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Paul Mobbs &
Mobbs' Environmental Investigations –

Work Archive –
Research Reports:

Town & Country Planning System

I've worked primarily with community groups for many years – mostly in the UK, but also in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. The materials produced from that work have relevance not just to the people who commissioned them, but many other communities too. For that reason I maintain an on-line archive of my work.

For details of the licensing restrictions on using these resources, see the Copyright and Sharing page.

Work Archive:
'Reports' Index




Media Coverage





Development Plans







Waste Management



Video and Audio

See also:



Writing, Articles and Books

The planning system is often looked upon as a hindrance, and is hated by those who advocate the unfettered exercise of property rights. In fact, in a highly developed society, the planning system is a guarantee of accountability and fairness – and often the need to say "no" to development is because it is poorly conceived, and fails to recognize the value of the environment to the community of that area.

Working on developments with communities around Britain has been very rewarding. You get invited to the area, you work with the community in order to define what their objections are, and the process they are able to define what it is they really value about their community.

These days I do far less of this work – primarily because my push to tackle the 'next' big issue means that I try and avoid being distracted by the well-rehearsed problems of the past.

I make these reports available so that others might carry on that work.

Town & Country Planning System Reports

inc image Whitehall's 'Fracking' Science Failure: How the Government has misled Parliament and the public on the climate change impacts of shale oil and gas development in Britain – A report for Talk Fracking


This report seeks to explain how the debate over the gaseous emissions from 'fracking', and their impacts on climate change, has changed over the last few years – and precisely why that debate is critical to how the Whitehall Government has justified, and promoted, onshore oil and gas extraction in Britain.

file icon Original Paul Mobbs/MEI research report
662 kilobytes

file icon Talk Fracking's published version
867 kilobytes

file icon A3 poster summarising the report
1.2 megabytes

inc image Calor Gas Appeal, Canvey Island

September 2007

I represented the local community group in Canvey Island, People Against Methane (PAM), against the proposals by Calor Gas to build a new liquefied gas import terminal right next to the town. In the end Calor withdrew from the appeal before it began, and so the proof was never used

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
1.7 megabytes

inc image Investigation of the power of local planning authorities in Wales to vary the boundaries of Strategic Search Areas for wind power development

March 2007

An opinion for local community councillors/campaigners as to whether Carmarthenshire Council could extend the boundaries of an SSA beyond that identified in planning guidance.

file icon SSAs review report
108.5 kilobytes

inc image Awel Aman Tawe Wind Farm Public Inquiry

Summer 2006

In 2005/6 I represented a local community group in South Wales who were opposing a wind farm. I took part because, as wind farms go, it was a stupid proposal; but more importantly it would have invalidated the new wind farms planning policy (TAN 8) in Wales. Here's my main proof of evidence and the closing statement.

file icon Proof of evidence
1.7 megabytes

file icon Closing statement
245.9 kilobytes

inc image New Labour and the Planning Agenda

Spring 2000

An article, written for and published by Corporate Watch, on the way that New Labour has sought to restructure the planning system to favour corporate interests and keep out the public.

file icon New Labour and the Planning Agenda
83.5 kilobytes

inc image Abernant Farm Landfill Application

October 1999

A response, on behalf of Dinefwr Friends of the Earth, to a planning application for a landfill site, near Abernant in Carmarthenshire, that sought to regularise the unlawful activities on the site.

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
135.5 kilobytes

inc image Appraisal of Biffa's Application to Change Waste Types at Stewponey Landfill Site, Stourton

September 1998

On behalf of the local community group FLAGS, I undertook a series of reports on the proposals by Biffa to switch from inert to toxic wastes at their landfill site near Stourton west of Birmingham – which sits on one of the most important groundwater resources in the area.

file icon Stewponey Landfill report
196.9 kilobytes

inc image Round O Quarry Landfill Public Inquiry

July 1998

On behalf of ARROW in Skelmersdale, I undertook a large amount of work in relation to a public inquiry into the proposals to allow landfilling in Round O Quarry. Below are the two main proofs produced for the inquiry, and a briefing produced for members of the public who wished to take part in the inquiry process.

file icon Proof of evidence
259.7 kilobytes

file icon Supplementary proof
227 kilobytes

file icon Round 'O' briefing sheet
79.4 kilobytes

inc image Final Draft PPG10: Response to Consultation

March 1998

A report, for the Free Range Network, on the Department of the Environment and the Regions consultation on new waste planning guidance [which DEFRA had previously tried to squeeze through a very limited consultation before the Free Range Network found out about it and made it very public! – hence the work 'final draft' in the title].

file icon Final Draft PPG10 report
188.2 kilobytes

inc image Cilyrychen Quarry: IDO Stage II Registration – Analysis of Tarmac's Application and Technical Statements

June 1997

A report produced for Dinefwr Green Group/Friends of the Earth and the Campaign for the Protection of the Gwenlais Valley providing an analysis of Tarmac's "interim development order" (IDO) review application for Cilyrychewn Quarry in West Wales.

file icon Cilyrychen Quarry IDO report
243.5 kilobytes

inc image Fenny Compton Landfill – Analysis of application and submitted documentation

March 1996

A report on the application to Warwickshire County Council for Britain's first dedicated incinerator ash 'monofill' (they only intended to put incinerator ash in it, which is a very large toxic legacy!). The site was only 10 miles from where I lived, and after this and other reports the company withdrew the application before it was determined by the council. It was critical to stop this site because without easy ash disposal it's far harder/more expensive to set-up incinerators in the UK. Please note that this report has been converted from a now redundant file format and so the pagination has been lost, along with any graphics.

file icon Fenny Compton Landfill report
195.4 kilobytes

inc image Response to the application for a permanent shooting school near Curridge

January 1996

A report on a proposed shooting school near the village of Curridge (one of a crop of such shooting schools I dealt with around that time) and the noise and highways impacts it would generate. The difficulty was getting the local council to accept that noise was a valid planning matter since usually it's an issue of 'nuisance' – dealt with by the environmental health department, not planners. Please note that this report has been converted from a now redundant file format and so the pagination has been lost, along with any graphics.

file icon Curridge shooting school report
135.6 kilobytes

inc image Response to Safeguard International's Environmental Statement on the Culham Radioactive Waste Transfer Station

November 1995

A report on the proposals to turn an old garage into a transfer station for hazardous radioactive wastes. It was rather a farce of a planning application, having been first unlawfully approved and then withdrawn by the local council, before being taken over and badly handled by the County Council.

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
211.7 kilobytes

inc image Assessment of the planning application for a waste transfer station, AWE Aldermaston

April 1995

In 1995/6 I did some work for anti-nuclear and peace groups in Berkshire relating to a proposal from AWE Aldermaston (where Britain makes it's nuclear weapons) to construct a radioactive waste transfer station. Originally Berkshire County Council were just going to wave the proposals for AWE's radioactive waste transfer station through – this report outlines the authority's responsibility to demand an environmental statement for the development even though it did not require planning permission. Please note that these reports have been converted from a now redundant file format and so the pagination has been lost, along with any graphics.

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
112.6 kilobytes

inc image A review of the application to restore the dwelling house at Pantygarn, Carmel, Dyfed

June 1994

A report on problems with a developer trying to build a house in the middle of an important SSSI (now a National Nature Reserve/SAC). At the time the nature conservation bodies in Wales were under a lot of political pressure to allow any form of economic development, and so in response to the clearing of hedgerows in the SSSI they justified the illegal damaging activity as (in words I will never forget), "linear coppicing". Please note that this report has been converted from a now redundant file format and so the pagination has been lost, along with any graphics.

file icon Pantygarn development report
143.3 kilobytes

inc image Frontier Plastics' Gamma Irradiator, Pontllanfraith


An early and rather strange job in my early professional career – a plastics factory in Gwent wanted to put the largest lump of cobalt-60 in the UK (outside of Sellafield's waste materials stores) in a valley in Wales where there was serious mining subsidence. In the end I recommended it was approved with the condition that the mineworkings were first pressure grouted to prevent collapse – so it didn't go ahead as the company couldn't afford the multi-million pound cost of the works. Please note that this report has been converted from a now redundant file format and so the pagination has been lost, along with any graphics.

file icon Main report
118 kilobytes

file icon Supplementary report
83.1 kilobytes

file icon Planning committee briefing
136.7 kilobytes

inc image Comments upon the Coca-Cola Schweppes Beverages Supplementary Environmental Impact Assessment

June 1990

A report from the days when I worked for free – an assessment for Banbury Friends of the Earth of the proposed Coca-Cola factory that was proposed for a new industrial estate on the edge of the town. Please note that this report has been converted from a now redundant file format and so the pagination has been lost, along with any graphics.

file icon Coca-Cola Schweppes report
146 kilobytes