Protest planned over toxic land

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Campaigners are set to stage a protest against plans to build 200 houses on contaminated land.

Derbyshire-based firm Carter Construction has submitted a planning application for the residential development on Amber Valley Rugby Club site in Lower Somercotes.

However worried residents have raised concerns over the land being potentially toxic.

Roger Carter, managing director of the construction firm, said he is aware of low-grade contamination on the site and it will be dealt with.

Information provided by Amber Valley Borough Council and the Environment Agency shows the proposed development site, which is a former nonhazardous landfill, lies adjacent to another landfill site, that was licensed in July 1977 to accept potentially contaminating waste streams.

It is believed that fly tipping of hazardous material may have occurred in the south-east corner of the site.

The council has also indicated that both sites have been shortlisted on the council’s list of priority potentially contaminated land sites and protesters argue it would be unsafe to home people on the proposed land.

Protester Kellie Judson, said she feels building on the site would be like opening up pandora’s box. A protest is set to be held next Wednesday and Thursday.

She added: “This is a very big concern, they are going to house young families on there, even if it is safe now they can’t say that it will be in 50 years.

“The site needs to be ring fenced and monitored, we need to know that it is never going to be developed on.

“This could be life-threatening, I feel physically sick to think that we couldn’t win this.”

In response to protesters’ claims, managing director Roger said full, professional investigative reports have been carried out on the land.

He added: “There is low-grade contamination and it will be dealt with, I will adhere to what Amber Valley Borough Council say should be done.

“It’s not Chernobyl, they have been playing rugby on it for 25 years!

“All I can do is provide specific site investigation reports, that have been carried out by professional engineers and make them available for anyone to see.

“Somercotes needs more houses there is space in the local community to accommodate these properties.”

Derbyshire-based firm Carter Development put in a planning application to Amber Valley Borough Council on September, 12.

The proposals include the development of 200 residential dwellings with associated gardens, access roads, an equipped play are and landscaped areas.

Defending his firm’s application, Roger Carter said all he can do is provide full, professionally done investigation reports in the public domain.

He said: “Can we not think somewhere along the line that there is good news in this?

“Somercotes needs more houses, there is space in the local community to accommodate these properties.”

A decision is anticipated on the application on Monday, December 8 under Delegated Powers.