JDC The Facts: Part 2
Is the JDC withholding information from the public and the Scrutiny Panel?
JDC is not attempting to ‘hide’ information from the public or the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel. JDC has been established as a commercial entity and, as such, its commercial agreements with third parties - be they tenants, banks or contractors - remain confidential to the companies involved. The reason for this is simple; it’s standard commercial practice to have a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in place with deals of this kind. An NDA means that JDC cannot, by law, disclose certain information, as third parties wish for their deal to remain confidential. All potential tenants, banks and other businesses that JDC deal with do not want their competitors to know the terms of the deal they have agreed, and JDC also do not want our competitors to know either; this could compromise the ability to negotiate future deals. This isn't something exclusive to JDC - NDAs are increasingly a commercial requirement, with JT and other States companies also conducting their negotiations and deals confidentially, alongside private companies such as Dandara.
Further to discussions with Scrutiny, JDC is pleased that Scrutiny have agreed (as of 1 July) for its advisor, EY, to sign an NDA enabling JDC to pass across the confidential information. All information requested by EY has now been sent across.
Is the air around the JIFC safe?
Yes. Due to the following measures that are being undertaken, we can assure you we’re taking absolutely every measure for the safety of public and site staff, including:
- Dampening down of all excavations, to minimise airborne dust
- Covering all excavations on site and vehicles leaving the site with excavated material to minimise the release of airborne particles
- A wheel washer to minimise mud or dirt being trafficked on the road and washing any contaminated material picked up by trucks into a tank and tested for contamination. Contaminated water will be tankered to Bellozane and treated accordingly
- Constant air/dust monitoring in special stations on and off-site, including asbestos monitoring stations
- Daily recording of air quality logged and surveyed by the main contractor, with an independent professional attending the site weekly to record and review results, and an independent audit of those results submitted to the Authorities every month
You may have noticed, or seen on the news, some site personnel wearing protective clothing – you will also see there are others who aren’t! This is because only those in close proximity to excavations need to wear protective clothing, as they’re the only ones who have any potential of coming into contact with contaminated materials. Due to the dust suppression measures above, there’s no need for all site staff to wear facemasks, and absolutely no need for the public walking past to wear them.
For those that were concerned about dust blowing about the development site; there is no need to worry! Full-scale excavations have not begun yet on site; the dust was produced by topsoil that was originally in the flowerbeds that was left prior to the works and did not require dampening down. JDC can confirm that no below surface contaminated material was left on the surface. We take our responsibility to the public, the site staff and the long-term environment extremely seriously with this project and all our projects.
What happened to the sea wall that was around the car park?
The removal of the sea wall was overseen by qualified archaeologists from The Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA). MOLA ensured that the stones were carefully numbered and moved from the site, and safely stored. The stones will be put back in place as they were, save for a few openings for access to the area. The granite that is not being reinstated will be used in the community and landscaping areas of the JIFC development.
Are you employing local companies for the development?
Further to some questions that we have received regarding the removal of the sea wall at the JIFC Building 4 development site, we would like to confirm that we have employed local company V&V Stonemasons Ltd to physically remove these stones. The Archaeologists from The Museum of London Archaeology were employed to provide guidance and oversee that the removal was done safely and in line with the best UK standards. We want to support local businesses and we will be employing locally for this development where possible.