In November 2015 (two and a half years ago) a comprehensive inspection of lagoon 3 was made by a Chartered Geologist. This included a walkover survey and a review of correspondence and documentation relating to the original construction of the lagoon.
It was noted that "no as-built documentation has been available for examination as Crouchlands Biogas is currently engaged in a legal action with the contractor concerning the installation of the lagoon. It is not possible to fully confirm the construction details of Lagoon 3, particularly the geomembrane lining system, without reviewing the as-built construction details."
The geologist’s report included these comments about the slippages that were already visible in the clay banks;
"The slippages will continue to move and are likely, in time, to affect the outer parts of the crest of the embankment. The slips are occurring because the embankment has been constructed at slopes that are too steep for long-term stability."
"In time, the slippages will expose clay deeper in the embankment, leading to progressive failure."
"In summary, the lagoon embankment has some shallow soil slippages which are not currently a cause for concern. However, the embankment is too steep for long-term performance."
So here we are - two and a half years later with a lagoon which;
1. is full to its limit;
2. has no planning consent;
3. has no Environment Agency permit to store the contained digestate
4. is built on a site with a history of two lagoon failures which caused widespread pollution.
5. has banks that are too steep for long term stability
6. has further slippages in the walls of the embankment (photos taken last week)
The EA have told us that they do not hold any information about the plans for the emptying of this lagoon, even though they themselves have not granted them a permit to hold the stored digestate. So it seems that the councils are therefore responsible for the emptying and restoration of the lagoon - and they have refused our freedom of information request to ask what is planned.
Does anyone else have any concerns as to the long term safety of this unlawful lagoon? It wouldn't take much for the councils and the EA to share their plans and to reassure us......to put our minds at rest. Unless of course there is an alternative plan.......