Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Today I have learned that the pollution incident was caused by thousand of litres of Heavy Heating Oil leaking from a large tank on the Lyne Hill Industrial Estate behind the fire station on the southern boundary of Penkridge.  Eventually, the new owners of the Industrial Estate were located and the Environment Agency and the owners are beginning to deal with the mess it has left behind in the Otherton Brook.  This brook flows northwards right through the middle of the large Vale Gardens Housing Estate, through the village centre and into the River Penk near Bull Bridge and the Riverside Old Folks Home.

Over Xmas weekend the smell and fumes has been reported from large areas of Penkridge as the very cold weather has caused the fumes and smell to hang over the lower ground.  It was particularly bad in the village centre where the brook flows under the road past the bakery and village toilets and then into the River Penk near Riverside.   Anyone walking up the footpath from New Road to Wolgarston Way and to Somerfields have also reported it as being very smelly over the weekend.   Not very pleasant and dogs and children must not be allowed to paddle in the stream until all traces of the oil have disappeared.

Wildlife damage is already being reported with the RSPC collecting an injured Heron and other dead birds being found.

This incident does not bode well for the owners of this Industrial Estate who, it is understood, intend to submit a planning application for change of use in the New Year.

Friday, 24 December 2010


Diesel oil would appear to have somehow got into the Otherton Brook near the Fire Station - possibly from an Industrial Unit in the area.   The Environment Agency fixed up a Boom to try and stop it getting into the River Penk but so far this appears not to have stopped it from travelling downstream.  Late this afternoon the smell and fumes was pretty bad in the centre of Penkridge where the brook flows past the Bakery and the Public Toilets and flowed into the Penk by Bull Bridge between the Bridge House and Riverside Old Folks Home.

The EA are investigating for the source of the pollution as well as trying to prevent it from getting into the Penk.  Their staff will be working on Xmas Day because of this and we must thank them for that.   We must find out who has been responsible for this incident which as well as creating an awful smell in the community at Xmas, could also do damage to life in the brook and the River downstream.   Many farm animals drink from these water courses and farmers must be made aware of pollution incidents like this.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Built over 180 years ago, these Arches must have been seen by many thousands of visitors to our Ancient Penkridge Market.   Many thousands must also have crossed over the River Penk by them on a Train.  However, I wonder how many knew who built them.   It was Thomas Brassey of Chester, who in 1836/7 built this viaduct and 10 miles of track as his first Engineering project.  He went on to become perhaps the most famous Railway Engineer in the world, building railway projects in many countries around the world.   Read all about him at http://www.penkridge.org.uk/folders/brassey.htm
But Thomas Brassey didn't plant these trees close to the viaduct in 1837 - who did I wonder!   And have you counted them?  There are 7 (seven) - the same number as the Arches!   Is that a coincidence or can anyone enlighten us further.  

Saturday, 11 December 2010


An application for Two very large 126 metre (415 feet)  high Wind Turbines have been given the go ahead by a Planning Inspector after an appeal was made after South Staffs. Council turned down the application.
This now means that these two Wind Turbines will be built on the Rodbaston Estate very close to the M6 Motorway, the Canal, and within 1 Km of the ancient heronry at Gailey (putting the herons at high risk of collision and death), within 1 Km of the local Microlight airstrip at Pillaton (again meaning a risk to pilots), and within 1Km of the housing estates to the south end of the town of Penkridge, housing between 8 and 9,000 people, with all the problems that turbines bring to an area, particularly the de-valuing of local property,  possible health risks and no benefits.
This is a big precedent and it is fully expected  there will now be more applications in this area of urban South Staffordshire from industrial sites, large industrial farm units, etc. 
 And I haven’t mentioned the bats – several species (all protected by law) which will be affected and be at risk.   Oh!, and a public right of way goes between the two turbines.    A new road has also to be built on agricultural land to access the site and one of the turbines is to be sited on ancient peat bog.    How green is all this?   And all in the Green Belt too.
Although the Officers of the Council recommended approval, the Councillors of the Planning Authority listened to local people and turned the application down even though a couple of local councillors were prevented from voting because of a non-pecuniary interest .   They therefore could not properly represent the views of their constituents.
If you log on to http://www.epaw.org/multimedia.php?article=news11    you will see a FILM of the views of people living near existing or planned wind farm developments.  Their objections have been dismissed by the wind industry, government and pro-wind campaigners as selfish NIMBYism, leaving unanswered many questions about the reliability and environmental credentials of wind energy.  For full information on the negative effects of windfarms go to:  http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=1228