The Residents of:-
The Woods Estate
How The Proposed Development Will Affect You
The proposed development by Network Rail to build a massive concrete rail sleeper manufacturing factory at Bescot will have a devastating affect on the health of the residents and those who also visit and work in the area. Network Rail intend to manufacture six hundred thousand concrete sleepers a year. This will lead to significantly more pollution and impact the air quality due to their manufacturing process and increased road and rail traffic and congestion.
We have carried out a great deal of research and all facts and figures can be verified and checked with reference to internet reports and the various bodies concerned.
There are major concerns due to a development of this kind which will be built close to a residential area and the affects that it will have on people’s health. The manufacturing and transportation process will increase Nitrogen dioxide NO2 Emissions and particulate matter (Toxins PM2.5 and PM10). These are already exceeding National and European levels due to the M6 corridor through Sandwell and Walsall.
Nitrogen dioxide inflames the lining of the lungs, and it can reduce immunity to lung infections. This can cause problems such as wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis.
levels of Nitrogen dioxide can have significant impacts on people with asthma because it can cause more frequent and more intense attacks. Children with asthma and older people with heart disease are most at risk.
Initial investigation regarding a development of this kind indicates that it is not suitable for a residential area. In fact, the recommended distance for a residential area in the vicinity of a concrete manufacturing unit is at least 5 miles..
NO2 emissions are detrimental to a person's health plus a raft of other illnesses, including cancer, attributed to living in the locality. Air pollutants commonly emitted from cement manufacturing plants include sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrous oxides (NO). SO2 emissions (and to a lesser extent SO3, sulphuric acid, and hydrogen sulphide) result from sulphur content of both the raw materials and the fuel used to make concrete sleepers.
Investigations into health concerns over a Flintshire cement and concrete factory have found that new diagnoses of cancer are "significantly higher" than the national average found in nearby areas. Public Health Wales identified higher new cancer rates in the area comprising Caergwrle, Hope and Llanfynydd. In six other locations, cases of diabetes and heart disease are higher in areas near concrete manufacturing plants. Dioxins also cause liver problems, pancreatic issues and diseases of the circulatory and respiratory systems.
Water Contamination - Contact has been made with the Water Authority and they had no knowledge of this development but are concerned due to the close proximity to the river. Water Pollution is a great environmental issue with cement and concrete production. Water pollution is the greatest concern at the concrete production phase: "Wash-out water with a high pH is the number one environmental issue for the ready mix concrete industry," according to Richard Morris of the National Ready Mix Concrete Association.
The residents have been informed that the materials for the production of the concrete sleepers will be delivered to the site by road. A further cause for concern is the contamination from the vehicles using the public highway. As this is a 24/7 operation, there will be a constant stream of HGV's through a residential area, we calculate over 70,000 HGV vehicle movements to and from Bescot per year. Not only will there be the emissions from the vehicles and obvious contamination, but a substantial increase in traffic in an already highly congested area.
levels of dust are produced when cement and concrete is handled, transported or used in a manufacturing process. As some of the particles are very fine, they become airborne and can contaminate a large area.
Silica is found in sand and gravel aggregates which are the constituents of concrete. Cement dust and silica can irritate the nose and throat. Long term exposure can lead to lung cancer; silicosis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); asthma; tuberculosis and lung cancer; kidney disease and arthritis.
Exposure to high concentrations can lead to death.
inhaling this dust, it can stay in the lungs for many years. It can cause irreversible lung damage before any symptoms develop. The illnesses it causes may continue to worsen even after exposure stops.
Residents have visited other installations of this type and taken various photographs. They have found contamination on the roads from lorries to be up to an inch deep with e.g. cement and other materials. If sand can be transported from the Sahara desert and drift over vast areas of the UK what chance do the residents of Wednesbury have.
There are seven schools within one mile of Bescot and we do not want our children growing up under threat of these health issues and possible early death.
have already achieved so much and have obtained over 4,500 signatures to a petition which has been handed into the Council. The petition is the first received by the Council with that number of signatures. There is also an on-line petition which has been inundated with objections together with many hand written letters. Local Residents have come together and are as one to fight this development and we have the full support of local Councillors and our MP Tom Watson who have been overwhelmed with the way the community has come together and in such great numbers.
We are asking the Heads of the schools in our area to please write to the Planning Department of the Sandwell Borough Council and Tom Watson expressing concern over the health and well being of their children and staff and strongly objecting to this development. Please would you also notify your parents by whatever means you use that you are fully behind them in their fight against this development.
The following are photographs taken at the Washwood Heath factory showing how Network Rail claim to contain contaminates you can see the cement and concrete dust covering the site and adjacent roadways..
This is Network Rail's Mock Up Vision of the intended Concrete Factory
This is Reality
This is how Bescot actually looks now after Network Rail removed all of the trees in 2017. The trees shielded the residents homes whose rear gardens abut the sidings.
They also housed wildlife and were a noise buffer they also helped absorb pollution from the motorway and sidings.
Please write giving your support to :-
Tom Watson MP
House of Commons
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Sandwell Council House
PO Box 2374