Waste Incineration Plant Planning Request, in Blackrod

Just five years after planning application was granted for a massive wood burning CHP, on the A6 bypass – which would only be suitable for burning (virgin) wood – a request has been made for a change of use into a waste incineration plant, without any assesment of the environmental impacts.


Several letters of concern have been submitted.


97204      97204 BS


Nightingale Farm (update)

The government position on today’s decision –  it “will lead to parking misery”

The planning permission for access was approved today – with conditions the development was limited to 14 houses and no higher than two stories.

Cllr Cunliff commented to the effect that it would be good to prevent further retail development in our town center.
Paragraph 3, of OA1 – requiring the center of Blackrod to meet local needs was not even mentioned by the planning officer or Councillors.
The lack of parking was raised and councilors were told – that the guidelines identified maximum number of parking spaces, contrary to the government website which states ….

“The imposition of maximum parking standards under the last Administration lead to blocked and congested streets and pavement parking. Arbitrarily restricting new off-street parking spaces does not reduce car use, it just leads to parking misery. It is for this reason that the Government abolished national maximum parking standards in 2011!”


An excellent objection speech from an effected resident, quoted Wigan council who set these “maximum” levels as the minimum standard which should be acceptable.

Peak oil – a thing of the past -or rather the future ?

The price of a barrel of oil has nearly halved in recent weeks. OPEC refuse to cut production – the argument to make USA shale un economic – removing the competition  – but also perhaps having a massive impact on Russia – whose economy significantly relies on the hydro-carbon industry.

It will no doubt be spring (perhaps just before the general election)  before we any large reduction in our home energy cost prices – as suppliers will no doubt say they have had to forward buy to cover the peak winter period. A freezing in price now looks a nonsense – as for the foreseeable future the price  direction is down.

The one sure looser is the environment . The incentive for investing in cleaner and sustainable  renewable energy diminishes.
What price our planet ?

Enough brownfield ‘for 1 million homes’

England has enough suitable “brownfield” land to build almost a million new homes, campaigners have said.

More than 400,000 homes could be built on previously developed land which already has outline or detailed planning permission, according to information from local authorities compiled by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

And over 550,000 more could be accommodated on vacant or derelict land that does not have planning permission, the research by CPRE said.

Almost half (44%) of the vacant space is located in the South East, East of England and London. In the capital, where there is huge pressure for housing, 146,000 homes could be built on brownfield land, a report by the organisation said.

In total the report identifies enough brownfield land for 976,000 homes, providing the country with a four-year supply of new housing even if no other land is used.

CPRE said the figure was an underestimate as it does not include underused land such as car parks which could be used for housing.

Some brownfield sites have been identified as important wildlife hotspots for creatures such as rare beetles, but CPRE said new research suggests just 8% of brownfield land is important habitat, leaving plenty for development.

But the campaign group is concerned that new national planning rules do not prioritise brownfield development, which means Green Belt and greenfield land is being built on instead.

Barriers to developing brownfield land include the costs of and providing local infrastructure, difficulties for small and medium-sized builders trying to get into the market, the availability of cheaper greenfield sites and the lack of accurate data on brownfield land, the report said.

Barriers to developing brownfield land include the costs of and providing local infrastructure, difficulties for small and medium-sized builders trying to get into the market, the availability of cheaper greenfield sites and the lack of accurate data on brownfield land, the report said.

CPRE is calling for the reintroduction of a clear and consistent “brownfield first” policy, and other measures to boost use of previously developed land.

These could include giving the Homes and Communities Agency greater powers and resources to develop large and difficult sites, a proactive approach to identifying brownfield land and incentives for smaller building firms to develop smaller sites.

Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at CPRE, said: “This research demonstrates the huge existing capacity for housing on brownfield land.

“At a time when there is great pressure on our green spaces, utilising this land through a brownfield first policy would protect our countryside and regenerate urban areas.

“We want this new, authoritative evidence to lead to a sustained focus on suitable brownfield land.

“We can and must do more to get these sites redeveloped, whether it be reviving the National Land Use Database or implementing strong local plans to deal with multiple landowners on difficult sites.”

source  http://money.aol.co.uk/2014/11/24/enough-brownfield-for-1-million-homes/



Doctors to get £55 for misdiagnosing dementia

Three years ago we ran a story. Since that that time various research has been produced showing that benzodiazepines and z dugs can lead to a massive increase in the risk of dementia. Studies however have also shown that withdrawing people from these medications can also reverse this diagnosis (by up to 33% !!) – ie there is  a possibility of a pseudo dementia.

There are over 130 prescribed medications which can lead to memory loss. The side effects are often mis diagnosed as dementia – and usually Alzheimers (which can only be proven after autopsy) . If you are diagnosed with dementia before you are 70 – – without a family history – you must consider the possibility it is resultant from medication (and your GP may not know) .

The article is repeated below

Care in the Community – I am depressed

Three years ago this weekend I became aware of one of the most shameful acts (or non acts) in British history. It has been described by David Blunkett (Then Shadow Secretary for Health) – as a “National Scandal.”
“The impact is so large that it is too big for Governments, regulatory authorities and the pharmaceutical industry to address head on, so the scandal has been swept under the carpet.” Phil Woolas MP
“Benzos are responsible for more pain, unhappiness and damage than anything else in our society.” Phil Woolas
The scandal resulted in more telephone calls to the TV program Thats Life than any other subject.
The scandal was the subject of the Panorama program “The Tranquilliser Trap”
Class action resulted in the UK legal aid system changing – and having spent c £35 M, due to lack of funding the case never went to court.

Twenty years later – so much has been said – so little has been done.

Benzodiazepines were introduced in the 1960 – mums little helper – Librium, rapidly followed by Valium, Ativan , Mogadon. Drugs which now go by the names of Diazepam, Nitrazepam, Lorazepam, Tamazepam. The Librium advertisement stated “Whatever the diagnosis – Librium” librium.  By the 1970s more than 1 in 20 prescriptions was for valium.
By the late 1980s it was known that the medications were more addictive than heroin. Withdrawal effects which occur even in constant use – due to tolerance and paradoxical effects such as aggression, anxiety,agoraphobia, depression, suicidal tendencies. The understanding for the reason of the epidemic in psychiatric conditions at the time perhaps enabled Care in the Community, which was also introduced in the late 80s. In long term use memory loss is almost a certainty,then other symptoms – often mimicking Alzheimer’s. The effects can be misdiagnosed as a psychosis, various neurological and psychological conditions, MS, Alzheimer’s to name but a few. In 1987 Larson et al withdrew people diagnosed with dementia from benzodiazepines – at a one year follow up after discontinuation 30% no longer had dementia. It was also found as a confounding factor in dementia by Bowen in 1993. See HERE . Benzodiazepines  have been described as the most likely cause of drug induced dementia.
The goods news is guidelines changed. There is now no psychiatric condition for which benzodiazepine s should be prescribed more than two to four weeks – at any dose.(If you have been on this group of medication regularly for more than four weeks- you will be addicted) Unfortunately an estimated 1,500,000 people in the UK are in long term use as tranquilizer and sleeping tablets. Similarly an estimated 700,000 people on z drugs (which have the same withdrawal effects).2/3 of these people are over the age of 50 and female. It is often described as involuntary addiction – but the majority of people do not know or realise they are addicted. On top of this antidepressants – SSRIs an estimated 3,000,000 people in the UK -once described by the WHO as the most addictive drugs in the world – the definition of addiction was changed – they now are described as having a withdrawal effect. To make matters worse – these medications are often prescribed together.
Guidelines advise doctors to withdraw patients slowly – they are ambiguous and withdrawal is often done too quickly – resulting in disabilitating side effects – at the extreme a drug withdrawal induced catatonia (similar to lock-in syndrome) can develop -which can be reversed – but unfortunately is often missed because the information resides in thousands of peer reviewed medical papers – but does not appear to have been transferred into the GPs handbook. GPs, neurologists and psychologists often over look the problem – or even deny it could be the medication, because of this lack of knowledge.

The Ashton Manual suggests benzodiazepines should be withdrawn no faster than 10% every two weeks – although experts in the field now typically use 5% every two weeks.

Illicit drug users ( of which there are approximately 400,000 in the UK), are maintained on methadone , rather than withdrawing from the medication. Ex addict Russel Brand made an excellent case to change this in his program “From Addiction to Recovery”

-and things look as though they are about to change – changes to funding currently being introduced will mean that the smaller best practice rehabilitation centers are likely to go out of business and the small charities helping withdraw people from benzodiazepine s, z drugs and SSRIs likewise.

The Nation Scandal gets bigger.

So why is this story on a commmunity action group website. Simply this story effects somebody you know – in our community – and you can do something to help them. Tell them.

DO NOT STOP TAKING THESE MEDICATIONS ABRUPTLY – this can be extremely dangerous.

The best course of action is to contact CITAp – The Council for information on Tranquillisers, Antidpressants and painkillers (and sleeping tablets)
CITAp operates the only national helpline for these medications.

See also www.benzo.org.uk





STOP PRESS – Drinking Red Bull does not give you wings !!

It may not surprise you – but drinking red bull does not give you wings

As such the company has agreed to pay out an estimated $13,000,000 to customers who believe they were mislead by this false advertising (as long as you live in the USA)

However, the plaintiff claimed that Red Bull actually has less caffeine than the average cup of coffee, he felt he had grounds for a lawsuit.

Since the lawsuit settlement, anyone who has purchased a Red Bull energy drink since 2002 is entitled to a $10 or $15 Red Bull product with free shipping. However, Red Bull admits no wrongdoing

It just goes to prove you cant believe everything you read – although most people who have followed our website already know that.


Thoughts for 2014

If you are over 45 – the world population has doubled in your lifetime.In 1968 the world population was 3.5 billion – today it exceeds 7.2 billion. It grows by over 200,000 daily.

The first photograph was taken in 1826. It is estimated that approximately 880 billion photographs will be taken in 2014.   10% of all the photographs ever taken were taken in the last twelve months.

In less than 70 years mankind learnt how to fly and landed a man on the moon.

There are whales alive today – that were alive before Moby Dick was written

Oxford university is older than the Aztecs








The All Party Parliamentary Group on the Greenbelt is seeking responses from interested parties and groups about how Greenbelt land is protected and preserved for the future.
The group intends to publish a report on the basis of this evidence in Spring 2014, with oral evidence sessions also being held in the New Year.
In particular, the group would like to focus on issues including:
·         What has been the effect of the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies and the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework in the context of the preservation of greenbelt land?
·         Which local councils are taking their obligations on greenbelt preservation seriously and which local councils are placing greenbelt land under threat?
·         What new policy ideas should be considered to increase greenbelt protection?
·         Should brownfield land in greenbelt areas have the same protection as Greenfield land in greenbelt areas?
·         How can we increase local community engagement in protecting the greenbelt?
·         How can it be made clearer to the media the important distinction between ‘greenfield’ land and ‘greenbelt’ land- with the importance of greenbelt being highlighted as separate from greenfield.
·         How do we balance the need to sustain the greenbelt with the need for sustainable communities?
·         Should certain areas of greenbelt land be given higher protection than other areas?
·         What should the greenbelt look like for the twenty first century?
Responses and submissions can be sent to appggreenbelt@gmail.com or posted to APPG Greenbelt, Room 20, Norman Shaw North, House of Commons, SW1A 0AA.
Deadline for submissions is 31 January 2014.

Road from loco works to Station Road: Refused

A planning permission for the road was refused by Bolton Council this week. The road would have allowed the building of 500 houses on land owned by network rail. These houses were part of the 1700 to be built on the loco works site. Ultimately it would have linked the loco works site (and Chorley New Road), with Station Road, in Blackrod.

The decision notice states ”

“The application proposal does not constitute a single comprehensive application or approach for the
entire Horwich Loco Works site and therefore does not ensure, but instead jeopardises, the site’s
comprehensive and viable regeneration, the timely provision of infrastructure and appropriate highway
and environmental mitigation requirements, and is thereby contrary to Policies M1 and M2 of Bolton’s
Core Strategy and Policy 10 of The Former Horwich Loco Works Supplementary Planning Document.
No solutions could be offered to the applicant in order to make the development acceptable. The
development would not improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area and
therefore does not comprise sustainable development. The Local Planning Authority has therefore
implemented the requirement in Paragraphs 186-187 of the NPPF.”
The full deatils can be found here


New Road to be Built linking Loco works (and 1700 + new houses) to Blackrod ???

A new planning  application has been submitted by Network rail for a road to link the loco works with Station Raod. It is unclear whether the land is in the greenbelt

The design and access statement states ”  the new access in itself will not give rise to any traffic generation,”  having previously stated ” The Transport Statement submitted with this application discusses this in further detail. However, in summary this Statement demonstrated that there is sufficient capacity at the proposed access junction and wider highway network to support a 500 unit residential development on NR land (which would be in accordance with the density requirements set out in the SPD. The assessments also show that the access junction has capacity to accommodate further development at the Horwich Loco Works Site ”

 Application 89722


Pi ∏ and the enforcement notices

∏  Pi is an infinite, non-repeating decimal – meaning that every possible number combination exists somewhere in Pi.

Converted into ASCII text, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is the name of every person you will ever love, the date, time, and manner of your death, every planiing application and every enforcement notice – and the answers to all the great questions of the universe.

Converted into a bitmap, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is a pixel-perfect representation of the first thing you saw on this earth, the last thing you will see before your life leaves you, and all the moments, momentous and mundane, that will occur between those two points.

All information that has ever existed or will ever exist, the DNA of every being in the universe, EVERYTHING: all contained in the ratio of a circumference and a diameter.
Infinite (ie never ending)  is an interesting concept.

BHEAG understand a number of  residents on Nightingale Road have received letters from Bolton Council regarding potential breaches of planning condition. Despite having written in the officers report – for Wind Turbine at Douglas Valley Golf Course. –

“The applicant submits garden extensions to dwellings on Nightingale Road contained a landscape condition for the new rear boundaries and it has not been complied with and would screen the turbines. Officers consider landscaping bounds the rear boundaries in varying formats. Even if the condition has not been fulfilled, individual and cumulative landscaping has since been added by residents. Officers do not consider a breach of condition therefore expedient to pursue.”

It is our understanding that

i) Properties 42 to 62 were allowed extensions to the garden with no conditions placed on the approval (23939/84).

ii) Properties 24 & 26 (79945/08 & 79949/08) required that “details of the treatment to all boundaries to the site shall be submitted to and approved by the LPA”

iii) Properties 28 – 40  and 8  & 10 (39804/91 & 38067/90) required a hedge to be provided along the north eastern boundary, which seems to have been done.

A lost generation ?


This video was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old.   The contest was titled “u @ 50” by AARP and the video won second place.   When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause.  It is so simple and yet so brilliant.

Please take the time to watch and listen

The council says people are “fed up”

That would be Chorley council

The council says people are “fed up” that planning applications for greenfield sites are constantly being won on appeal after being refused by the authority.

Chorley Council is writing to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, asking for the Government to “stick to its word” and support the borough.

The full story can be found here Chorley Guardian


Matchmoor turbine appeal – refused

It is often difficult to understand when special circumstances outweigh the harm in the greenbelt. The appeal decision from Douglas Valley and now Matchmoor suggests the boundary is significantly further towards refusing applications than previously thought in Bolton.

The Matchmoor turbine planning inspector -J.P. Watson  BSc MICE FCIHT MCMI –   summarised –

19 “In summary, I have found that the appeal proposal would be harmful to the Green Belt by virtue of inappropriateness, limited loss of openness, and limited visual harm.  I attribute substantial weight to the harm to the Green Belt.  And I also attribute substantial weight to the risk to public safety by virtue of the effect of turbines such as this on horses.
Whether the harm is clearly outweighed by other considerations so as to amount to the very special circumstances necessary to approve the proposal 
22. I balance the benefit that the appeal proposal would bring, against the harm to the Green Belt and the risk to public safety I have identified.  I am not satisfied that the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.  Therefore the very special circumstances necessary to justify approval of this inappropriate development in the Green Belt are not found.
23 The Appellant draws attention to appeal decisions elsewhere, in which wind  turbine proposals were allowed in areas of outstanding natural beauty, national parks or the Green Belt.  I am in no doubt that circumstances can arise in which wind turbines in the Green Belt can meet the test set by paragraph 88 of the Framework.  And, in the current appeal, the wider environmental benefits associated with the scheme are among the circumstances of the case.  But I do not find that those circumstances taken together are very special.  I have considered this and all other matters raised and conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.”
The full decision can be found matchmoor

Community Centre Saved – but Manchester Road Still Threatened

At a rather interesting / unruly  meeting, organised by Blackrod Town Council, last night, when in the region of 150 people attended.  The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris announced that the Community Centre  – including the car park and playing fields would be removed from the LDF housing allocation – meaning it is safe for another 14 years (at least). He also  indicated that he would look at funding improvement to the centre.

The playing fields at Manchester Road however was retained in the plan – allocated for 20 homes.

It was requested that Cllr Morris visit the site -in particular to see access provisions , which are currently causing great concern to those most directly affected.


We would urge residents to submit their comments regarding Manchester Road.

Details of the allocation plan can be found here

A form to submit comments  can be found Consultation-response-form-2