Impact of Labours St Athan school for mercenaries

 As labour politicians line up to welcome the St Athan school for mercenaries the Echo reports Sat 20th March 2010 that the potential impact of the proposed Defence Technical Academywill be discussed this week by Vale of Glamorgan leaders - they will discuss a "service impact assessment" which recommends continued discussions with Metrix, WAG and MoD! Perhaps they should have done this before they gave planning permission. They haven't even assessed what impact will this have on Welsh culture or language!

Hansard ...St. Athan Defence Training College
Oral Answers to Questions — Wales
House of Commons debates, 17 March 2010, 11:30 am
Don Touhig (Islwyn, Labour)
What recent discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on preparations for the construction of the defence training college at St. Athan.
Wayne David (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Wales Office; Caerphilly, Labour)
May I begin by paying tribute to the excellent work that my right hon. Friend has done over a number of years and wish him well in his retirement?
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has discussed with the First Minister the significant economic benefits that the defence training college will bring as the single largest defence investment in Wales.

Don Touhig (Islwyn, Labour)
As we celebrate St. Patrick's day, we should all remember, of course, that St. Patrick was a Welshman born in the county of Gwent.
The defence training college will greatly increase the defence footprint in Wales, and will lead to the creation of large numbers of highly paid and highly skilled jobs, but will my hon. Friend confirm whether it is still the Government's policy to allow private companies to buy training packages from what will be a world-class facility?

Wayne David (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Wales Office; Caerphilly, Labour)
I confirm that the Labour Government's policy remains unchanged: bona fide defence organisations will, of course, have the opportunity to use this excellent £12 billion facility. May I also emphasise that this is the single largest defence investment Wales will have ever seen? Labour Members are fully committed to it, and I only wish that Opposition Members were equally committed.

Mark Pritchard (Wrekin, The, Conservative)
If the Government press ahead with the construction of this defence training college, how will Ministers address the fact that a recent survey by the Public and Commercial Services Union suggested that 74 per cent. of civilian instructors will be either unwilling or unable to relocate from Shropshire to Wales because of the difference in house prices?

Wayne David (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Wales Office; Caerphilly, Labour)
The hon. Gentleman is a long-standing and consistent opponent of this exemplary defence establishment, which is most unfortunate. [Interruption.] Labour Members are full-square behind it. We recognise that this will be a huge investment for south Wales. [Interruption.] It will be a massive boost for the Welsh economy, providing thousands of jobs and, most importantly, first-class training for our armed forces.

John Bercow (Speaker)
Order. There are far too many private conversations taking place on both sides of the Chamber. It is very unfair to the Member asking the question and to the Minister answering it.


St Athan military College PFI planning permission was invalid

It seems that the The Environmental Law Foundation think we may have a case as they are offering support to us!

Opponents of St Athan Defence Technical College claim planning permission was invalid

OPPONENTS of the £12bn Defence Technical College at St Athan have called for the planning permission for the development to be withdrawn.
The Cynefin Y Werin (Common Ground) group claim the planning permission granted by the Vale of Glamorgan Council last year was illegal and has now demanded an inquiry into the way the decision was made.
Anne Greagsby, of Cynefin Y Werin, said: “The decision for this major private finance initiative project privatising military training at St Athan was left to the Vale of Glamorgan Council and, in the rush to push this through, they did not follow procedure properly.”
She said a legal notice published by the council earlier this month meant the original planning permission granted last December was invalid.
The public notice said the council had granted planning permission “having taken into account the information contained in the Environmental Impact Assessment accompanying the application”.
The group claims that the four-month gap between planning permission being granted and the public notice invalidated the approval.
But the Vale council countered by saying the proper procedures were followed.
Rob Thomas, the council’s head of planning and transportation, said: “It is acknowledged that there has been a delay between the date of issue of decision and the advertising, but there is no specified time limit within the regulations for such advertising to be undertaken.”


Cosford troops move delayed

1. Midlands Express and Star

Cosford troops move delayed

Monday 15th March 2010, 5:59PM GMT.

Long-awaited plans to move more than 2,500 troops from Germany to RAF
Cosford have been shelved for two years, it emerged today - prompting fears
up to 400 workers could lose their jobs at the air base.

The 102 Logistic Brigade and their families had been due to move in 2016.
But military bosses said it would not now happen until at least 2018.

Defence minister Bill Rammell said RAF Cosford's Defence College of
Aeronautical Engineering, which provides British armed forces training,
would still move to St Athan in Wales from 2014.'

2. Shropshire Star

Mothballing fear over RAF Cosford « Express & Star 

16 Mar 2010 ... RAF Cosford will be “mothballed” and hundreds of staff left with “nothing to do” for years after plans to expand it as a military base were delayed for ... It will leave no military presence at the base currently home to more ... This incompetence is likely to cost up to 400 jobs in Shropshire and ...

www.expressandstar.com/.../mothballing-fear-over-raf-cosford/ - 


Is St Athan project planning permission VALID?

The decision for this major PFI project privatising miliatary training at St Athan which affects all of Wales was left to The Vale of Glamorgan council and in the rush to push this through they did not follow procedure properely and now try to sneak a notice through after the event!!! Sot he decision is illlegal or/and we can seek a judicial review..

There was an unusual notice in the local paper (Glamorgan Gem) last week, dated 4th March.

NOTICE that the VoG Council, as LPA, has determined the following application(s), having taken into account the information contained within the Environmental Impact Assessment accompanying the application(s)

2009/00500/OUT  Land at and adjoining MoD St Athan.....
Development of a Defence Technical College.... including 483 Service Family Accom dwellings....
Approved 1 December, 2009

2009/00501/OUT  Land at and adjoining the Aerospace Business Park at St Athan.....
..together with land at Waycock Cross, Barry
Development at and adjoining the ABP including...  and related highway improvements.
Approved 1 December, 2009
The reason for the unusual Notice, in that we have pointed out that for so-called EIA-developments: EIA Reg 3(2):  The relevant planning authority or the Secretary of State or an inspector shall not grant planning permission pursuant to an application to which this regulation applies unless they have first taken the environmental information into consideration, and they shall state in their decision that they have done so.
In the Planning Committee reports and decision-making, the VoG made no statement to fulfil the last clause.

Evidently, the VoG are trying to rectify this retrospectively with the above Notice (but it should read "within the Environmental Statement and Further Information" supplied). 

Two questions arise:
  •  The Planning Cttee papers/decision didn't "state" it and there was no Meeting on 1 December as given, maybe this public Notice on 4th March counts as the decision date.  That would mean that a judicial review is possible, since the 3-month time limit would run from 4th March.  
  •   If the statement is just made by the officers (or Jeff James as executive) and not approved by the Planning Cttee (I can't see it in Minutes from Jan and Feb. meetings) is it valid at all?

Note that under the EIA Amendment Regs 2008, the approval of details with environmental implications require further EIA, involving full consultation of the public and statutory bodies.  These Regs should stop the Council and eg. the Env Agency just agreeing the details between officials.