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Ian Jones

Circuit for Wales put on hold.

This is very bad news for Blaenau Gwent.

http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/...ut_brakes_on_Ebbw_Vale_racetrack/


Anyone who hasn't already done so should E-mail Alun Davies AM at

Alun.Davies@wales.gov.uk
kdwent

Its an absolute disgrace. I have set up a Facebook page called Support the Blaenau Gwent Motor Sport Development.
Please join and ask your family and friends to do so.  We really need to makevour support known if wearer not to loose this opportunity
Rocke

Sorry to say this but I'm not surprised in the least.

Admittedly I thought it would come later than sooner but presumably the Summer Regress that politicians have has prompted an early announcement.

Since we're in the Dark Side I'll challenge Aberystwyth Al to become very vociferous and campaign to the point where he becomes a pain to Carwyn Jones.

The reality of the Walter Mitty world local councillors (and officials I would think) have lived in with regard to this over the past 3 years or so is that the current economic climate alone would prevent the necessary investment along these lines.
However, if you add very basic business principles such as financial projections, return on capital etc. then it was a no-goer from the start.
£250 million+ would need a profit of at least £ 10million pa to be considered a good investment.
A profit of £10million would probably require a turnover of upwards of what - £40 or 50 million?
To generate that would require a significant number of events, most which would have to command external income such as TV rights.
That in turn means Grands Prix, which was never going to happen.

Don't even forget it - it should never have been mooted.

So - why was it?

Well, anyone remember the great plans there were for Corby, once its steelworks was closed down?
The largest Theme Park in Europe, even outside of the US.
Lots of public money sunk into private companies doing feasibility studies etc.
Today the former steelworks site in Corby is ...............a former steelworks site, barren land.

But quite a few people made a living out of saying it could be the biggest theme park in Europe, and trying to prove it.

EV is an Enterprise Zone, get's lots of additional economic support, potential investors get lots of financial support they wouldn't in other parts.    

I can image the scenario but unfortunately can't expand because I'd probably get done for libel.

What this council should have done though is show due diligence.

* A major event venue.
* That means lots of spectators etc.
* That means major logistical issues - look at what the Eisteddfod did to the area.
* So, did anyone ask about the implications on the area's infrastructure? Did anyone ask the applicants how they intended to deal with things like sanitation, energy, transport?

I could go on and on but I think it's enough for anyone to get the drift.

Almost as soon as Planning Permission was given by people with  either tunnel-vision, red-tinted glasses or who were simply afraid to voice concerns for fear of being lambasted business journalists were questioning the wisdom and viability of a 'circuit of Wales'.

And I bet even before the application was considered the WG had already realised the pitfalls and put its plan together, in the event that BG gave PP.

And its now put its plan into action.

No-one's got anything to lose if you think about it.
BGC gave it a chance, Aberystwyth Al will front a highly vociferous campaign and put himself across as a staunch fighter for 'his' constituency. Imagine the next AM election  "I fought long and hard to persuade the WG to allow the development of the race track" ie. "it's them not me". If that's the case why are you standing for Labour then ?

And we haven't lost out either.

Because you don't miss what you've never had.
We seem to be thinking we've missed out on something we were never going to get.
martyn142

Either you seem to have the wrong understanding of why the planning process was stalled Rockey or I do. I thought it was halted as a result of a letter WAG had received from National Resources Wales stating that they wanted to submit comments/objections?
kdwent

Its Gwent wildlife trust who have opposed it as they believe it Will lead to a loss of habitat. That can be overcome, look at Cardiff Bay, that is why the Newport wetlands was built. We the people of this area need to stand up and fight for this development if thats what we want.  
Lets make the decision makers realise that they Will be held to account on this matter.
We have voices. Lets use them.

Don't just accept the decision and give all the reasons why you think its been made. Dave, if you think we need this development then help me and all the others who have signed up to my Facebook page
Rocke

martyn142 wrote:
Either you seem to have the wrong understanding of why the planning process was stalled Rockey or I do. I thought it was halted as a result of a letter WAG had received from National Resources Wales stating that they wanted to submit comments/objections?


Even before the meeting of the Planning Committee there were reports of the WG becoming involved Martyn (and Kev).

The bodies you and Kev mention should have had ample time to submit their objections to the Council, as the Local Planning Authority.

There'd be hell to pay down the Bay if in these times of financial constraint EV had the lion's share of any particular investment pot, especially after the massive investment in the Works.
I haven't an idea of the actual costs but it would have to be in the 10's of millions to attract an investment of this size, and that's without all the public money that would have to fund infrastructure improvements as mentioned.

Let me be quite blunt - why on Earth EV and more incredibly Rassau ????
EVERYONE I've had a conversation with regarding this fantasy says the same things - the weather ('only be open a few months a year'), road congestion ('how do you get 10's of thousands in and out of Rassau?) and that in view of these how on Earth is it supposed to provide long-term sustainable employment for about 50% of the number of people that a highly labour-intensive plant like RTB's did ?

There's a pretty good comparison not too far away.
Ffos Las racecourse.

Brought racing to West Wales.
Got fixtures in principle from the governing body, the BHB, looked at the viability and sustainability with financial projections and then went ahead with the investment. The BHB were happy and the fixtures were given.
A major asset to the Llanelli/Swansea/Carmathern area economically and amenity wise.

It's not in an Enterprise Zone, it was never mooted as a Grade 1 course on a par with Ascot or Aintree.
And despite being in W Wales its accessible by road, rail and public transport (and a courtesy shuttle bus from rail and bus stations on race days).

This has been talked up, big time. 2 years ago Torfaen was talking about thousands of jobs being brought to Blaenavon, a large hotel chain would build one because of the number of visitors and workers commuting to 'Digital Valley'. The would be more jobs than the total population of Balenavon.
Yet there were never plans to improve the road (imagine 1,000 cars at rush hour travelling from Brynmawy and Pontypool to Blaenavon ???????????????), allocate housing land etc. and who would invest anyway in this economic climate?

And what is Blaenavon today?
Yes, same as it was 3,4 5 years ago, as near as anything.

The WG has its exit strategy formulated. Those pesky bits of wildlife always come in handy.
What's the betting - bats, newts or rare orchids?

Sorry, but in my view at best this is niavety beyond the man in the street's comprehension (no disrespect, I've been there and seen it in action and I wouldn't have believed it otherwise), elected representatives abjectly failing to understand the underlying issues.

At worst it's a cyncial manipulation of people's hopes and aspirations for the purpose of persuading them that the long-promised land is really just around the corner this time.
Rocke

kdwent wrote:
Its Gwent wildlife trust who have opposed it as they believe it Will lead to a loss of habitat. That can be overcome, look at Cardiff Bay, that is why the Newport wetlands was built. We the people of this area need to stand up and fight for this development if thats what we want.  
Lets make the decision makers realise that they Will be held to account on this matter.
We have voices. Lets use them.

Don't just accept the decision and give all the reasons why you think its been made. Dave, if you think we need this development then help me and all the others who have signed up to my Facebook page


I appreciate where you're coming from Kev, but you'll probably realise from my further comments that I firmly believe that this was never going to happen.

What I will say though is that if anyone seriously believes that protecting wildlife's habitat has a higher priority than being able to bring thousands of families out of economic despair, to give them hope for their children's future and the pride that comes with the knowledge that they are able to do the best for their loved ones then there's something seriously wrong.

And I tell you now, if we get the eco-warriors down here to prevent the building of the means to accomplish what I've just said then I'll be one of the first to issue a rallying call and repel them, just as Valleys folk have done with every other invader who's tried to interfere.

So, first, let's give Aberystwyth Al a chance to demonstrate his Valleys psyche.
Because unless the WG give the go-ahead no-one will ever know if I'm a visionary or not.
Ian Jones

[quote="Rocke:20253"]
martyn142 wrote:

Sorry, but in my view at best this is niavety beyond the man in the street's comprehension (no disrespect, I've been there and seen it in action and I wouldn't have believed it otherwise), elected representatives abjectly failing to understand the underlying issues.

At worst it's a cyncial manipulation of people's hopes and aspirations for the purpose of persuading them that the long-promised land is really just around the corner this time.


If what you say is anywhere near correct Rocke, the whole W.A.G. and anyone else involved should be at the very least thrown out and further to that the funding of a scheme that in your view should have been clear to those involved would never happen should be investigated.
Rocke

Admittedly I'm reading (deep) between the lines Ian.

However:

* WG declared EV an Enterprise Zone - not BG, but specifically EV.
That means a special fund available for economic development.

* Why just EV?
Although industrial space - especially larger areas - is extremely limited, if not even unavailable, in Aber, Tredegar, Llan etc fit the bill.

* There must have been some soundings from the development company. You don't just decide to put up a race circuit, and my understanding of Planning Law is that an applicant must have a (legal) interest in the property, or the owner's permission, in order to make an application.
'Heads of the Valleys' doesn't own it does it? Has it rented it?

* Presumably it was/is public land, so someone knew of the interest, and I can tell you that this 'venture' was known over two years ago, and was mooted 3 or more years ago, so it was fairly common knowledge within the/some bureaucracy somewhere.

* Freedom of Information requests will be declined, citing confidentiality etc., so it will be difficult to find out how much public money - if any - has gone into this.
Aberystwyth Al would be able to find out though.

* Things have happened far too quickly. There's been no time for the eco-conscious to create a big brouhaha, the WG's reacted within weeks - rapid for a giovernment body.

* The objecting organisations are possibly publicly-funded to some degree.

* Major companies - Amazon among them -  have declined to come to BG because of logistical and infrastructure concerns.
Why then is this group actively considering coming here? Is it being made worth their while?

Remember the LG plant in Newport.
Didn't cost LG much did it, at the end of the day.
And did all those promised jobs go?

Obviously I'd love to be wrong on this occasion.
My real concern is that councillors and officers are looking at this as not so much a proposal with lots of problems ahead but as a definite panacea to the economic problems we have.
In doing that they'll pay no attention whatsoever to any other economic regeneration and we'll end up with nothing at all.

I've been with them, seen them, and failed to do anything about it.
I fear that it's now about finger pointing elsewhere, and so many fingers will be pointed in so many directions that the poor old public won't have a clue.
kdwent

Thanks Dave I understand what your saying and I know you have the experience.   But I still intend to fight for this as hard as I can. Cos like a good valleys boy I don't like to be beat.

And the more than 500 people who have joined my Facebook page in less than 24 hrs agree with me
Rocke

Totally agree and support you (all) Kev.

I'm not on Facebook, otherwise I'd be there.

Suggestion - if it continues in the same way it's a newsworthy item.
"Following the Welsh Government's decision to review Blaenau Gwent Council's planning consent for the Circuit for Wales motor racing complex in Ebbw Vale, thereby putting the project in jeopardy, more than x number of people have joined a protest page on Facebook"

Aberystwyth Al would be asked for his view, and hopefully what he intends to do about it.

BGCBC councillors would let us see if they were on the people's side or their political higher-ups down the Bay.  

In fact, I'd get on to the Gazette while the story is hot.
It'll run for a few weeks no doubt.

"Put a better life for our children before wildlife" has a ring to it.
kdwent

Thanks for your advice Dave.  I would just like to amend my earlier post and say that NR Wales are opposing the development as are Gwent Wildlife Trust.  Little bit of duff info given to me.
Rocke

kdwent wrote:
Thanks for your advice Dave.  I would just like to amend my earlier post and say that NR Wales are opposing the development as are Gwent Wildlife Trust.  Little bit of duff info given to me.


Not a problem Kev.

We are all on the same side.
I just do my part differently to most  Smile

It will be interesting to see Mr Rose's views published in the Gazette.
And then Aberystwyth Al's PR campaign.

And who knows after that................?
martyn142

Apologies for "doing an Eddie" and including a long pasted story, but this is a statement from Alun Davles. Maybe he's been excluded from the conspiracy but he sounds quite hopeful:

Quote:
I have been a strong supporter of this project for over three years. I believe that this could be a transformational project and I have worked hard to help bring this investment to the borough.

Over the last few days there has been some understandable concern over the future of the project. Much of the reporting of this issue in the media has been inaccurate and has resulted in unnecessary cause for concern.

In the last day or so I have discussed the matter wh the Welsh Government Blaenau Gwent council and Natural Resources Wales. I understand that the Welsh Government has a duty to ensure that the correct processes are followed and that any decision to go ahead with the project will not be subject to further challenge. We are currently working hard to get through the statutory processes that are necessary to ensure that the project gets the go-ahead and to allow construction to start without any further delay. I understand how this can sometimes be frustrating and difficult for people who are eager to see the project take shape but it is essential to get everything in place if we want to move forward quickly.

I am grateful to the staff of Natural Resources Wales who are working positively with the developers to reach agreement. I am also grateful to the developers who have also worked hard to make the scheme meet the requirements that are necessary to reduce the project’s environmental impact. I am confident that an agreed way forward can be found over the coming weeks and I will do all that I can as the local Assembly Member to facilitate the process.

The Circuit of Wales enjoys huge popular support in Blaenau Gwent. It is striking that the vast majority of objections to it come from people with little or no connection with Blaenau Gwent. I would appeal to all those people who have made these objections to recognise how important this project could be for the people in this borough and to work positively with the statutory authorities to resolve those objections.
Rocke

Told you so.

Aberystwyth Al is all mouth.

It's NOT NRW that's causing the problem, It's the GWENT WILDLIFE TRUST.

Site link is: [url]http://www.gwentwildlife.org/what-we-do/campaigns/circuit-wales [/url]

Alun Davies is a member of the RULING WG ADMINISTRATION.
HIS butties (sorry, buddies, because as far as I'm concerned he's not one of us).

Surely he can exert enough influence to bring this much-needed project to reality????????????????????

Put up, as a representative of OUR people Mr Davies AM, or simply shut up and hope we all forget about this in a couple of year's time.
Rocke

Apparently those nice people at the NRW have now agreed that they won't ask the WG to look at the situation.

So, no delay now then.  Wink
Rocke

Might as well bump this thread.

Looks like it is going the way some with vision and foresight thought
ie. just like Corby and its Disneyworld-style development did.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-26519177

Looks like Aber will get its rail link before EV gets its motor circuit.

I wonder what the developers (and Labour HQ) thought when they saw Cllr McCarthy give a performance that even lowered the standard set by Des Hillman during his interview after Labour's Education stormtroopers were hustled in.

(Just over 9 hours before nEddie Smith joins the fray, unless she's got time off for Easter).
Ian Jones

Latest update Courtesy of Cllr McCarthy

www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/11157481.display/?ref=fbsend
Rocke

PHEW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For a minute I thought Abertillery town centre was being included, given the demolition.
stoob

Circuit for Wales put on hold

Seems the wildlife have taken Hedley's advice on the BBC and flew away.
Rocke

They are blasting their way through it believe it or not.
Apparently the rocks are so large and hard (I can understand that nEddie  Wink ) that it's cost effective to use explosives.

I was in someone's house when they set one off.
The house shook, like an earthquake must be like.

Apparently the lawyers are queuing up to sue on behalf of owners.
Now, some of the houses up there are worth a lot of money, and of course there's a lot of houses.

How much will the aggregated compensation be for that I wonder?

The circuit doesn't get built, the company goes out of business and the people with wrecked homes don't get any compensation.

No, not a harbinger of doom and gloom but a realist.
Ironic really, the only ones being taken for a ride are councillors.

Don't forget, when this lot boils over EV will still be one of the Labour WG's Enterprise areas.

Stinks. Absolutely stinks.

Oh - and if BGCBC comes up with some cash to chuck in there I wonder if any of it will be Aber Regen money that's been diverted by fair means or foul (or should that be 'fowl' in view of Brainless' statements?)

A lot of chickens have been counted here, by a lot of chickens who are afraid to voice concerns.
john gibbs

[quote="Rocke:22337"]Apparently the lawyers are queuing up to sue on behalf of owners.
Now, some of the houses up there are worth a lot of money, and of course there's a lot of houses.

How much will the aggregated compensation be for that I wonder?

The circuit doesn't get built, the company goes out of business and the people with wrecked homes don't get any compensation.)))

That's not strictly true, you must be using a politician's research methods, look up public liability insurance and think of the number of people with mesothelioma who have had payouts 50 years down the line.
Rocke

[quote="john gibbs:22452"]
Rocke wrote:
Apparently the lawyers are queuing up to sue on behalf of owners.
Now, some of the houses up there are worth a lot of money, and of course there's a lot of houses.

How much will the aggregated compensation be for that I wonder?

The circuit doesn't get built, the company goes out of business and the people with wrecked homes don't get any compensation.)))

That's not strictly true, you must be using a politician's research methods, look up public liability insurance and think of the number of people with mesothelioma who have had payouts 50 years down the line.


Sorry John.
I'm simply saying what a resident (of a house built about 7 years ago) told me when I was there and a blasting was done.
Everyone in the area has had ambulance-chaser type letters. It seems that there's a one-year wait before any action can be commenced for some reason.

I'm not specifically being a harbinger of doom and gloom. What I'm shouting is that if anything goes wrong then before it goes wrong other things would happen, and I'm saying that those signs need to be watched for.
This company has had £2 Million - simply to make a feasibility study.
Now is it saying 'give us £30 million and we'll be able to confirm that our feasibility study is right'?
And after that's gone will it say 'our £30 million study has revealed that we need to up the budget by £20 million in order to make it viable, given geological, geographical and infrastructure issues that have been highlighted'?

Admittedly this next comment is political, but it is pertinent.
Ebbw Vale to Cardiff rail link. How much was that going to cost?
What budget did it have?
And still it fell 1.5 miles short and will be having another few million thrown in.    

Oh - and I'm currently travelling from Llanhilleth to Cardiff by train.
Via Newport and a connecting service.

And who said (and who believed) it couldn't be done ??????????

The (my) BIG concern is that just like Aber's rail link (well, the money for it anyway) has been diverted to make up for the failure to deliver EV's intended one then money used for this venture will be money that other future projects in BG will be deprived of.

Regrettably this council is too naive to see it, and councillors certainly don't have the vision or balls to speak out now, and put safeguards in place.

Remember the council's subsidised bus service to ensure both EV and Aber residents could get to the parkways?
Just as blinkered an approach then - never safeguarded it until the lines came did they?

And this could be the same.
After all, it won't be BG after 2017 will it?

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