THORNEY COUNTRY PARK - FORMER LANDFILL & RESTORATION PROJECT PROPOSAL
IMPORTANT NEWS! THORNEY COUNTRY PARK PROPOSAL Dear Residents, It has come to our attention that Bucks County Council is considering a ‘Restoration Project’ at Thorney Country Park ‘Thorney Park is a 22 Ha former sand and gravel pit and waste landfill, with the last waste being accepted to site in 1990. A large portion of this site (approximately 8 Ha) remains an effective lake, purported to be up to 30m deep and is subject to a fishing license. The site is generally used by dog walkers and generally a maintenance liability to BCC. BCC have been in talks with a civil engineering and environmental contractor about their interest to take the site forward and bring it back into beneficial use by the local community. The proposals would include the restoration of the lake to more modest depths with landscaping at the shoreline to allow for amenity activities such as boating and lacustrine habitats. The proposal in brief consists of capping contaminants in the ground and tipping the sites with inert spoil. The contractors would then in consultation with the local community work up a scheme and take it through the planning process at their cost which if planning is approved they would implement. The contractors estimate that there is a potential of importing natural soils for the creation of these schemes in the case of Thorney Park an estimated circa 2,000,000 tonnes. The contractors have identified an old rail line that runs parallel to the site and have achieved an in principle agreement with NR to move all the spoil to site via rail and not by road -which will be welcome news to planners and residents.’ The Ivers Parish Council is extremely concerned that there has been no consultation with the Parish Council and local residents and that Bucks County Council are considering going ahead on this basis. We have made the following comment to Bucks County Council and we would urge you as residents to take an interest in this Former Landfill and Restoration Project Proposal. Thorney Country Park is the 4th of the Bucks County Council Parks. It is a public open space. The Country Parks team are supposed to maintain it but have neglected to do so for many years. It was originally landscaped and set up with a wonderful circular walk, bird hides and bird sanctuaries on the lake which have been very successful in attracting all manner of birds, and many birdwatchers. It is very popular with the local residents who are very protective of it, and who carry out some basic management. There is also a fishing contract let on the lake so we fail to see how it is a maintenance liability for Bucks. It has developed into a wonderful wildlife area and ideally residents want it to stay that way and not be subject to dumping and eventual landscaping. The Parish Council were asked to consider taking on the Park some time ago and investigated the contamination matters in detail. The contractors who monitor the site on a regular basis assured us that there are no issues with contamination and at that time all but one of the methane vents had ceased to produce gas. The lake would not be so well stocked with fish and support the vast range of water and other birds that it does if there was any leachate into it. The vegetation would not be so thick as it is and support the range of wildlife it does if the ground was contaminated, nor would there be open public access. This site has a long history of gravel extraction, infilling, re-extraction and infilling, not just the recent one that has been documented. Locals still remember all the horror they faced when all this was going on over decades! They do not want any further disruption. The plan to use the "old railway line" is totally non-viable. It is not an old line, it is very much current and active and extensively used by a large no of operations currently sited alongside it. There are very few slots available on it as was proved by the problems encountered by the owners of Thomey Sidings (the site directly opposite) when trying to remove all the dumped waste by rail recently - it took them 2 years to remove 20,000 tons by rail. On this basis it will take 100 years to carry out the planned infill. In addition to all the other users of this line, Breedon, who have a current planning application with the County, also claim they are going to use it for their works. There is no direct access from the railway line onto the site so a long sidings would have to be built. It is therefore inevitable that HGVs will be bringing the spoil in, with an estimate of 25 tonnes per HGV that is 160,000 HGV movements in and out on our local roads.