Goostrey parish councillor Dr Ken Morris might have felt apprehensive this morning before he was ‘cross examined’ by Gladman’s QC Richard Kimblin (smooth as silk but sharp as a knife) but had clearly researched his subject well. Mr Kimblin put forward the case that there is a housing need in Goostrey but sadly had no figures for this (sadly as in fact precise housing numbers would actually help the Neighbourhood Plan team!).
On highways Ken was able to point out that the ‘Crash map” used was not up to date, and even with developer money there would still be an issue with a bus service. Ken was asked to confirm that Goostrey is a sustainable village; he responded that this was “not correct” as it is predominantly car based so not sustainable – which gives a “reason to refuse” planning permission.
Next it was Dr Roberto Trotta’s turn to give evidence for Gladman. (I hope you don’t mind if I skip most of the science – best I leave that to the experts. Here is an amateur’s view, apologies in advance.)
Astro statistician Dr Trotta pointed out that his submission was similar to Professor Garrington’s – a radio astronomer of long standing don’t forget – but fundamentally different. Prof Garrington’s numbers include the surrounding terrain using a height of 3m but Dr Trotta believed his method was “better” as the wider terrain was not crucial and he estimated devices would be used on different storeys in homes. Their mitigation factors differed and, where Prof Garrington uses the internationally recognised ITU Threshold, it was Dr Trotta’s view that it was “not useful”. Dr Trotta put forward a “more robust” benchmark of 3.5%. [to make more sense of all that you would have to read their submissions: 14/5579C ]
Cheshire East’s QC Christopher Katkowski took Dr Trotta through his evidence. Dr Trotta agreed with statements in a letter from the Royal Astronomical Society that JBO was internationally important and protecting it from harm was “globally significant”. Dr Trotta is in fact a Fellow of the RAS (one of 4000) and the President’s letter strongly supported JBO stating “serious concern” of the threat from increased interference from the proposed development and the President urges to reject.
An element of humour crept in when it was suggested that one way of reducing all unwanted emissions would be to remove Goostrey houses but luckily it was accepted that this was not “practicable”. Dr Trotta agreed that, whilst there may already be “currently lots of exceedences” of the international threshold [of interference] in Goostrey of “considerable margin, the new development would make things worse”.
Mr Katkowski pointed out that CRAF (the Committee on Radio Astronomy Frequencies) had endorsed that Prof Garrington’s methodology and modelling had been carried out in a “truly exemplary manner”. On the other hand Dr Trotta’s proof of evidence had not been put out for review.
It must be said that Dr Trotta was at pains to point out that he was not “advocating a position” (he was not for or against the housing development) but was “providing facts” on levels of interference and the decision would be a “matter of judgement”.
Mr Katkowski asked Dr Trotta if he was aware of the expression “death by a thousand cuts” referring to the “incremental damage of each case”. He was not, but we mustn’t hold that against him.
I’d say it was a good day. (link to Day 4)