Agenda item - Written questions from members of the public.
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Written questions from members of the public.
A list of public questions received by the due date of the 11th March 2010 will be circulated separately as part of an addendum at the meeting.
60.1 The Mayor reported that two written question had been received from a members of the public and invited Ms. Hill to come forward and address the council.
60.2 Ms. Hill asked the following question;
“Why is the Council considering the inappropriate development of a Downland greenfield site on urban fringe bordering a housing development as a waste recycling facility, instead of a brownfield site, with no reference in Agenda Item 47, to the detrimental effect on the local community who are united in their opposition to this proposal, both in potential devaluation of their properties, (20% according to local agents,) and the detrimental health and polluting effect of dust, (potentially containing hazardous chemicals, even asbestos,) noise, and necessary implementation of at least another lane in the Sainsbury’s link road?”
60.3 Councillor Fallon-Khan replied, Thank you very much for coming to Council this afternoon and thank you for your question.
I am very glad that you have highlighted the concerns of yourself and the community. It is important and welcome that you do so.
I am afraid that since 2005 when the previous Labour Administration signed off Hangleton Bottom - which I assume is the area that you are referring to - as a site designated for waste, we have been under an obligation to at least see what interest there is from business. At the moment we have no information at all with which to consult residents. It is also important to recognise that this Administration has placed a great emphasis on community facilities, which this area has also been designated for.
We are not considering any specific development at all – no-one has come forward with any proposal. All we are doing is trying to find out what, if any, interest there is. Once we have that we will openly share it with residents and I would urge you to keep in touch so we can discuss anything else to do with the site.”
60.4 Ms. Hill asked the following supplementary question;
“Referring to my previous question, we have researched local estate agents who uniformly claim a potential loss of 20% on property values in the vicinity of Hangleton Bottom, at present an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and state that as soon as it were official that a commercial waste facility had the go ahead properties could even become temporarily unsaleable until building of the facility was completed.
Bearing in mind local residents received two generous compensation payments from the Highways Agency when each of the A27 and the Sainsbury’s link road were built, has the Council costed in appropriate compensation payments to all the local householders in the vicinity should this plan be implemented?”
60.5 Councillor Fallon-Khan replied “Thank you very much for your supplementary question. I think what’s worth keeping in mind and in perspective is where we’re at at the moment. Since 2005, when the previous Administration put it into the Local Plan, there has been nothing that has gone on at all. What you would be talking about is something years down the line and at any stage in between now and then any scheme at any point could be abandoned, so whatever may or may not result from being put on to that land is too far down the road for us to give you a real answer on how we would address residents’ property prices going down by 20% because we just don’t know: we have no information at all, so where we’re at at the moment is the very beginning of just trying to find out after five years what interest there may be and then we can act upon that.
As far as costing for compensation is concerned, there would be nothing in the budget for it because we don’t have any information at all about what the interest is, so at the moment all I can say to you is that whatever information has been given to you or whatever information you have read, we are right at the beginning of just trying to find out what interest there is. It is as harmless as that and as I have said I would urge you at any point during any conversations to do with this particular site to come and see me and we will give you as much information as we will have ourselves, so that we can share that with residents and residents can come to us and explain their concerns and we will take those on board.”
60.6 The Mayor thanked Ms. Hill for her questions and invited Ms. Summers to come forward and address the council.
60.7 Ms. Summers asked the following question;
“I would like to ask about speed cameras in Brighton & Hove: According to Councillor Theobald (in response to a question last December) “Speed cameras can only be installed where specific criteria are met and are associated with casualties and excessive speed”. Please could you tell me whether such criteria are enforceable by law and whether such a law is only applicable locally or has been set by Central Government? If, on the other hand, it is driven by local policy, please could you tell me what that policy is and where I might access it?”
Councillor Theobald replied, “The criteria for installing speed cameras is agreed by members of the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and this includes the three local highways Authorities, that’s West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council and Brighton & Hove City Council, and Sussex Police and there are other members there, The Fire Brigade and the two counties as well.
The criteria follows guidance issued by the Department for Transport and takes into consideration the length of road, the number of personal injury collisions in the previous three years, and the speeds of vehicles.
Further information about speed cameras and the criteria is available from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website which is www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk . I wouldn’t expect you to write that down but officers will be delighted to give you that information, they have a website and that should give you all the information you want in that connection.”
60.8 Ms. Summers asked the following supplementary question;
“Is the Administration planning to install any traffic calming measures at all in hot spots such as Preston Circus and York Place before a pedestrian or cyclist becomes a casualty or will that only happen when either becomes a statistic?”
60.9 Councillor Theobald replied, “Well, I am always very pleased to try and answer questions but actually that supplementary didn’t really have very much to do with the first question which was about cameras. Well it was about cameras and now we’re verging off to specific areas, so quite frankly, I think if you would like to write to me I’ll respond but, quite frankly, we’re talking about cameras and your supplementary which is supposed to give you further information on the question, that wasn’t the case.”
60.10 The Mayor thanked Ms. Summers for her questions.