarry access road. Imagine what it would be like if WMI was approved and generated hundreds of extra vehicle movements per hour.

March 2017: The developers timescale has slipped again. No statutory exhibition until the middle of the year (June/July?) and the planning application itself won't be made until the end of the year (November?). They have cited traffic and highways research problems. Remember that everything so far has been made to appear formal and inevitable - it isn't.

March 2017: The new factory on the Bericote site on the edge of the Four Ashes industrial park, is being built with unusual haste - almost before anyone can ask why strategic minerals were not extracted from the land before it was built over. Serious traffic delays are currently being experienced due to road works to improve the A449 access to Bericote and footpath improvements. Spanish automotive components company Gestamp have taken over the largest building - moving from Cannock with 800 workers. It can be assumed that there will be an additional 500 car trips each shift change plus at least 200 HGV trips per 24 hr. operation discharging on to the A449. The massive factory unit is small compared to the 14 larger and higher units proposed for West Midlands Interchange.
February 2017. Some people around the perimeter of the proposal site have had quite intrusive letters including a large questionaire asking detailed information about themselves and their property. Not only is this intrusive it is particularly intimidating for elderly or vulnerable residents. The details and addresses used have been obtained from the Land Registry (available at £2 each). Even though the letters seem very official and mention The Secretary of State - this is just a ruse to get private information from you.
The proposers are just private companies trying to line their own pockets by burying the community and countryside under a carbuncle.
They have not yet submitted a planning application, have not paid anything to the Planning Inspectorate and are weighing up the economics of the venture.
The letters were sent out by Mears Group subsidiary TerraQuest, a Birmingham based company that has just been involved in a London exhibition & forum on how to get Nationally Significant Projects through the planning system.They appear to have overstepped the mark with the legality of their letters as they should have agreed a Communication protocol with the Planning Inspectorate and the Local Authority before sending your letters out.
The considered opinion is to file or bin the questionaires and not assist with their personal information gathering - regardless how many reminders they send.
There has been a burglary in Gailey, a computer with personal information on it was stolen during the night.  Everyone should be vigilant.

At Christmas we arranged calendars for those most affected by the proposal. We also sent one with an explanatory letter to the chairman of Grosvenors, the Duke of Westminster. Sadly this wasn't responded to directly, just passed on to Kilbride's front man Peter Frost  - who sent a long letter explaining how wonderful the decimation of our community would be.

Currently the proposers are fishing for information, weighing up the projects viability, whilst preparing drawings for a public exhibition around late March or early April 2017.

In December 2016 the proposers had a private meeting with Council Members to present their latest proposed layout. A few days later this was published on their website.
Press The Proposal button for the latest plan.

During September/October 2016 the proposer's environmental consultants, Rambol, have been negotiating with the Planning Inspectorate to agree the extent of the Impact Assessment study that they need to provide with their main submission.

In September 2016 there was an unannounced visit -  planning inspectorate staff were brought to the proposal area for environmental orientation.

During September/October 2016, Kilbride's Peter Frost  visited persons that made contact after the first public exhibition ......  and others that didn't - but are in beneficial or strategic positions. Some have been asked to sign contracts based on an option to buy - only if the proposal is approved. Others have found, or will find, that their properties are of no interest to the proposers. Resist signing anything - talk to us and/or your solicitor first.

Behind the scenes, the proposers have been busy sending out press releases to newspapers and technical magazines touting for potential customers for warehouse facilities and trying to convince readers that the proposal is beneficial to more than just themselves; claiming huge numbers of jobs (more than the population of Penkridge) would be created - without providing any supporting data whatsoever.


The Stop the Gailey Freight Hub group are busy preparing the defence. Come and join us.



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