9 February 2011

Letter from James Semple to various involved parties

Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 12:06 PM
Subject: Detailed design of footings for pipeline bridge in Seaton

Madam and gentlemen,

It is clear from the attached photograph - as well as from the amount of heavy traffic though the town - that Tesco's contractors are about to erect the bridge carrying their pipeline across public roads in Seaton.

This structure, according to all publicly available documents, has serious technical flaws which might well cause it to collapse across two public roads (one the B3172), an electricity substation and close to a terrace of houses in Trevelyan Road.

These flaws relate to the design of the footings for the support pillars and have been described to you in previous correspondence. We understand that another footing design has been prepared; but it has not
been released to the public.

We can see no reasonable explanation for this continued secrecy. We have no interest in commercially sensitive or contractual information, and any such could be deleted or obscured. The only explanation seems to be that the design is inadequate and open to technical or other criticism.

I am sure I need not emphasise the serious consequences to yourselves personally and professionally if this structure fails in any way. Any court action would be bound to take into account the warning given, and the decision taken to ignore it. Even if the structure does not malfunction, public servants will have withheld important environmental information from ratepayers in the face of reasoned and informed disquiet, and a private company will have hidden information from the community in which it hopes to locate a major residential development.

None of these scenarios is desirable. I am therefore writing to you - as the responsible landowners (or their agents) - to ask for immediate access to all latest design documents for this structure.

Thank you for your attention.

James Semple

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