The way the company behind proposals for an asphalt plant for Cowes has handled a public consultation over its planning application has been branded "incompetent" by the Island's MP.
Andrew Turner said that Eurovia Roadstone's proposals for Medina Wharf could cost jobs at nearby aerospace firm GKN, who Mr Turner claims have not been properly consulted.
Mr Turner said that questions posed at a packed public meeting in East Cowes Town Hall on August 7 remained unanswered, and he is critical that further public events being held by Eurovia are after the consultation period have closed. This, he claimed, "smacks of incompetence or, even worse, a deliberate attempt to ensure that the public are not properly able to respond to what they know are highly controversial plans."
In a press statement, Mr Turner claimed: "It has also emerged that they have failed to consult GKN Aerospace, who operate in East Cowes, about how they could be affected by emissions from the proposed Asphalt plant."
Mr Turner said: "I have been watching this situation with increasing concern - it is a textbook example on the wrong way for applicants to deal planning applications."
Furthermore, Mr Turner said: "Now we hear that GKN have not even been consulted about the proposed plant and how any emissions might affect them. GKN need clean rooms at both their sites with closely controlled air quality. If the wind blows the asphalt plant emissions towards them it could shut them down completely or cause damage to high specification aerospace components under manufacture. Either scenario would cost GKN many hundreds of thousands - or even millions - of pounds.
"GKN provide 1,200 high quality jobs which are hugely important to the Island's economy - if GKN start to lose contracts because of interruptions to their manufacturing process or damage to key components it will doubtless cost the Island jobs. It seems as if Eurovia have not done their homework properly before putting in this application."
Isle of Wight Radio has approached Eurovia Roadstone for a response to Mr Turner's claims and is awaiting comment.
Eurovia have sent a response
Patrick Riley, Director of Eurovia Roadstone, comments: “Unfortunately these are yet further examples of misleading and inaccurate information about our plans. These claims refer to alleged emissions from the proposed asphalt production process when in fact at Medina Wharf, we will be using the cleanest fuel available - natural gas - with the only visible emissions being that of water vapour. We would like to reassure all islanders that our plant design is a state-of-the-art, low emission asphalt plant.
In particular response to the press statement from Andrew Turner MP and the concerns of GKN, Eurovia Roadstone would welcome meeting either or both to discuss this at our consultation sessions being held this Friday and Saturday at Newport Football Club. Anyone who wishes to find out the facts about our asphalt plant plans and manufacturing process is welcome at these consultation sessions with our experts. You can either turn up on the day, or if you would prefer, book an appointment via our website (www.euroviaroadstone.co.uk) or call 01403 215866.”