To Editor, Financial Times
To Editor, Financial Times2013 you responded to some material I sent you with the prophetic cartoon which I hope you don’t mind me including.
I attach another bundle of information since the bulldozers are poised to destroy the proven battlesite of Fulford.
The story is about the quite astonishing way that the truth has been ignored.
The planners, the politician, the statutory institutions have failed to address the evidence which should have protected the environmental and heritage of this important piece of flood plain. So I am looking to the serious media to challenge their failures. There are better and cheaper solutions. We should not wonder that we need so many public inquiries when the system demonstrates it remains immune to the truth.
My consolation prize for fighting the case through to the Appeal Court was to hear the Hon Mr Justice Lindblom invite English Heritage to apologise for the way that has ‘ignored,misrepresented and criticised’ my ‘scholarship’ and noted in his Judgement that I might be right about the facts. Sadly, the Courts have said they can only deal in process; the Court is not concerned with evidence.Regrettably those who decided to permit houses to be built here were not guided by the evidence available to them.
On 7 May I wrote to the Police to warn them that the circumstances were in place for another act of criminality. Work has now paused. My letter, and the links to a website, detail previous Police investigations. I hear, following inquiries via one of the local MPs, that these destructions were apparently ‘accidental’ and this explanation was accepted.You will note that before this planning applicationthis site was, and it remains, a provable protected habitat. It should not be credible that the habitat has been repeatedly destroyed and ignored by the planners, until now.
Call for an inquiry
I attach a letter sent to each York City Councillor calling for an inquiry. It outlines the way archaeological evidence has been ignored by the officers and senior councillors. I note that two of the senior councillors who promoted this flawed development have lost their seats.
Tony Blair was the Prime Minister when permission was granted to build houses over this important battlesite and wildlife conduit in 2007. Common sense has meant that building on flood plains is no longer granted. Nevertheless the attached maps shows that houses are planned in areas with a greater than 1 in 10 year flood risk. A new officer at York Council has owned up to the mistake; but the plan is going ahead.The Dept for Transport has offered £1.9 m of public funds to help defray the cost of building an access road at a place where it regularly floods. The ‘pinch point’ funds employed were designed to ease existing problems, not to ‘unblock’ a flawed plan to overload a busy road. An image of the flooded location with the A19 is included on the image sheet.
Planning permission was granted by the Secretary of State, but attempts to discover if ex-Minister Pickles was obeying the law have failed. I attach a copy of the latter I sent to the Cabinet Secretary in February asking him to obtain the information which I had requested from three ministers. I am renewing my quest to obtain the information from the new ministers.
When Persimmon appointed a director with responsibility for ensuring the PLC behaved responsibility towards the community, I sent a number of letters but they have been ignored. I attach copies. They could have been delivered by hand since this PLChas its HQ in Fulford.
They strongly opposed the planning application until 2005, saying that it was the probable site of the battle of Fulford and criticising the archaeology that had been undertaken. In 2005 they changed their mind but have never explained why. In 2011 some senior EH people attended a talk about the Fulford finds at the Royal Armouries and invited me to apply to have the site designated. The sorry tale of how they decided not to designate it because of the planning permission is reported in the second letter to Persimmon.
Could I note that I am not saying that Persimmon said the Germany Beck was a man-made structure that was built after the time of the battle. They suggested it. It was the York City archaeologist who is recorded in the manuscript minutes who suggested this ‘story’. English Heritage, who had blocked the development until March 2005 asked Persimmon to state that the battle could not have taken place here. Persimmon have, to the best of my knowledge, never provided this confirmation and the meeting notes recognise that the ‘story’ will not be ‘watertight’. Indeed, all of the public archaeologists have disowned the ‘story’ although shockingly it still forms part of the official write up about the archaeology of the site provided by Persimmon. Extracts from the ‘story’ minutes are included at the end of the first letter to Persimmon.
Could you also note that I am not saying that Persimmon destroyed the water voles, although information provided recently via a local MP suggests that on one occasion they admit they did destroy the habitat accidentally. It was the former land owners’ agents who I told about the water voles and to whom I reported incidents of ‘lamping’ (a nocturnal type of hunting) and the use of ferrets. I am just back from York and shall be reporting to the Police evidence of the use of herbicides and men armed with spades in the vole habitat.
26 May 2015
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The author of the content is Charles Jones - firstname.lastname@example.org Last updated April 2015
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