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Concern remains over Mill Lane sand pit

29th September 2013 @ 6:06am – by Webteam
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Environmental health officials remain concerned about potential contamination at a former sand pit at Mill Lane despite reassurances about the site.

Hockenhull Properties Ltd wants outline consent to build up to 36 homes on fields off the Mill Lane bridleway in Audlem.

Cheshire East Environmental health officer, Sarah Allwood, recommended refusal earlier this month claiming that developers had failed to provide full information on possible contaminants on the site.

Now Rebekah Norbury, Cheshire East Enforcement Officer (Contaminated Land), says she is prepared to offer no objection to the development but only if strict conditions are met.

In a report to Cheshire East's planning department she says: "Part of the application area has a history of sand pit use and there are no obvious signs of this sand pit present. As such, the pit is likely to have been infilled and, depending on the nature of any infill, there may be localised contamination and/or ground gas risks."

She recommends that strict planning conditions be applied to any approval as "the application is for new residential properties which are a sensitive end use and could be affected by any contamination present."

Conditions include a thorough investigation of the site for possible contaminants and remedial work to be carried out at each stage of the building work.

The investigation should include sampling and analysis of soils and waters as well as possible monitoring of ground gases.

The report says this is to "ensure the development is suitable for its end use and the wider environment and does not create undue risks to site users or neighbours during the course of the development."

It is thought that a former sand pit at Mill Lane was used to bury diseased cattle during the notorious foot and mouth outbreak in the late 1960s.

Rebekah Norbury says her comments relate to the possible contaminated land only and don't affect other environmental health comments.

She added: "The applicant has submitted some information for the site, however the area of a former sand pit requires further investigation."


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