Toxic chemical concern for Motherwell residents

A solicitor's firm acting for residents in Motherwell claims that toxic chemicals exceeding safe levels have been found in their homes.

Collins Solicitors have issued a press release saying that toxic chemicals including toluene, were detected in ground surrounding the homes.

The solicitors charges the local council of failing to ensure the land was adequately remediated before construction of the properties.

North Lanarkshire Council is demanding the details of the testing carried out by the solicitors on the homes.

In their press release, Collins accuse the council of ignoring recommendations made in 1995 to ensure that a remediation programme was put in place to clean up contaminated waste from a former MOD/heavy industrial site before sanctioning the building of over 100 houses on the site.

According to the solicitors, the former site had handled and processed toxic metals and chemicals as well as potentially radioactive waste.

Materials found at the site include trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE) polychloranated biphenols, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, VOCs as well as high concentrations of phytotoxic heavy metals.

Collins Solicitors senior partner, Des Collins, said: "We are rapidly reaching a point where North Lanarkshire Council will have to admit that a number of the houses on Forum Place and Tiber Avenue in Motherwell were insufficiently remediated prior to these homes being built, and that they are not currently fit for purpose.

"The responsibility for ensuring that stipulations in planning permission are carried out by developers sits squarely with the Council. Their report will make interesting reading when it is published."

The council is now serving a statutory notice under the Environment Act 1995 to compel solicitors to release the full results and methodology of the testing.

The council says that it has always been clear that if anything is discovered that would be a cause for concern to residents, it would immediately inform those residents and work closely with NHS Lanarkshire to give appropriate advice.

North Lanarkshire Council head of protective services, Crawford Morgan, said: "We wrote to Collins last week to ask them for the test results and methodology referred to in their press release but, disappointingly, the information has not been provided.

"Clearly our first concern must be for the residents involved. As the Council is the statutory enforcing authority in this investigation, it is important we have all available information which may assist.

"We have been left with no choice but to serve a Section 108 notice on Collins. This notice gives Collins a few days to provide the information we have asked for and we would urge them to do so." Alison Brown



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