Contamination forces development rethink

Plans for a 400-home development have had to be redrawn as a result of widespread contamination found on a former quarry.

Developers Groveholt Ltd want to build on the Cawdor Quarry site, in Matlock, Derbyshire, and have had planning permission for the site since 2002.

However, the original layout proposed for the site had to be scrapped when Groveholt chiefs realised the level of contamination presented too many obstacles to their plans.

The revised layout for the 432 homes, 22 business units and a community centre has now been submitted to the planning department of the local district council, Derbyshire Dales Council.

The site was formerly a limestone quarry, which for the past few decades has been used by various industrial businesses, resulting in widespread contamination, including large amounts of lead.

Paul Wilson, the council's planning services manager, told edie the contamination was caused by "previous industrial activity and indiscriminate depositing of waste over decades".

He added: "For the past 50 years, it has been fairly dormant. But all manner of industrial activities have taken place there, which has resulted in material being deposited there, before there was any real control over such matters."

Council planners are set to make a decision on the revised application within the next 10 to 12 weeks, but it is expected that planning officers will give the scheme their backing.

Mr Wilson said: "It is actually an improvement in many respects on the original.

"The changes are improvements on the scheme and they will deal with the contamination in a positive way so we are expecting to support it."

Groveholt is responsible for the full costs of cleaning up the site, which it is estimated will run into millions of pounds.

Kate Martin



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