Friday 28 December 2012

3D Printing a Revolution or an aid to Revolution?

Could we soon see governments licensing the use of 3D printers?

The printing of physical 3D objects from digital templates is becoming cheaper and more sophisticated. 3D printing uses an additive manufacturing technique to build up layer by layer from the bottom up.
3D Printing allows designers to create both everyday and complicated objects that in some instances would be impossible to make.  There is currently a limited range of objects that can be printed, but already cars, bikes, houses, prosthetic limbs, keys and guns have all been printed. As a backup you can have 3D printers to print more 3D printers. says that “One example of how 3D printing has influenced the arms industry is that, after the technology was used to make guns, they became more easily available. So countries have to take every possible measure to ensure that criminal gangs don't get access to the technology, because they can wreak havoc in society. Though China has a strict gun-control policy, the fact is that implementing the policy would become very difficult if it is easy for people to download gun designs and forge them with the help of 3D printing technology.”

The New Scientist talks of the US army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF). It has put together three mobile laboratories in 6-metre-long shipping containers. Each lab comes with tools such as plasma cutters and jigsaws, a 3D printer that prints in plastic or metal and a scientist and engineer to run them. The labs, which cost about $2.8 million, can be picked up by helicopter and set down just about anywhere. When the 54 °C heat in Afghanistan was playing havoc with the batteries in a ground-penetrating radar system used to search for mines, soldiers used a 3D printer to make a shielding case to protect them. Interestingly, printing weapons is not on the agenda, although fixing them might be.

In another issue of the New Scientist "HaveBlue", a member of the gun enthusiast forum, which is named after a common semi-automatic rifle, claims to have carried out the first successful test-firing of a 3D-printed gun.
HaveBlue did not print an entire gun but only a part called the lower receiver, which serves as a frame for the other components of the gun. This component is the only gun part regulated for sale under US law and as such must carry a serial number - unless it's made by a private individual for their personal use, so HaveBlue is not breaking any laws. See also 3-D Printed Gun Only Lasts 6 Shots. (Also video here) at Danger Room.

In a further article it is shown how High-security police handcuffs can be opened with keys made by 3D printing.

What other items could be made by 3D printing and what could the consequences be? I did touch on 3D printing in my book Cold Suspenders, but in the story the printer can only be purchased with a specific government ID card. Could this become a reality?

On a lighter note, an IET journalist sampled some printed food, and she says we might find ourselves traipsing into our kitchen, turning on our 3D food printer, and printing out our favourite dinner.

See also Climate Conversations - Could 3D printing be a climate revolution?
3D printing and the future of warfare.
3D printing: Second industrial revolution is under way.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Weather or not

Whether you believe it is man-made or natural, some sort of Climate Change is happening, and probably always has.  It may or may not have a bearing on this having been a very wet year.

But anyway; in a recent IET article it is reported that the IPCC declares that climate extremes, or even a series of non-extreme events, combined with social vulnerabilities and exposure to risks, can produce climate-related disasters. Another IET article points out that recent terrorist attacks on infrastructure have highlighted the vulnerability of our rail and road networks, reinforcing the importance of good risk assessments to protect some of our biggest assets.

One could imagine that if Terrorists can predict disasters that they could then seek to exacerbate the problem. This is something that I explore in my book Cold Suspenders.

Extreme events can have a direct effect on people’s lives, potentially disrupting commodity prices, supply chains, markets, and economies. The recent wet weather makes the possibility of the events in Cold Suspenders look even more likely.

Following some links from the articles I came across the Startrans project “Trains, cars, buses, trucks, metros… are interconnected to create a network of transportation systems. This network, at the heart of our daily lives, fosters social cohesion and needs to be protected as a crucial asset. Terrorist attacks and security related incidents on transportation systems in major European cities have shown that the protection of transport infrastructure is long overdue. This is where the STAR-TRANS project acts: to understand how one incident localised in one single transportation system may affect the whole transportation network: the network of transportation networks. STAR-TRANS will produce tools analyzing how risk propagates and affects interconnected transportation systems in Europe.”

It would seem that some-one is looking into it, although the results from a similar project (DEMASST) are a long time coming.

There was an interesting short story contained in the November issue of E&T.  The year is 2050, the city is London. The landscape of the capital has changed radically after the decision-making process over the effects of climate change was taken out of the hands of engineers and put into the hands of bureaucrats.A London landscape altered by climate change.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Carers UK

I have just been downloading some pictures from my camera. It was pleasant to find pictures of the Carers UK event in October this year.

The event brought together carers present and former who have been with the organisation a long time. My mother has been a member of this organisation for some time. She did some quite heroic work looking after my father who developed Alzheimer's disease. 

The event paid tribute to the late Mary Webster, founder of Carers UK, and was held at Lambeth Palace, home of Carers UK’s vice president the Archbishop of Canterbury; Dr Rowan Williams.

Caring can take its toll on finances, health, career and family and social life. Carers can fall out of paid work and many rely on low-level benefits, forcing them into poverty. Without unpaid carers our NHS would collapse and the country would face an £119 billion care bill it cannot afford. More at 

Data from the 2011 census shows a substantial rise in those caring for a relative or friend. There are now 5.8 million carers in England & Wales compared to 5.2 in 2001.

Baroness Jill Pitkeathley  trained originally as a social worker and led the carers movement for twelve years, creating Carers National Association (now Carers UK) and turning what had been a private, hidden trouble, the needs of Great Britain’s six million carers, into a public issue. She remains a Vice President of CarersUK. 

Amy Cook is a carer to her mum and sister as well a model and an active voice for carers across the UK.
Amy helped Carers UK get out the message on the ITV Text Santa appeal about how caring has touched her and her family and what help would make a difference.
Read more on her blog at 
(Amy is the young one in the picture. My mother is the slightly older one)

Monday 3 December 2012

Dual Cyber and Conventional Infrastructure Attacks Understood?

The Guardian says that for the first time the government  have admitted that firms providing "the essential services upon which daily life depends" have been subjected to attacks from abroad.

See also Power in Whose hands?

British officials will not comment who is responsible for attacks on UK, but earlier this year Guardian revealed the US was also worried about foreign powers mapping America's infrastructure ; The Pentagon pints a finger at "reconnaissance" work by China and Russia.

The BCS reports that the UK’s cyber security strategy has been criticised by a former US cyber intelligence officer for its lack of leadership and direction.

Bob Ayers, formerly of the US army and Defence Intelligence Agency, has questioned the structure of Britain’s cyber security program. He describes it  as “a collective of independent entities’ rather than a streamlined unit.”
A key criticism came from former GCHQ and CESG head Nick Hopkinson, who told Computing that the UK lagged behind the US, France and Germany in its ability to respond to cyber-attacks because of a "lack of cohesion" between the various organisations set up to work towards the strategy.
Comparing the UK's cyber programs to that of the US, Ayers suggests that Britain is decades behind and lacks the ability to produce ‘professionalised’ cyber security personnel.

The UK police now provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime. If you've been scammed, ripped off or conned go to

There should be an announcement by the Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, of new measures to protect people and companies from a daily bombardment of cyberscams and attempts to steal the nation's trade secrets.
Maude has suggested that cyber security capacity needs to grow globally, and cited the UK's centre of excellence on cyber security as an example of how Britain wants to help other countries by offering independent advice on building a secure and resilient cyberspace.

According to the Intelligence Security Committee the government does not understand the nature and extent of cyber-attacks from other nation states such as Russia and China, which are focused on espionage and the acquisition of information. This suggests that nations may never fully open themselves up to each other, as they are still some distance from being able to trust one another.

Are the implications of both dual cyber and conventional infrastructure fully understood?

Friday 30 November 2012

Green energy held up by magnets and environmentalists?

Could the rising tide of wind farms be held up by green concerns.

Could it also be that Global warming will enable the magnets needed to be won from the ground?

What makes a good magnet?

Iron-based / ferrite magnets are cheapness abundant – But; you need an awful lot of ferrite to create a large magnetic field.

Better magnets have been produced by metallurgists mixing up promising elements and putting them in magnetic fields and seeing what happens.
Aluminium-cobalt-nickel or "Alnico" magnets in the 1930s produced  more than doubled the energy density of the best ferrites.
In 1970s the discovery of the magnetic potential of the lanthanide / rare earth led to Magnets made from a mixture of cobalt and the rare earth element samarium that can store more than twice the energy of Alnico magnets.
In the 1990 magnets made of the rare earth element neodymium plus iron and boron produced a magnet the size of a fingertip that could create a magnetic field several thousand times stronger than that of Earth's iron core.
When the likes of Neo was invented It drove up demand to the extent that the availability of rare earths is now a big problem.

Why do we need good magnets?

Huge quantities are being used in green energy technologies; Such as motors/generators for wind turbines, electric cars and bicycles. These have to be both powerful and lightweight. It is only Neo magnets give the performance needed.

Every motor in an electric car needs about 2 kilograms. A wind turbine capable of producing a megawatt of power needs about two-thirds of a tonne.

The demand for Neo magnets for wind turbines is projected to increase more than seven times by 2015.

How can we get more?

The US Department of Energy has a project called REACT Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies". Its aim is to come up with magnets that use less of rare earth elements or perhaps none at all.

Up until now most of the world supply of rare earths has come from China. Increasing though China wants the elements to use for itself.

In Canada Quest Rare Minerals Ltd holds one of the largest heavy rare earth element deposits in the world but it is located in an unforgiving northern part of Québec where, oddly enough, Global warming may allow access through the permafrost.

The possibility of mining in Malaysia has been dogged by criticism from environmentalists and residents; Opposition that has galvanized a "green" movement in Malaysia.


New Scientist - We're running out of magnets
IET - Rare earth metals in short supply
Forbs - Largest Rare Earth Metals Deposit Outside Of China Faces Tough Northern Climate - China to subsidise rare earths producers
BBC - Lynas rare earth plant set for Sydney demonstration

Money - decus et tutamen - how do you wrap it up?

Some time back I was Blogging about “Money without Banks” I was prompted to look at this again by some one calling about the vagaries of the current banking system and Governments.

One line in the editorial of the New Scientist from June 2011 says “While fraud is still a concern, the financial collapse of 2008 has called into question the competence of the central banks that are supposed to manage national currencies.”

 In November 2012 the editorial is again discussing something similar in the form of Bitcoins. This time there is another interesting line: “Like all truly disruptive technologies, Bitcoin is hard to conceptualise at first. But "fiat" money - the kind we use today, based on pieces of metal and paper whose material and face value have long since drifted apart - was once baffling, too.

We have yet to see whether governments and banks will step in to stifle the possible evolution of new peer to peer currency. But one way or the other things could be changing.

In an article on the Bitcoin the New Scientist says that the European Central Bank has taken interest, last month publishing 
a report on virtual currencies. It says such currencies will have little impact on real-world financial stability for now, but if the popularity of Bitcoin and its ilk increase, central banks may have to start regulating them. One wonders what form this “regulation” would take.

Where will the smart money go? Can (over) regulation be avoided?

Monday 26 November 2012

Who watches what you type?

The IET magazine says that computer vision scientists at the University of North Carolina have revealed a way to compromise smartphone security. They have an effective way to snoop on every word typed on a person’s smartphone screen.
They were able to snoop on a phone from anything up to 60m away, and were able to reconstruct a message typed on the screen from video footage. The scientists said that “We found it was possible to automatically recover typed text, from reasonable distances, even using low-budget equipment,”
The project, dubbed iSpy, relies on the virtual keyboard that smartphones like the iPhone employ which pops-up each letter at a larger scale as you select it. They were able to capture images using an off-the-shelf video camera, stabilise the images and then analyse them.  At a distance it is not easy to work out which one of adjacent letters had been typed. To enable recognition iSpy fed the image data into a program that uses language models to calculate probable meaning depending on context, resulting in 90 per cent accuracy.

One of the scientists, Fabian Monrose, said iSpy was able to recover passwords remarkably easily, even though it relied on contextual information to help it. Users must have been choosing simpler words and ideas as passwords - instead of random strings of characters.

Perhaps people should be thinking about protecting themselves better by using systems like two-layer authentication. This system protects your account by requiring a second password in the form of a numeric code sent to your mobile phone when you login.

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Power in Whose hands?

Across the UK computer usage is increasing, for both social and business areas, and it looks to continue to do so. This is leading to an increase in the ways in which we as individuals, households, service providers, and the organisations we work for may be attacked.  Ownership of numerous gadgets and systems that we have, all increase the technical attack surface we expose. See page 10 of the IMIS Journal (Bring Your Own phenomenon), and the Google powermeter.

Earlier this year Dave Clemente in written evidence to a Select Committee said “Protection of critical national infrastructure (CNI) is an area of significant importance and one that is becoming more difficult to analyse as inter-dependency increases between CNI sectors.”
He also says that in a conflict situation it may be necessary for the military and wider Government to operate in a degraded or insecure cyber environment. This requires acceptance that total control of ‘UK cyberspace’ – however defined – is impossible. As the late Prof Philip Taylor noted, ‘full spectrum dominance is impossible in the global information environment.’  This was meant in the context of military psychological operations, but it holds equally true when attempting to secure highly inter-dependent computer networks and information systems.

A recent Daily Mail article tells us that the Government has plans to install smart meters in our homes. Essentially a large scale Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition system. As well as the Government wanting information from these devices, people will want to access it on their various portable gadgets.

This prompted me to revisit an article the March 2012 IMIS Journal. Certification constraints and product life spans are pointed to as throwing up problems. Allan Dyer says that “New PC operating systems are released every few years, but they may be connected to systems with much longer life spans, such as line-of-business mainframe applications, or SCADA systems, or medical equipment. Medical equipment is often certified to medical standards, and the certification includes the computing hardware and software. The software may be obsolete and no longer supported by the software developers. There are Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows XP systems controlling medical systems still in daily use and the situation is ongoing”

In the case that the Daily Mail is talking about, the network linking 46 Million meters would have to be highly secure, as it could become impossible to ensure all those systems are up to date and protected against malicious hackers. As the system grows older, so the availability of protection would diminish, and the potential for infection increase. Malware disrupting the operation of just a few meters might be manageable, but malware could rapidly spread and disrupt many devices. The MIDPM article suggested that network traffic be strictly filtered so that only legitimate transactions are allowed. Maybe also there should be physical breakpoints or switches in the system to isolate parts, should the monitoring or firewall systems become compromised.

In the US, federal researchers discovered that outside hackers could take control of the generators used to produce electricity in the US and destroy them.  Presentations at a Black Hat hackers conference showed how control systems can be located with special Google searches and then ordered to shut down or speed up, potentially blowing up a power or water treatment plant.

Joseph Menn writing in the Financial Times says that “Hundreds of thousands of people in darkness, hospitals in chaos, a banking system under siege – a cyber attack on the US electricity grid could have catastrophic consequences”. See also an article in the Busines Insider.

Back in the Daily Mail Article Ross Anderson, a Cambridge computer science professor and chairman of the think-tank, said: ‘GCHQ have also told us they are worried about it.  ‘Once you have the ability to turn off meters remotely, then it becomes a strategic vulnerability. ‘If the Iranians or Chinese want to attack Britain, they could do so easily through smart meters. This is the modern day equivalent of a nuclear strike.’

How do we trade off the need/want for integrated systems against what happens if those systems become compromised? Individuals can install protection on their own systems, but what of the wider world?

Monday 11 June 2012

P vs NP. A big Problem?

I have just been reading write up’s about a new film. The subject is perhaps not on the usual list of things we see the cinema.

Complex math problems are probably near the bottom of things that people get excited about. But Travelling Salesman might just change that. The film is an, “intellectual thriller" about four mathematicians hired by the U.S. government to solve the biggest unsolved problem in computer science. Four people have jointly created a ‘system’ which means major advancement for civilisation or the destruction of humanity.
The P vs NP problem lies unsolved despite a $1 million bounty.  The problem is whether the P and NP classes are actually identical. Most researchers believe they are not.   It seems that we live in a world where some problems are fundamentally harder than others (or impossible).
Travelling Salesman takes place in a  world where Horton and colleagues prove that P = NP, This means that they can solve a range of incredibly difficult real-world problems from gene sequencing to the “travelling salesman” problem, crucial for logistics and scheduling.

According to the New Scientist article the plot unfolds after we learn that the solution enables the mathematicians to crack any cryptography system in the world, which is why their four-year research project has been funded to the tune of millions of dollars by the US government.
This was interesting as it follows on from another article in the New Scientist about Alan Turing. He invented the computer while trying to solve the above fundamental mathematical problem. By building his machine, he demonstrated that mathematics wasn't as perfect as many at the time believed, while also showing how powerful a computer could be.

Alan Turing, was one of the 20th century's most wide-ranging and original minds, and was born 100 years ago. In the New Scientist there is an article by John Graham-Cumming explaining why his ideas still matter now. Turing essentially founded computer science, helped the Allies win the Second World War with hard work and a succession of insights, asked fundamental questions about the nature of intelligence and its link with the brain's structure, and laid the foundations for an area of biology that is only now being fully appreciated and researched. I Blogged a bit about him before.

Monday 9 April 2012

Remote control cars?

The Department for Transport has a project looking at Intelligent Speed Adaptation. ISA  is a system by which the vehicle 'knows' the permitted or recommended maximum speed for a road and makes this information available to the driver or limits the vehicle maximum speed to the local limit. I blogged about something like this ages ago on a different site.

In my book Cold Suspenders, which is set slightly in the future I expanded this ability to control other parts of the car. One could imagine that once a system is in place, Governments will love to extend the use of it. Even with just the speed restriction, the Highways Authority could cause your car to halt if there was an accident ahead, or if you tried to enter a cordoned off area.

I was set thinking about this again by an article in the New Scientist about "Driverless Cars".   The self driving Lucas Jaguar PROMETHEUS car from 1994 had some interesting features - . The video shows what could be done with the technology then. The article says that  the media were not impressed, describing the idea of cars that drive themselves as "madness".

Now take a look at the Google Blog where you will find:

So we have developed technology for cars that can drive themselves. Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research.

All very interesting, and of course it would rely on all sorts of other technological stuff already in use, and some yet to be developed. One suspects an awful lot of reliance on Satnav type stuff.
"Automation of cars is going to happen," says Paul Newman, a robotics engineer,  "Computing has caused devastating change and transport is going to be its next target."
Newman's team at the University of Oxford is developing autonomous cars - The Oxford Mobile Robotics Group.  

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Extradition .com ‘wire fraud’ - Who next for extradition?

In my last Blog Post I ended with:
"Mulgrew is also critical of America’s claim that any ‘wire fraud’ crossing its national boundaries gives it the right to prosecute. ‘British parents with teenage children should know that a simple email sent through a US server could be enough – in the wrong circumstances – to see them extradited."

Does anyone really know where their communications get routed? Where is the cloud things are located?

Now today we hear that Richard O'Dwyer, TVShack creator US extradition has been approved.

O'Dwyer argued that TVShack did not store copyright material itself and merely directed users to other sites, making it similar to Google. Apparently US prosecutors state that they have jurisdiction to hear the TV-Shack case as it runs through a .com domain name.

The Telegraph says that a British attempt in 2010 to prosecute the operators of a similar website, TV-Links, failed because of European laws that give internet firms such as Google protection against copyright infringement claims if they have little influence over the material to which they link.

According to the Open Rights Group UK citizens should not be subject to US legal standards on copyright infringement. Reported in Computer Weekly, David Cook, a cyber crime expert at law firm Pannone, says " The 'mere conduit' defence for online file-sharing hosts was successfully used in the UK in the 2010 case of TV-Links. I then mounted a multi-faceted defence in the OiNK case, which included the 'mere conduit' point, but the prosecution dropped the case prior to responding in Court to the issues raised. I used a nearly identical defence in FileSoup and, again, the prosecution backed off and discontinued the matter."
But he also says that "The mere conduit defence relies on the host being unaware of precisely what the material was"

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Mr O'Dwyer said: "I've done nothing wrong under UK law, and, it's pretty ridiculous isn't it? "A 65-year-old man was extradited a few weeks ago, so if they can extradite someone that old they can extradite anyone really, couldn't they? "Copyright laws differ between countries and that's yet to be fought, that argument."

In the Guardian Julia O'Dwyer said: "The US is coming for the young, the old and the ill, and our government is paving the way. By rights it should make for an interesting conversation between the Obamas and Camerons aboard Air Force One – but I'm not holding my breath. If Richard appears to have committed a crime in this country, then try him in this country."

Recently five people were selected to ask their questions live and put "Obama in the hot seat" in the forum arranged by Google Plus. The most popular question among Google Plus users asked to vote was about the case of Richard O'Dwyer. (See here)

A questioner asked why extradition laws written to combat terrorism were being used in the case.

Obama said that separation of powers meant he played no role in the case but that more broadly defending intellectual copyright protects US jobs.

However, the president repeated concerns about the two bills aimed at cracking down on online piracy that have stalled in the US Congress in the face of widespread objections. Obama said the need was to balance protection of intellectual property without undermining the openness and transparency of the internet.

Monday 5 March 2012

Hackers’ ancient modern and extradition

There has been a lot in the press recently about phone hacking and that hackers working through a Chinese-based IP address that broke into the network of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and gained "full functional control" of computers (Telegraph). Hackers have been around for a long time though, as a recent New Scientist article highlighted.

Things did not go smoothly for Marconi and Fleming at the Royal Institution one day in June 1903. Just before Fleming was due to receive Marconi's Morse messages from Polduh Cornwall, a rhythmic ticking noise sputtered from the theatre's brass projection lantern - Someone was beaming powerful wireless pulses into the theatre and they were strong enough to interfere with the projector.
The Morse printer first of all kept outputting the word rats. It then got more personal, with “There was a young fellow of Italy, who diddled the public quite prettily" it trilled. Rude epithets from Shakespeare followed.

Marconi was probably a bit peeved, but he did not respond directly. Fleming fired of a missive to the Times, dubbing the hack "scientific hooliganism", and "an outrage against the traditions of the Royal Institution". He asked the newspaper's readers to help him find the culprit.
Nevil Maskelyne, a British music hall magician wrote back to the Times and justified his actions on the grounds of the security holes he had revealed for the public good.
Marconi had claimed that his wireless messages could be sent privately over great distances.
Marconi in London's 
St James Gazette in February 1903 claimed that "I can tune my instruments so that no other instrument that is not similarly tuned can tap my messages."
One of the big losers from Marconi's technology looked likely to be the wired telegraphy industry, and they hired Maskelyne to undertake spying operations. He obliged by building a radio mast and met success by receiving Marconi messages with a 25-foot collecting circuit. Marconi had patented a technology for tuning a wireless transmitter to broadcast on a precise wavelength. A tuning that he claimed meant confidential channels could be set up. Maskelyne’s broadband receiver bypassed all that.
Nasa was one of the organisations breached by the British hacker and Asperger's sufferer Gary McKinnon in 2001 and 2002. He is still battling extradition to the US. (Blog July 2009,  Guardian and at )

Gary Mulgrew, one of the NatWest Three and the author of an account of two blood-spattered years spent at the hands of America’s penal system says that Gary McKinnon, faces an ordeal of terrifying brutality if he is extradited to the United States (Daily Mail). McKinnon claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs when he hacked into 97 Nasa and Pentagon computers from his flat in 2002.

Mulgrew is also critical of America’s claim that any ‘wire fraud’ crossing its national boundaries gives it the right to prosecute. ‘British parents with teenage children should know that a simple email sent through a US server could be enough – in the wrong circumstances – to see them extradited.

Friday 17 February 2012

Money and Mobiles

People are already jittery about using the internet for transactions apart from the convenience factor - Could this App pull in more electronic customers?

Some time back I wondered about the use of mobiles for transferring money - Barclays seem to have taken this on now.
The Barclays Pingit system uses a smartphone app to permit person-to-person cash transfers of up to £300.
A BBC article says that "This looks like a big step forwards in the long delayed mobile money revolution. When it comes to turning the phone into a wallet, this country - and much of Europe - is in the slow lane compared to some countries in the developing world."
The Telegraph says that Sean Gilchrist, head of Digital Banking at Barclays,claims the new app features “industry standard encryption”, and can automatically be wiped from a phone if a user tells the bank they have lost their device.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

More development by stealth.

The Bracknell Standard reported on a previous development by stealth.

Yet again an application has gone in for more flats to be built at Christine Ingram  Gardens. 

The last application was for a certificate of Lawful use of flats already constructed within the building.
The opening up of these flats has been refused serveral times on different grounds. To complicate matters, the old barn is being used a business and is also taking up car parking spaces.
The result is an overflow of parking onto Lakeside, and a potential overlooking of properties.
These flats that the developer seeks permission for were included in the building when the place was first constructed. Residents took photographs of the stairways and carpets.

The last bit of the jigsaw was to get the certificate of lawfulness on the ground that these could be rooms in the roof, and then to issue this current planning permission.

There has been huge opposition to this development by residents. The planning committee has turned down applications time and again. Ultimately the legal and monetary resources of the developer may win.
It may be legal but it aint right!

PS 11/00015/FUL - 0 Christine Ingram Gardens, Bracknell, Berkshire
Conversion of roof space of blocks A and B to provide 6no. additional flats (3no. one bedroom flats and 1no. two bedroom flat in Block A,  2no. one bedroom flats in Block B).  Provision of 9 additional car parking spaces and 10 additional cycle spaces and relocation of visitor cycle store.