YPRES ROSE DEVELOPMENTS LTD
Comments relating to the website Freshford Mill 20/3/2007
Posted 9th April 2007 There have been additions
to remarks made here by Freshford Mill website (FM) YPres Rose
Developments (YRD) extracts from the web include highlighting in yellow.
The form of the discussion is uniform. Any alterations including
updated comment will be dated.
In fact, the
existence of the Freshford Mill site, is itself, a threat to increased
flooding elsewhere as the
whole site has already been raised above the surrounding land.
It would be good sense to
remove not only the factory buildings but also the man made plateau on
which the buildings exist. There are also problems in Freshford when there
is a cold spell due to snow and ice.
The highlighted part of this statement in misleading. The
buildings are existing, many of which date back to the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries. The consented scheme reduces the volume of buildings
and provide flood mitigation measures.
The property including its present and planned buildings
must prevent flood water from occupying the land. There should be no
buildings in a flood plain and the ground should not be covered with
concrete or other impervious surface. I can't understand how flood waters
can be mitigated? Will water be pumped away, or do you mean the "lake"?
As an Area of High Ecological Value with especially rare
bats that may not survive the noise and turmoil of the development there
is even more reason not to allow this development to go ahead. Penalties
for even disturbing bats is severe see: http://www.bats.org.uk/batlaw/batlaw_in_detail.asp
This statement speculates on matters unrepresentative of
YRD is the
speculator, not I.
No doubt it is in the interests of the owners of the
former Peradins site to drive the bats out. A photographic survey of the
site was undertaken at the end of December 2006 and is included here.
(this does not mean that I or anyone else needs to enter private property
to take these photographs or videos. Bats can be disturbed by excessive
noise and light)
This statement pre-judges our company’s interests in a
negative manner and as such is defamatory.
This observation was
made prior to YRD buying the property. Furthermore it was written whilst
the property was poorly protected and was open to travellers and raves.
YRD to their credit, have taken appropriate steps to secure the site. The
travellers and ravers would have to club together to buy or hire a tank to
gain access to the site now with their vehicles!
The relevant section has been removed
This is what the situation looks
like: entice developers to barter money for environmental cleanup in
exchange for planning approval for dwellings? Is this the only way we can
have the mistakes of former planning decisions cleaned up?
The reality is that the developers, will most likely, recoup their money
and more from wealthy people who will buy these dwellings
-they won't be
welcome here. They will be isolated from the village geographically and
socially. Whereas, the Freshford Mill site could be a recreational area
for the village and an education centre for the area, this is what the
The highlighted part of this statement appears to
represent the views of Freshford generally. We have no evidence that such
alienation will emanate from anyone other than yourself. There is a world
of difference between those who object to planning applications but accept
the outcome and those that, instead of accepting the outcome, actively
seek to alienate newcomers.
If you knew me you
would know that it is very difficult for me to take a dislike to anyone,
in particular, newcomers. I consider that to take such an attitude
would be ill-mannered. In fact those parts of this website that you most
object to are actually devoted to making sure that would be purchasers of
a dwelling at Freshford Mill are fully aware of those factors that they
need, to ensure that they will be happily housed there. . In addition, with
respect, YRD doesn't seem to have carried out the necessary research for
this development consider this extract from the Freshford village website
statement made by the Freshford Association:
'The Association has for the last 36 years played a leading part in
protecting and maintaining the character of our village and in
safeguarding its amenities.
We have recently made significant donations to village organizations
such as the Memorial Hall (£1,000) and Freshford Mill Association (£880).
In previous years we have contributed to the cost of repairs to the Morris
Lion in the High Street, to the provision of Millennium Stones around the
parish boundary, to the cost of planting trees and bulbs and to the
In addition, there has been a major contribution to the Parish Council
towards the cost of representation at the appeal relating to the proposed
development of the Freshford Mill site'
Edit Jan 2011. This link is no longer available as Freshford has revamped
their website and not used redirects. The cost of representation amounted
to more than £5,000
Why does YRD NOT think that there is no universal
resistance to its proposal to develop Freshford Mill? Why does it think
that the Friends of Freshford donated £880 to the Freshford Mill
Association? Well, I'll tell you why, it was to fight developments like
those from Ypres Rose Developments..Since YRD have purchased the Freshford
Mill estate it has been necessary to extend the Freshford Conservation
Area to include Freshford Mill and the surrounding land, because of fears
of what the company is trying to do with our beautiful environment. As I
mentioned before in an email, your company are not welcome here as
you have nothing to offer other than the cash to remove the toxic waste
and the eyesore of buildings that should never have been built except for World War
II. .Link to new
Freshford and Sharpstone Conservation area map In addition on
this website there is a reproduction of a document that includes the facts
as to whether my views are unrepresentative or not.
YRD may have some developments to be proud
of, I don't know, but the Freshford Mill development is not wanted and
will not add to the reputation of YRD. The Friends of Freshford have had
to spend precious funds on resisting development at Freshford
Mill..Bearing this in mind, does YRD really believe that would be residents
would be welcome here?
You have no evidence
of "alienation" in relation to myself and your implication is potentially
defamatory, especially as I have taken so much time and trouble to
develop this website, not for any reward but because of a love for this
particular part of our countryside and to protect it from unwanted
development. Whereas all YRD are interested in is profit! There is already talk of a "gated community" May 2007 refer
to Freshford Parish Council minutes. Why? because the new residents of this
settlement need to be protected against criminal elements that the county
police cannot protect isolated settlements against? (June 25th 2007)
So does the root of the problem as to
why the rejection of the application and then its approval! lie in the
necessity to find funding to clean up the site where, I understand, there
has been toxic? waste buried by Peradins, apparently not exactly? There is
also a substantial amount of material that contains asbestos which is
quite expensive to remove due to the necessity to protect workers.
Certainly this means that the present or would be owner, as the site is
for sale, needs to spend a considerable amount of money and that to be a
viable investment there has to be more than 20 dwellings built. They have
not been able to sell or lease the site for industrial use, even though it
has permission for such use. Further information about the site Council's
response to the 2002 Application by Suttons
Letter from a Former Employee at Peradins
I was not aware of Peradin
deliberately burying waste while I was there, and being in the engineering
and maintenance department I would have known about it going on. Most of
the waste oils etc were stored in the upper compound (near the road left
of entrance) and recovered by disposal &recovery companies, or other items
were taken to the unit in Trowbridge. However I do remember seeing oil
slicks bubbling up in the river, but this was not surprising due to the
amount of hydraulic oil that used to leak out of the moulding presses into
the ground. The ground in the lower right-hand part of the factory area
must be full of oil, unless it has drained away by now. However with the
factory moving there from Bath during the end of WW2 there is 40 years +
of ground contamination to get rid of. There were plenty of what we term
toxic materials today, like raw rubber, oils, paints, carbon black etc,
but back in the 70s these were not seen as toxic or dangerous.
Trichloroethylene and Cyanide were the materials we classed as toxic that
were being used on site at the time. What happened after I left, I do not
know, but I cannot think of a suitable area where they could have dumped
waste within the site. If it was not closed off I would like to have a
look around, but the buildings look unsafe so best stay out. It may be the
fact that the factory just leaked the stuff in the ground over the years
and the rumour about the toxic burial has grown from there. Either way the
ground is contaminated. I am amazed that anybody would think of building
houses here unless they were on stilts. I remember several floods, and in
particular two big floods at the factory between 76 and 79. Both of these
came up to just short of the toilet blocks, which is approx half way up
the property toward the entrance gates. I lived in Bath and twice had to
go home via Bradford-on-Avon because the bridge outside the pub was
impassable. I presume this still happens today.
This statement and particularly the former employee’s
letter is misleading and is not taken in the context of our proposals.
This letter was written by someone with experience of
working at the site and is most apt.
Historically, the only building that
has taken place in the Frome valley, by the riverside, near Freshford has
been the Freshford Mill. Local people are sensible and most vernacular
buildings are located in places that are in harmony with the environment.
The valley is not only subject to flooding but to mist, it is more likely
to be misty in the valley than not.
Low lying areas are not healthy areas
to live in. These new dwellings will need more fuel to ensure that the
people living there are living in comfort. The mist also affects safety on
the roads, both for vehicles, and pedestrians.
Your statement regarding low lying areas is a sweeping
generalisation and, in relation to the site, has no basis in fact. Your
statement regarding fuel use is completely nebulous and has no basis in
fact. It is totally unrepresentative of our proposals and as such is
These observations show an ignorance of where dwellings
are built and why they are built. As for fuel, it will become even
more expensive, and will be rationed in the not too distant future. It is
obvious that anyone living in the valley will require more fuel to keep
warm and for example to dry their clothes.
The war time authority made the
mistake of building pillboxes in the flood plain. Here's a photograph of
one taken recently! This flood didn't extend far into the fields but did
threaten The Inn at Freshford where staff had sandbags ready.
Unfortunately for this website, water that was in the fields had retreated
by morning preventing recording the full extent of the flood. This
photograph doesn't convey how strong the current was. However, photos
taken down river at the bridge at Freshford show the full force of the
river. The Flood risk information page including maps and photos would
convince any reasonable person that what amounts to building a new
settlement should NOT be undertaken at Freshford Mill. The Association of
British Insurers have also stated that the risk of flooding is getting
This statement is totally misleading and completely
unrepresentative of our proposals.
I don't understand
why these observations are misleading? Can't YRD be bothered to try to
answer each objection. I just hope that when the flood comes, it comes when
the company have just completed the development, and that it is severely
damaged by the forces of nature an apt warning to those that would ignore
the geophysical nature of the environment.
This is perhaps, the only proposed
settlement where for emergency access boats will be needed!
This statement is simply untrue and has no basis in fact.
Moreover, it is totally unrepresentative of our proposals.
The statement is not
untrue. It might not happen very frequently, but it will happen. Even the
police own a boat for use on the Frome, some time ago it was torn from its
moorings upstream and ended up close to Freshford Mill bridge. The
reality is that the residents may even need a helicopter to escape!
But before the dwellings are built
someone has to be prepared to take on the uncertainty of borrowing several
million pounds to invest in the development that will surely, always cost
more than anticipated. Of course these developers could try to bribe local
This statement makes a sweeping generalisation as to costs
and implies our company are incapable of anticipating the cost of such a
project. This is defamatory and has no basis in fact. To mention an option
of corruption is totally unacceptable, such a comment serves no valid
were written before YRD bought the property. Furthermore, the first sentence is nothing
more than an observation that the project is likely to cost more than
anticipated. (probably twice the initial estimate to be on the safe
side) The second observation is nothing more than an
expression that most people distrust companies and central and local government
(with good reason). I
might add that if I won the National Lottery I wouldn't invest my winnings
in a development at Freshford Mill.
Since the corruption observation was
written before YRD bought the property it seems appropriate to remove it
from the web.
If the proposed development goes
ahead, there will be 21 new dwellings for sale. These dwellings are new,
they did not exist before, never in a 1,000 years of history have dwellings
been built on this site. The main reasons being: risk of flood and living
in a damp environment. In the winter, for example, sunshine when it does
shine, disappears after 12:00 noon in the valley bottom.
This statement is misleading and has no basis in fact.
are true. In fact, the sun will not be visible until 11.00am and
-correction- till 1.00pm. (Midwinter data). And whilst the altitude of the
sun in spring and autumn is higher, the sun will be setting progressively
further West, and will be thus hidden by the steep wooded hillsides of the
hamlet of Sharpstone; which are located just a stone's throw from the Mill
riverside.. (do you want me to prove it?- I have used the Sun
Path Diagram Designer (no longer available) from
Manchester School of
Architecture and the latitude and longitude of Freshford as input data)
Photographic and mathematical evidence. The Sun Path Designer tool is
an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and can be downloaded
sun4a.xls to use it you will need Excel or Excel Reader (a free
The dwellings don't have their own
gardens, and the communal gardens will most likely be ruined by flood
This statement is misleading and cannot be supported by
empirical evidence when considered in the context of our proposals.
Why are the fields,
in the valley, only used for sheep and cattle and not for crops?
the river Frome although beautiful is
dangerous, very dangerous, your children will be living close to it.
This statement is nothing short of scaremongering and is
completely unrepresentative of our proposals.
I hope that you are
right. I don't even want to think about it. The estate itself, will
naturally I presume, include secure fencing or other barriers to prevent
children from falling into the river but they only need to step outside to
be in danger.
This is an isolated settlement, it
could easily be the target of thieves. or worse, vandalism (which is alive
and kicking in the west country, there is an anti-cultural element!)
police don't "exist". (response time London, 999, crime in operation: 90
seconds) this is not to blame the local police force, this is a large
This statement is completely unrepresentative of our
proposals and, once again, suggests scaremongering.
These are hard facts.
(and why are YRD considering a gated community, after all we don't have
This is an isolated settlement, it
could easily be the target of thieves. You will either have to spend an
increasing amount of money on fuel or use the train - inconvenient and
time consuming and the service could be withdrawn and the fares will go
Our comments relating security are as noted above. Your
statement regarding transport is misleading and irrelevant.
People are entitled
to information about transport services and for some people transport
costs and burning precious fossil fuel may be irrelevant. Thus the
need for fuel rationing rather than controlling fuel consumption by the
This is a damp, frosty area, being in
a valley, it is not a healthy place to live.
Your statement regarding the health implications of living
in a valley is a sweeping generalisation and, in relation to the site, has
no basis in fact.
The reasons why human
settlements tend to avoid low lying areas not only here but throughout the
world seems to have missed your attention.
when there is a flood, which is
certain, you will lose your car unless you decide to evacuate your home
until the flood subsides. Or having planning approved the building of a
platform, which is sure to be unsightly, to park cars on when there is a
This statement is untrue, misleading and completely
unrepresentative of our proposals.
There will be a
flood, it is self evident. I suppose the project could be redesigned to
include a garage at first floor level
(we have received no response to
our replies to YRD's objections to material presented on this website to
date 16th February 2008)