Land Use

In my on-going attempt to make people aware of the proposed Energy Park, and just how intrusive it is to Hedon and Preston, I am focusing on making sense of their elaborately designed plans document – yep-boards-final-5-low-res-8 . This time I’m focusing on land use which is on page 5.

It was said many times by the salesmen at the consultation sessions that there was no other place where they could connect to the national grid, and which would offer the amount of space they needed. However, if you study the picture titled ‘Land Use’, you will see that the data centre they’re so enthusiastic about (in light blue), the storage and distribution facility (in dark pink) and the energy campus itself (in purple) only cover a fraction of the space they’re building on. The rest goes to the now massively grown sports facilities, the education centre in which people will be living even though we were told they wouldn’t be building anything residential, and an even larger expanse of land, covering most of the site, named ‘General Business Parks’. This essentially means that most of the space for their ‘energy park’ will go to other businesses. With this in mind, any talk of benefitting the local people with jobs and sports facilities are lost in the realisation that this is nothing but a heartless money making scheme.

There are plenty of sites which could easily hold their energy park, data centre and storage facility. What they don’t have space for on many other sites, is the mass of land to rent to other businesses which would make the developers an extraordinary amount of money.

We are also at a disadvantage of not knowing who these other businesses will be. We have been told that the identities of their potential clients is confidential.

They tried to hide this by making the format look impressive, the writing tiny and using a lot of clever sentences in consultation sessions, but if you study this carefully you will see how far they are edging around the truth when they say they cannot build this anywhere else.

Make sure this is clear to everyone so that when the time comes, if they ever come close to getting planning permission, we can fight with our eyes open.

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Heights

I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to page 5 in the pdf of the plans – yep-boards-final-5-low-res-8. It depicts the intended heights of the various buildings, and you’ll notice that most of them are three storeys or higher. Three storeys is approximately 12m or 40ft. If you’re having trouble imagining that, here’s a video that might help – YouTube Video. That would make a four storey building 16m or 52ft. The tallest are at the back which would reach 20-24m or 65-78ft and that’s without the stack they’ll be putting on top (basically an escapist word for chimney).

What we’re facing is a major violation of Hedon and Preston’s surrounding landscape. Development plans in general can be difficult to digest when they’re on a beautifully designed document, covered in figures and shoved in our faces, but the more we look in detail, the more threatening they are to our way of life.

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A Statement from the Developers

The ever confident ‘would-be’ developers have released a statement to the local people, in reference to the drop-in sessions which have taken place over the last few months. They claim to have listened to the comments of the local people, and used these to change their earliest plans to make them more acceptable.

I attended a drop-in session along with many others, and my family refused to fill in the comment form, because we knew they’d use it against us. The developers took the comments to ease people into the change by making them compromise, but there cannot be any room for compromise. There is no question of the Energy Park being constructed. It simply must not happen. Hedon would be forever changed, its historic status as a Market Town would be lost in a few decades, and that effect would be irreversible.

Hedon must go the way of other historic places. Industrial Estates are not the future of this town, tourism is, and a small town surrounded by ugly warehouses is not an attractive destination. A country park, as suggested by Hedon Mayor Neil Black, would fit to this plan perfectly. It would increase Hedon’s prosperity and beauty, and be mutually beneficial to all surrounding towns and villages, including Hull. The Yorkshire Energy Park is a bad long term choice. There is another way.

Read the ‘would-be’ developer’s statement here – Developer’s Statement

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