Despite Sport England’s stipulations Aquinas College decided to deny local people their right to access to the replacement playing fields. Not very Christian of them, was it, especially after they got £42 million of public money to build their college.

Email sent – 16 May 2008 12:37

Dear Dr Smith

Having now had a chance to read through some of the relevant documents a few questions do spring to mind. I would send this to Greg Hill as you suggested but I don’t have his email and I work in a busy cancer department and can’t really spare the time to phone from work. If you let me have his email address I shall contact him in future.

The questions I have are:-

1) The college will need a sinking fund to pay for long-term monitoring of the contamination. Mr. Lamb would, I am sure, be able to confirm that in 2003 the Council demanded developers put aside £250,000 for longterm monitoring by experts of the Adswood site. Has the college accounted for this expense? Will the college or Government be funding this?

2) At the Adswood site there was concern for the surrounding properties and migration of gases, as I am sure Mr. Lamb would be able to confirm. (If not, then I have the documentary evidence). There would appear to be extremely high levels of CO2 and Methane in Zone A of your site. Has a sum been set aside for this potential problem with surrounding houses? If not I think I had better leaflet or knock on doors of the houses surrounding Zone A to tell local people to contact their insurers regarding possible future claims against the college. I believe there may be problems with migration of gas off-site, contamination of local properties during construction and I believe there are issues with the stability of the ground.

3) Given the very high levels of CO2 and Methane, I presume there will be venting of these gases in the area of the college buildings. Is this a correct assumption? From the contamination report Zone A has:-

Methane levels between <0.1 and 4.2v/v%. Elevated methane in boreholes 01 and 04.

CO2 levels <0.1 and 12.8v/v%. Elevated CO2 in boreholes 01, 02, 04, 05 and 06.

Waste Management Paper 27 recommends that private housing with gardens should not be constructed on landfill sites where the methane levels are in excess of 1% v/v or the carbon dioxide levels are in excess of 1.5% v/v., so the above figures are very high.

4) I note that when the buildings in Zone B are demolished, there may be further contamination discovered and potentially this could be very expensive to deal with. Has a contingency fund been set up for this? If it is included in the £42 million and there turns out to be no major problem, would that contingency fund money be returned to the Government?

I am delighted to note that Sport England insists that the playing fields facilities will be open to the wider community. I intend to work with Stepping Hill Area Committee and Victoria Area Committee to make sure the availability of these sporting facilities is well known to the young people of the area. I find many of the above-mentioned councillors indolent and disinterested in young people, but I am very good at wearing them down until they finally take some action. As I understand it the current facilities should be available for local young people to use.

I suppose you don’t have to answer the above questions, but I would then take the issues to the funding authority.

Please pass on my very warmest best wishes to Domenic, his baby and, of course, his cycling shorts.

Kind regards