FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here you’ll find some of the more common questions we are being asked about our proposal. If you have a question which isn’t addressed here then please contact us and we’ll do our best to respond by adding additional FAQs to the list

Why do we need another concrete plant here when there is already one at Bow West?

It is common – in fact preferable – to have two plants on a rail-linked site like Bow to meet local demand while minimising vehicle movements. There are currently gaps in the market which today have to be supplied from further afield, or from sites that are not rail linked, requiring more vehicle movements and longer journeys. Each train delivery keeps 75 lorries off the roads, so a plant at Bow East is preferable to a plant which requires aggregates to be delivered by road. Bow East is the only rail freight terminal in central east London so it’s a unique location to bring in the construction materials required for the continued regeneration of this area.

Will working hours be changing?
The proposed concrete plant would operate from 7am until 7pm on weekdays (and 7am to 1pm Saturday) so no trucks would leave the gate out side these times. The current rail unloading activity is carried out under ‘permitted development’ and is not part of our planning application, however the fact that the volume of material is reduced would mean less train unloading, including at night.
How do you proposed to address traffic issues?

Careful consideration has been given to vehicle movements to and from the proposed plant.

The new proposal includes measures to improve highway access, making it safer for pedestrians and road users; is on a smaller scale – about half the volume of material currently permitted, and about a 30% reduction compared to the previous proposals – that’s already a lot less trucks. It also stipulates that trucks and drivers based at the site would be FORS compliant, and trucks would have ‘Euro 6’ engines which are cleaner than many older lorries and cars already using the local roads.

The short- to mid-term proposal is to use the current site entrance onto Marshgate Lane, with highway improvements to keep pedestrians and cyclists separate. Longer-term we propose to switch access onto Wick Lane and route directly onto the A12 (excepting the most local deliveries). Land is being provided by the site owner Network Rail to enable this once other current uses cease.

Regeneration will require concrete from somewhere, and bringing in materials by train represents a huge reduction in overall road miles which means less trucks on the road and less pollution.

How do you propose to prevent material becoming airborne?

Several measures are proposed to address air quality concerns through containment within walls and buildings, suppression systems that prevent material becoming airborne, and a rigorous management regime to maintain a clean site.

The site has been designed to minimise the likelihood of material entering the air as a result of vehicle movements. The design includes enclosures to inhibit the flow of wind across stored materials.

Rainwater would be ‘harvested’ for use in an automatic spray system to dampen stored materials and operating areas to prevent dust generation. Within the plant itself, finer material that could become airborne would be contained or filtered.

Monitoring would be undertaken at multiple points within and around the site to ensure the effectiveness of these measures.

Compared to concrete plants from 20 or 30 years ago a modern concrete plant similar to the one we’re now proposing is much cleaner with much better controls on things like dust.

How to you propose to address concerns around emissions?
There are no emissions from operating the plant as it is electrically powered. By bringing aggregates into London by train – directly to an on-site concrete plant – truck movements are minimised. The net result is lower emissions and better air quality. The vehicles we’re proposing to use the cleanest available vehicles with ‘Euro 6’ engines and the total vehicle movements is lower than current activities or previous proposals.
When do you plan to apply for planning?
We intend to submit a planning application submission towards the end of 2018. As information becomes available it will also be posted on our website.
Who have you consulted with?
We are consulting first with immediate neighbours around the site along with those who made representations to the planning authority about the previous proposals. We will continue to engage with people throughout the process.
How does this proposal fit with the London Plan and legacy vision for the Olympic Park?
The London Plan sets out ambitious targets for Housing (Chapter 4), Social Infrastructure (Chapter 5) and Sustainable Infrastructure (Chapter 9) for which large volumes of aggregate and concrete will be required. It also states the clear policy to move essential construction freight off the road and onto the rail network to cut congestion and reduce lorry miles on London’s roads (Chapter 10). Our proposal provides solutions in all of these areas in the most sustainable way possible. The Bow East site is adjacent to the Olympic park (not in it).
Who are the companies involved?
There are three joint venture partners – Breedon, Brett and S Walsh & Sons. All three are well established responsible businesses. Representatives of the three firms are working with the landowner Network Rail and primary leaseholder DB Cargo which would grant a sublease for our proposal. DB Cargo would also continue to run train loading and unloading operations.
Why is industrial activity still allowed in the Olympic Park/this area?
Bow East is just outside the Olympic Park. Its strategic importance as a rail freight site has long been recognised and that hasn’t changed, in fact it has become more significant. The site therefore has a designation as ‘Strategic Industrial Location’ which means its use for other purposes is restricted and bound by legal agreements. Freight restrictions can only be varied with the agreement of Network Rail, the main Freight Operating Companies (FOCs) and referred to arbitration if Network Rail and the FOCs disagree on the use of the site. The rules for treating such sites are enshrined in law.
With strong objection previously why are you making another application?
A lot was learnt from the previous planning applications. Our new proposal is different, reflecting the sensitivity of the site, its proximity to the Olympic Park and local residents. Through the consultation process we hope to explain how our new proposals differ and why they’re an improvement as well as taking on board feedback as we develop the proposal.
How are you addressing the previous objections?
We believe this new proposal addresses the main concerns raised previously, whilst making good use of this important rail freight site to bring in materials and make the concrete needed for regeneration.