Following my having distributed this document to Hetton-le-Hole Town Councillors and made clear that Councillors James Blackburn (mason), Councillors Samuel and Joyce Blackburn (his parents) and his brother in law, Councillor C.J. Simpson (mason) had failed to declare an interest in the fact that James Blackburn owned land that came under the City of Sunderland Draft Unitary Development Plan, Blackburn's prevented me from leaving the Council Chambers and then carried out an assault on me. The matter was supposed to have been investigated by Superintendent William then stationed at Washington, Tyne-Wear Police Station. He told me that as he did not think the other councillors present would say what they had seen of the assault on me, he was not going to take any action on that matter. It was another good example of masons protecting masons.
RE: ITEM 7. OF AGENDA FOR TOWN COUNCIL MEETING OF OCTOBER 2 1995.
Dear Fellow Councillor's, by now you will have had the opportunity of examining the Unitary Development Plan. I have examined it and wish to express my very deep concerns over one aspect of it, namely the proposed housing development sites around the Easington Lane area.
The proposed sites are North West of the Brickgarth, and the East side of Easington Lane. The area of proposed housing development to the East of Easington Lane stretches from Murton Lane almost to Hetton Lyons. None of these sites, despite covering vast areas, were included in the Draft Unitary Development Plan. Should such proposals be accepted and implemented, I am in no doubt that such development will have an adverse affect uponEasington Lane and surrounding area's.
Another area of my concern relative to the proposed housing development sites is upon the ownership, and past use of the land. One area of land within the proposed development at Murton Lane has stood idle for a number of years. Not even a crop of hay has been cut from it. I am made aware that a owner of this land had previously attempted to obtain Planning Approval for housing development upon it. Approval was refused. Lately I have been informed by a fellow Councillor, that this land has been sold to a large housing conglomerate but that the previous owner of the land, who I am told had gone bankrupt, has retained an interest in the land. I have not had the opportunity to verify the statements made by my fellow Councillor, though I have no reason to doubt them. Because this area of land, which until recent years was part of an agricultural holding, has not been under any cultivation whatsoever, it would seem that possibly someone might have had prior knowledge of future proposals for it. There is little doubt in my mind that if a housing conglomerate is now the new owner of the land, then a purchase of the land would only have been made with knowledge that it might be included within proposed housing development. This is sometimes termed land speculation. The area of land I refer to has continued to be left uncultivated and overgrown, and it would seem that if this has been a case of land speculation, then such speculation has not been advantageous to the area in recent years.
Another area of the proposed housing development land directly to the east of Lyons Lane, is I believe owned by a fellow Councillor. I have been lead to believe that he has in recent years attempted to obtain Planning Approval for housing development upon it, though again, it was refused. My concern is all the greater when I am aware that this fellow Councillor is also a member of the Freemasons, and that other members of his family sit upon Hetton Town Council. I agree that if one does not accept the Freemason movement as a Secret Society, then one should find nothing wrong with such a Council member also being a member of this Society. I however, as do many millions of people, accept that the Freemasons are a Secret Society.
In recent years there has been publicity over the extent of Freemasonry membership of staff at Sunderland Civic Centre. Mr C. Mullin M.P. highlighted this in the Press some three or four years ago. Can we be assured that those who have been instrumental in the Unitary Development Plan have not been members of such a Society? Can we be further assured that no Secret Society has helped its members with information that might lead them to become rich people? I am of the opinion that Land Speculation requires information for such purpose prior to its purchase.
In recent months a member of the Freemasons told me that they did not regard themselves as a Secret Society, but rather a Society with Secrets. I find myself asking the question,if such a Society has secrets, where do they come from, and what use can be made of them?
Referring to the land directly east of Lyons Avenue which is now covered by the proposed housing development, again it would seem that a number of facts should be made known.
Around nine years ago this area of land had most of its topsoil removed and sold. I made complaints to the Sunderland Planning Department and then Hetton Town Councillor Mr R. Laing. I was told by the Planning Department that the work on this area of land was in connection with the removal of an escarpment. I did not accept at that time, or now, that this was the main purpose of the work. My complaint was primarily because of water seepage into a building on my garden when a huge mountain of topsoil was placed near to it. This topsoil was being sold by the lorry and bag load. It did not require any great examination to confirm that almost none, if any, of the topsoil that was removed from this land was put back onto it. I was told by Councillor Laing that he was also concerned at what was taking place as he lived very close to the area of it. He later told me that no action had been taken on the matter because it had been decided it was too late to take such action. At that time there was still a huge mountain of topsoil remaining. Over the next few months it was gradually sold off. This area of land is now covered by the proposed housing development. I have to ask the question which is, why was no action apparently taken to stop the removal and sale of the soil from this area? It was common knowledge that most, if not all of the topsoil was being sold off. Examination even at this time will confirm my statements as to what was done to this land.
Sandwiched between this land, and Lyons Lane, is the field that I believe is presently owned by my fellow Hetton Town Councillor. My knowledge of the area of proposed housing development North West of the Brickgarth is not as extensive as the area's that I have mentioned. However, I firmly believe that this area too requires careful consideration. People in that area have a right to express their views upon such proposals.
It may be that there have been a string of coincidences, yet overall facts suggest to me that coincidences may not be involved. Taking into account the added factor that there was no original plan to exhibit the Unitary Development Plan in the Hetton Town area, despite the huge amount of land that is being proposed for housing development within the Easinton Lane area, gives me even greater cause for concern. After all, how can people be expected to react to such proposals if they have not been given the opportunity to see such proposals so that they can express their views upon them?
It is my view that employment in the area does not justify the extent of the proposed housing development sites. Without such employment in the area, then those taking up residence on the proposed housing areas would need to commute out of the area. This would place an even bigger strain upon the roads in the district. This would be contrary to Planning Policy which is to place housing nearer to area's of employment. Most of the infra structure for the proposed housing developments is not in place. There would very likely be huge upheaval in the area by way of road building, and alteration. Installation of services such as drains, sewerage disposal, gas and electricity would also add to the upheaval. Certainly none of these facilities exist on the proposed housing development sites on the east side of Easington Lane. It is said in the Unitary Development Plan that some parts of the proposed housing development to the east side of Easington Lane do not protrude into the countryside.This statement is incorrect, because all of the proposed housing development land is upon what is now generally accepted to be agricultural land.
It is not my intention to upset any other fellow members of Hetton Town Council with regard to the statements that I make herein. I am aware however, that human nature being what it is, it is likely that I will cause an upset to some fellow Councillor's. My views on the area of Easinton Lane of which I express my concern, have been well known to some other Councillor's long before I became a member of Hetton Town Council. I cannot change my views now that I am a member of the Council. Likewise, my views upon membership of Secret Societies within, among other bodies, Government at any level, have been well known to some of my other fellow members of the Council. I am informed by one Member of Parliament that within the House of Commons there is a Freemason Lodge for Members of Parliament, and within it also a Lodge for the Press Gallery. If it accepted that Freemasons are a Secret Society, or indeed a Society with Secrets, then one has to wonder why people in such positions within Government should feel the need to be members of such a Society? It is unfortunate that Freemasonry should again enter into the subject of my concerns for Easington Lane. This situation is not of my making.
Councillor M. Kellett
The above letter was distributed to all members of Hetton-le-Hole Town Council.
Both Councillors James Blackburn and his brother in law C.J. Simpson have agreed they are Freemasons. C.J. Simpson is also a member of Sunderland City Council.
Shortly after I distributed copies of the above letter, I was prevented from leaving the Hetton Council Chambers and was then assaulted by Councillors James Blackburn, Samuel Blackburn, and Joyce Blackburn. See page 40 for detais of this.
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