Mayor says ‘over cautious’ planning advise on gasometers could jeopardise 16,000 new London homes
The Mayor of London has launched an extraordinary attack on the Health and Safety Executive after claiming ‘over cautious’ planning advice could scupper plans for 16,000 homes.
Ken Livingston said that “barmy bureaucrats” at the HSE were responsible for new risk assessments that could see the loss of 12ha of land in London for the development of homes or workplaces.
The risk assessments relate to planning applications surrounding ‘hazardous installations’ which the Mayor said would restrict developments close to gasometers.
In a scathing letter to the HSE the Mayor said: “‘At a stroke you are wiping out good housing for 40,000 Londoners, many of them in the direst need. “
“It is decisions like this that actually discredit the very real need for genuine health and safety protection.”
“You have my assurance I will do everything possible to overturn this latest decision by your barmy bureaucrats.”
The Mayor said that it research concluded no serious risk associated with gasometers in London, and that there had been no major incident as a result of a gasometer accident in at least 70 years.
The Mayor's letter to the HSE
"At a stroke you are wiping out good housing for 40,000 Londoners, many of them in the direst need. I wonder to what extent in reaching your decision, you factored in the fact that many of those 40,000 people are living in appalling conditions which have a dramatic impact on both their health and life chances."
"Equally, in a city where many people suffer long-term unemployment or casual and insecure employment, your proposals will deprive Londoners of approximately 1,000 jobs."
"I am left with the strong suspicion that your motivation in setting these new guidelines has simply been to protect yourselves, rather than make any serious analysis that balances this minuscule risk against the very real and appalling loss of housing and employment for Londoners."
"I suspect that staff at the Health and Safety Executive have good jobs and are well housed. It’s a pity you did not spend a little time considering those people who are not as lucky as you are. It is decisions like this that actually discredit the very real need for genuine health and safety protection. You have my assurance I will do everything possible to overturn this latest decision by your barmy bureaucrats."