LIME WELL @ HERSTMONCEUX

 

  THERE IS ONLY ONE WELL IN THE VILLAGE OF HERSTMONCEUX THAT IS USED DAILY TO PROVIDE DRINKING WATER

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NOAH'S ARK - The well adjacent to the proposed development site will suffer contamination if this development proceeds. This picture was taken in 2019. The rainbow is taken as a sign from above, that Wealden will not heed. What are the odds of a rainbow appearing in exactly the same place several times. On other occasions those witnessing the event did not have a camera to hand. The happening has been captured twice.

 

 

 

The developers of Shit Creek are on notice as to a well at Herstmonceux that they failed to take proper note of during their evaluation of the potential impact of the proposed 70 house development in the field adjacent to Lime Cross.

 

The position of the proposed houses is well within the distance held to be likely to pollute via groundwater contamination from pesticides, herbicides and other household chemicals, that are thought to be carcinogenic. Not only is this a criminal offence under the Regulations, but may also fall to be considered as conspiracy to cause death (in this case by shortening life expectancy and risk of cancer), contrary to the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007, in addition to the Wednesbury duty of care, they owe any occupier in this regard.

 

 

 

 

THE PERFECT MURDER - Never mind Agatha Christie's fictional murder mysteries, here we have the perfect way a council might gain revenge on a long term adversary, and hope to get away with it. Even Miss Marple would have needed to take a second glance, at what seems like simple negligence, but is a brilliant way of spreading the blame for poisoning the water in a local well, such that it is difficult to decide who is the culprit. The local authority knew that if they gave Timothy Watson outline consent on the slope adjacent to the well, that the applicant's experts would fudge issues and not carry out the proper tests, such that blame might rest at the foot of Clarion and Latimer Group, as the fall guys, for being stupid enough to push a weak position in law, on the basis that they could rely on the Council to do them a few favours. Into the bargain, the council had a secondary profit motive, shared with the developers.

 

 

UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

 

According to the United Nations we should strive to attain a balanced economy where we live within our natural means. This is called a Circular Economy.

 

In a Circular Economy we do not piss all over existing sustainable development, such as poison a water supply that has survived for over a hundred years. That would be another bum deal by persons acting illegally.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

 

It is unlawful to interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of property. But when the interference is by way of a conspiracy, or where planning favours are involved, misfeasance in public office turns to malfeasance, so what was unlawful become illegal. In this case in the enjoyment of a water supply free from potential (or actual) contamination.

 

 

 

WD/2015/0090/MAO - CONDITION 6 - CONTAMINATION WATCHING BRIEF

 

"6. In the event that contamination is found at any time when carrying out the approved development that was not previously identified, it must be reported in writing immediately to the Local Planning Authority. An investigation and risk assessment must be undertaken in accordance with details that have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Where remediation is necessary a remediation scheme must be prepared for approval in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Following completion of measures identified in the approved remediation scheme, a verification report must be prepared, which is subject to the approval in writing of the Local Planning Authority. CL04"

 

But there is no bond or insurance policy in place against the ensuing contamination of Lime Well, and Clarion Group have disposed of the asset to Latimer Developments for 3.5 million, presumably and it is alleged, in anticipation of winding down or going belly up immediately after completing the proposed development - to avoid any prosecutions for contamination and claims from the poor unfortunates buying these houses. Hence, it could reasonably be argued that this is a conspiracy to limit claims in damages and fines, to just the one company that they appear to have set up to be the scape-goat. But here we should look at the controlling minds, a record of which is held at Companies House, fortunately. Where details of the council officers will be in their employment, pay and tax records, including the Chief Executive and Members of the committee passing the application.

 

 

FRAUD

 

It is also fraud, to fail to do something that causes, or exposes someone to the potential for loss. It follows that if the developers and council know about the potential for contamination and do nothing about it, then in failing to protect persons from losing that water supply, they are causing financial loss, where such loss constitutes fraud as per the Fraud Act 2006.

 

 

 

WD/2015/0090/MAO - CONDITION 28 NO DISCHARGES FOUL OR CONTAMINATED WATER

 

"28. There shall be no discharge of foul or contaminated drainage from the site into either the groundwater or any surface waters, whether direct or via soakaways. Prior to being discharged into any watercourse, surface water sewer or soakaways system, all surface water drainage from parking areas and hardstandings shall be passed through trapped gullies and silt traps to BS 5911:1982 with an overall capacity compatible with the site being drained and shall be retained thereafter."

 

This condition is good insofar as the surface water from hard-standings (driveways, roads, etc) shall be passed through trapped gullies. A neat trick where to prevent groundwater contamination by spillage, drives would need to be bounded on all sides. But it does not take account of anything other than hard-standings, even if it can be achieved for the hard-standings. In particular, pesticides and hydrocarbons in tending garden and plants, is classed as contamination where the ground soaks up deposits with each rainfall. This would not normally be a problem where all of the surrounding area is supplied with drinking water by the mains, for example from reservoirs. But, this field has a well immediately adjacent and fed from the hill leading down to the southern boundary hedge.

 

 

 

Putting the Cart before the Horse

 

 

Where both the local authority and the applicant's were made aware of the well and it's use for drinking water, the County Archaeologist and Environment Agency should have been consulted at the outline stage, where the application was for up to 70 houses. Meaning that the hill feeding the well would need to be crowded with houses on the feed slope - to be able to squeeze in such a high number. We know the applicable consultees were not approached, because the County Archaeologist confirmed that he did not know about the well. Neither did the Environment Agency, who only visited the site some time after the Outline application was passed, when their input was needed before any such decision. For that reason the Area Plans South Sub Committee, were not in a position to pass the outline application, where they were doing so without sufficient information to be able to make an informed decision. That much is clear from the phrasing of Condition 28. The consent is thus ultra-vires in the legal sense.

 

This lack of understanding (as to the geographical and bio-hazard difficulties) of the Applicant's and Planning Committee is crystallized and confirmed in the placing of houses on the feed slope. The matter speaks for itself. If they had consulted as required, they would have been better informed to be in a position to limit the number of houses on the site, to prohibit the placing of homes with gardens on the feed slope, anywhere near the recommended exclusion area, as defined by water Regulations and Standards. They should have known from such information that (up to) 70 houses could not be accommodated on this field, and so imposed a reduced number with a realist prospect of leaving the historic drinking water supply intact.

 

It appears that the Council were so focused on reaching housing targets for their area, that they were prepared to countenance a major housing development on an unsuitable site. Certain key Councillors appear to have been helping their officers push for the development, or have been absent/silent when their local knowledge would have been useful. The Council appear to have put the decision making cart before the horse.

 

 

 

NO LOCAL LIST - We know from brief exchanges with local members, that Wealden District Council (WC) seemed to have discounted the value of the well as a historic feature and as a sustainable source of drinking water, something of a rarity to be treasured as an example of life before modern civilization and piped water supplies. The Parish Council appear to have adopted the same values in allowing village features such as the Truggery, to be demolished and replace with cardboard boxes, the charm and character gone forever.

 

The attitude to archaeological sites is summed up in a letter from the Leader of the Council, Robert Standley, dated 24th August 2012, to the then occupier of the generating buildings, previously known as The Old Steam House. Eastbourne Borough Council has a Local List, but not Wealden. Had WC compiled such a list, they would have been apprised of Lime Well in advance of their deliberations in 2015, as would the County Archaeologist. The General unhelpfulness and lack of cooperation of WC in dealings with other bounded councils, is summed up in a Letter from Inspector Louise Nurser to Marina Brigginshaw dated 20th December 2019, concerning their Local Plan.

 

 

 

WD/2015/0090/MAO - CONDITION 30 SURFACE WATER DRAINAGE & HIGHWAYS

30. Prior to the commencement of development details of the proposed surface water drainage to prevent the discharge of surface water from the proposed site onto the public highway and, similarly to prevent the discharge of surface water from the highway onto the site shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority for approval in consultation with the Highway Authority. The scheme shall be implemented in accordance with the approved details.

 

Unfortunately for the developer, water does not flow uphill. In another famous land drainage case, Wealden had erased the levels on a plan they presented to the court, in an attempt to pervert the course of justice, or put another way, to be less helpful to the Court than they might have been as officers of the Court.

 

 

CULPABLE & SERIOUS CRIME JOINT ENTERPRISE

 

The County Archaeologist at East Sussex County Council, and the Environment Agency are on notice as to the impending harm to this historic feature, that it is proposed should be put at risk.

 

It is alleged that Wealden District Council are at the back of what one might describe as a conspiracy to cause harm to the occupiers of a historic generating building, where their machinations have included seeking to deprive the occupants of toilet facilities in 1997, in their efforts to help near neighbours in Lime Park acquire the property at an undervalue through 1986 to 2001. They spent over 500,000 five hundred thousand pounds of tax payers money living in fantasy land (nursing a lie), misleading high court judges, and brokering the assistance of Sussex police to cover up the vendetta. They even provided protected data to a person they knew was in litigation with the occupier, in violation of data protection law, in the hope of weakening their opponent and causing him more stress, the aim being to improve their chances of success via attrition.

 

 

 

CASELAW, WDC DECEPTION - In this landmark case Wealden District Council's legal department erased the levels on a plan of the location, in an attempt to deceive the court concerning 3 piddling ditches and insistence that the defendant should increase a 225mm pipe with a 450mm pipe. The defendant won, and was not required to make improvements. Costs followed @ roughly 80% in favour of D. The claimant joined a Petition in 1997, seeking investigation of not just his case, but in light of other cases. Sussex police failed to take even a basic statement from any of the complainant's as to the matters outside the remit of WC's panel.

 

JUDGE HAYWARD - CROWN COURT LEWES - A950251 - 13th JANUARY 1997 (EXTRACT OF TRANSCRIPT)

Mr. Hammond, of course, gave evidence in the Magistrates Court and his first report was before the Magistrates and clearly the Magistrates were influenced by that report. In that report, Mr. Hammond states that the catchment area which serves the watercourses extends to an area of some 100,000 square meters. The plan annexed to this report shows this area extending well to the West of School Lane. All conclusions and calculations really flow from his view as to the size of the catchment area, and indeed, he reaches one conclusion that there was a potential flow in watercourse number 1 of 125 litres of water per second. We are satisfied that Mr. Hammond's conclusions in this first report are very seriously flawed.

 

We accept Mr. Noble's evidence that on a generous calculation catchment area which serves these watercourses is only some 1,000 square metres, and having regard to the evidence we have heard from Mr. Hammond and Mr. Noble, we reject Mr. Hammond's view that watercourse No.1 should be so constructed as to be able to cope with a one in twenty-five year flood event and we prefer Mr. Noble's view that one in six years is appropriate.


REFUSAL TO ATTEND MEETING

 

"Your Council have released privileged information into the hands of Mr. and Mrs. George Herbert Day (Mason). This information has been deposited in the Hove County Court and is to be admitted as evidence. As a result, the Judge has ordered that all the experts attend here this afternoon at 2 p.m. I have invited your Mr. Kean to attend and he agreed. I have just received a Fax from Mr. Crone stating that Mr. Kean will not attend. Leaving aside the serious issues raised by the release of this information and your refusal to attend, it is clearly regrettable that your officers continue to act in a manner which will prolong these disputes. We therefore reserve the right to subpoena those concerned should the need arise."

 

That meeting, as you will see from the date, was sadly not attended by Mr. Kean and led to the agreement which is at D52, which inter alia contains in paragraphs 1 and 2 agreement that the catchment is only 1,000 square meters and a 225mm diameter pipe is quite sufficient. The attitude of the Council in refusing any sort of a meeting between the experts - if Mr. Kean had attended that meeting between those experts, surely the Council would not have proceeded to oppose the present appeal. There is no explanation of it at all. (NOTE: In another appeal to the Sec of State, this same council refused a site meeting prior to appeal)

"A hearing took place in the Lewes Magistrates' Court in July 1995 at which, in order to minimise costs, I acted for myself. Whilst I had obtained legal advice prior to the hearing, I relied heavily on the knowledge of the Court Clerk at the hearing itself. As the appellant/complainant, I was required to prosecute the matter without prior knowledge as to the full reasons for the enforcement action. I had requested full disclosure at a preliminary hearing in April 1995, but this was opposed by the solicitor then representing the Council. The Magistrates did not consider themselves empowered to order disclosure. "

So before the Magistrates the Hammond report was produced one day before the hearing; the supplemental report, and for all we knew on our side, that was the Council's factual case as regards the drainage situation on the land until this date my friend and I have agreed, one working day before this hearing, where for the first time Mr. Hammond produces his supplemental areas and so forth, and it appeared to us he was then going to resile from his 100,000 square meter area for something less, but in cross-examination he said that he did not.

The Notice was served at the same time that the Council was under investigation from the Ombudsman, and an investigation which succeeded - there were one or two that did not succeed, but that one did succeed.

ARGUMENT AGAINST COSTS

 

Really, for my friend for the Council, having lost in effect, to say: "If only we had been friendlier to the Council beforehand and given them a little cosy chat, none of this would have happened, everything that you have seen must surely lead you to reject such a contention.

 

It is perfectly clear that Mr. Kean was as entrenched, if not more entrenched than anybody else with the Days or D's in his position. His position has been defended by the Council root and branch from that moment until this, and it is fanciful to suppose, granted what your Honour has rightly held were the motives which bona fides influenced Mr. Kean right from the beginning; they were the size of the pipe upstream and what the Days had told him. It is fanciful to suppose that something that my client would have said to him then would have led him to change his mind and not serve the Notice.

The Court plan showed all the levels from a full ground survey, the Council sought to have removed from the plan the levels that showed that water could not flow where the Council maintained (uphill), these levels were retained on the plan in a different colour. The inability of water to flow uphill is referred to in the judgement.

COSTS

As we have already said, we do not in any way doubt Mr. Kean's good intentions and we accept that the Council when they get caught in what was undoubtedly part of a neighbour dispute, have a difficult role to play. As I have indicated, we do think that Mr. Kean unfortunately allowed himself to be  influenced by what he might have been told by the Days and was over influenced by the importance of these ditches. 

Mr. D should pay 20% of the costs of the Magistrates' Court hearing. Taking all the arguments into account, we think that it is right that the Council should pay 80% of Mr. D's costs of this appeal. The costs will be on the standard basis.


Council's solicitor: Trevor Abbott  Chief Executive: Derek Holness   Engineer: Graham Keane

 

 

Wealden also denied the history attaching to the old generating buildings in 1985/6 before the Secretary of State and again before the Secretary of State in 1997/8. Such denial in the face of the overwhelming duty to consult with English Heritage and the County Archaeologist, can only be seen as institutionalised discrimination run riot. This brings up the subject of bias in the Wansdyke Council sense, and the power of WDC to grant such permission. If any conflict of interest, or bias can be established between any Councillor on the APS committee, the permission may be ruled tainted, and as such be seen as 'ultra vires,' by virtue of impropriety, hence the whole exercise would be an abuse of process. It is inconceivable that either Tim Watson or the local authority did not share this information with the developer, since the whole village knew about WDC's planning deception, including the Parish council, who were consulted before the 1986 enforcement and subsequent planning applications in 1997 and 1998.

 

Looking at the placing of the houses, in close proximity to Lime Well, a facility that WDC knew was the only source of drinking water for their long-term adversary, one could be forgiven for thinking that the placement was a deliberate act of malice, that is assuming that no suitable filtration is possible and the development proceeds. For example, why were the proposed houses not situated on the reverse slope away and to the other side of the field? In a case where groundwater pollution is an issue, we would have thought that to be a major planning issue. But, somewhat irrationally, this material consideration appears to have been overlooked.

 

One might think that just an error, but when contrasted against the long list of carefully considered Conditions, three of which are to do with surface water drainage, pollution and flooding, you may conclude that such an omission is not an error, but rather a deliberate act. On the balance of probabilities.

 

Such a view would need to take into consideration the manner of treatment of the occupier(s) of the historic well and generating buildings in years gone by, such as to be able to decide if the duty of care they owed to the adjacent occupier had slipped their minds, or if at the back of their minds, they could not care less about that/those occupiers, but were more driven by the prospect of CIL payments, rate-able values and council tax revenues. Indeed, they may still harbour a grudge that persists in their decision making.

 

 

Michael Gove playing God with people's lives

 

 

NAUGHTY BOY - Michael Gove is accused of putting human health at risk, in favour of providing food security, but is poisonous food secure? We think not. Silly old Michael. Nobody should play God with people's live. There should be a zero risk policy, apart from any sustainability issues, of which his thinking also falls foul.

 

 

 

In 2014 Sussex police raided the generating buildings on the pretext of trademark fraud, where it is known that at least one councillor is a friend of the person making such unfounded allegation. Another former cabinet member is known to have worked with the former father-in-law of the occupier. And the Chief Executive, Trevor Scott, former head of the legal department at Wealden, was privy to all of the above, allegedly. Hence, we expect to see a litany of declared interests - without any tippex corrections - as was the case with Ian Kay and his former father-in-law's application(s) at Pevensey Bay. Ian Kay was the Assistant District Planning Officer at WDC at the time.

 

Hate crime is illegal. Those that engage in such discriminatory practices typically end up behind bars. But not in Wealden. The police turn a blind eye. Who do you think pays the police? It is Wealden, from your rates. Hence, there is an obvious conflict of interest concerning planning crime and local authorities, in the R v Sussex Justices ex parte McCarthy 1924 and Kelly Davis v Wansdyke Council 2001 sense. 

 

 

 

 

In 1997 Sussex police refused to investigate the mounting levels of criminal malfeasance, by way of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, meaning that in the UK citizens have no effective remedy - something perhaps for the Crown to consider. There is no statute of limitations on serious crime like this. Though we appear to live in a police state, we hope that eventually, the international court of justice might review the case. There is no chance of that in the UK, where we do not have legal aid any more, a violation of Article 6 HRA98. Just a shadow of the right to justice, to make it look like we have a justice system - and that is because the country has been bankrupted with unsustainable policies. It is interesting to note that one of the councilors on the Petition Panel, Jack Gore, was caught with his hands in the till in 2007, so to speak, not having declared an interest in a planning application where he knew the applicant.

 

 

 

   

 

STRICT LIABILITY OFFENCE - The courts take a broad approach when deciding whether a person (or a company) caused a water discharge or groundwater activity. There is no need to show that a person knew about the activity or intended it. If pollution is due to a chain of events, a person may be regarded as having caused it even if someone else's actions immediately triggered the pollution. Take the example of a river that is polluted because an unknown person turns on the tap of a diesel tank stored by the river bank. Depending on the exact circumstances, the company that owns the tank as part of their operations might be charged with causing the pollution. This "strict" approach is why this is know as a strict liability offence.

"Knowingly permitting," includes cases where a person (or company) is aware of a potential polluting incident but refuses to take steps to stop the pollution. The penalties are that if a person is tried and convicted in a Magistrates Court, they could be fined any amount and/or sentenced to up to twelve months imprisonment. If they are tried and convicted in a Crown Court they could face an unlimited fine and/or be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment, where they may not benefit on release from the publication of a diary, that being proceeds of crime.

 

Bringing conspiracy into the frame, could extend any sentence to life. At the moment it is looking like a conspiracy between Wealden's APS and the Developers. It may be held that past Notice being served, it will be the developers that initiate and cause the development to take place in a manner likely to cause groundwater pollution.

 

 

Jeremy Brokenshire  MP Conservative Huw Merriman    Pam Doodes Conservative Chairman Wealden Herstmonceux

 

CONTACT YOUR MP OR COUNCILLOR - Concerning the potential for corporate manslaughter charges at Suicide Junction - in the case of accidents or near misses at this recently identified danger area, you might want to write to the Ministers, Secretaries of State, MP or Councillors responsible for allowing the development, to avoid a Grenfell Tower legal situation where potential homeowners may be unable to sell property in the future. In 2015, James Brokenshire was asked to call in the application that led to this deficient visibility splay - and dangerously confused placing between the brow of a hill and speed signs - but he refused. We wonder if that refusal constitutes "joint enterprise" should there be a fatality. We also wonder how that applies to groundwater contamination of Lime Well? The MP to contact is Huw Merriman, Bill Bentley represents East Sussex County Council and Pamella Doodes is the Chair of Wealden District Council.

 

 

 

 

REPENT YE SINNERS - It is only a matter of time before claims against home owners in this field arise from groundwater contamination. If you believe in signs from above, this rainbow was photographed in 2015. Developers take note. Will those purchasing such homes realise how they have been duped and will their home insurance cover the claims for damages, or pay their mortgages when they are imprisoned for pollution offences?

 

 

 

 

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