Langley Mill housing plans tipped for approval despite warnings over health risk from historic landfill

Plans to build 93 new homes on a contaminated Langley Mill site which could pose a serious environmental hazard have been tipped for approval.

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 6:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd June 2020, 6:51 pm

The application from Derby firm Wheeldon Brothers Ltd for the land off Hall Road will go before the Amber Valley Borough Council planning board on Monday, June 29.

Council officers, recommending approval, wrote: “There are no adverse impacts arising from the proposal that would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of providing additional housing in a sustainable location with 30 per cent affordable housing and other required contributions.”

However, the Environment Agency says the site’s proximity to two historic landfills means that without significant measures to investigate and remediate the site, “Proposed development on this site poses an unacceptable risk to the environment.”

The proposed site for 93 new homes off Hall Road in Langley Mill.

A report commissioned by Wheeldon found “hotspots” of asbestos, arsenic, lead and benzo[a]pyrene – a carcinogenic material found in coal tar and tobacco – while separately the British Geological Society foun d that the area was affected by radioactive radon gas from soil and rocks which can increase risk of lung cancer.

It went on to say that this would render land unsuitable to be used for gardens and could cause risks to would-be residents if left in place without mitigation.

The council’s own scientific officer points to “many historic and current potentially contaminative uses associated with the southern part of the site” which are linked to the industrial units off Hall Road, such as a scrap yard and car repair garage.

But they concluded: “After remediation the site will be suitable for use, so I have no objections to the proposed development, but further investigations and remediation are required and these can be secured by condition.”

At present, the developer intends to put a large pond on the area of former landfill, saying it would also mitigate the flood risk from the River Erewash.

Aldercar and Langley Mill Parish Council has objected to the plans as the Derwent Valley Aqueduct passes through the site, while the Coal Authority has also submitted a warning to the board over historic unrecorded coal mine workings.