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Bailing out of gasworks debacle’ will cost millions

PUBLISHED: 14:05 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:44 05 October 2010

Dear Editor, MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers’ money will be needed to bale out the Bethnal Green gasworks planning fiasco. Tower Hamlets council granted planning permission after ignoring the requirement to consult the Health and Safety Executive. When the HSE finally got involved, it condemned the plans to build flats yards away from a gasholder at The Oval, off Hackney Road, as dangerously unsafe

Dear Editor,

MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers' money will be needed to bale out the Bethnal Green gasworks planning fiasco.

Tower Hamlets council granted planning permission after ignoring the requirement to consult the Health and Safety Executive.

When the HSE finally got involved, it condemned the plans to build flats yards away from a gasholder at The Oval, off Hackney Road, as dangerously unsafe.

What disturbs me even more is that, even if we put the original decision down to human error, the Town Hall planning office remained and remains recklessly complacent over the issue.

It dismissed the grave concerns of the HSE over the safety of this development, even after finally being brought in. This is why the cost to put this right will be so high.

When this issue was discussed in council committee, Cllr Josh Peck (Lab) repeated this same disregard for the safety issues, pooh-poohing the HSE.

After the disaster at Bunsfield gas explosion in Hertfordshire two years ago, where victims are currently suing for £1bn compensation, this beggars belief.

We need a full and independent inquiry into what went wrong over the Bethnal Green gasholder debacle.

Cllr Abjol Miah

Respect Group leader

Tower Hamlets Council

Town Hall

(Parliamentary Candidate for Bethnal Green & Bow)

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