Old gas works under homes cleaned up

A £3m scheme to clean up a contaminated site formerly owned by a gas works and now part of a residential estate has been completed.

Renfrewshire Council in Scotland completed the seven month clean up to remove the contaminated remains of a buried gas works discovered underneath homes.

The estate, of 26 privately owned homes, was built 30 years ago – but gas tanks containing tar residues, were left underneath the site by its former industrial owners.

Five years ago when a conservatory was being added to one of the houses it was discovered the tar was seeping out and contaminating the surrounding soil and ground water.

The council had to completely knock down two houses above one of the storage tanks as well as demolish a garage and a conservatory at another property.

Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s environment and infrastructure policy board, said: “Scotland has been home to heavy industries for centuries but in the past industrialists weren’t very good at cleaning up after themselves.

“We have carried out extensive checks at Royal Inch Crescent including monitoring air quality in homes, checking the soil and sampling drinking water.

“Thanks to our massive clean-up operation we can now give all the houses a clean bill of health.

“A key part of this operation has been working closely with the home owners and I’d like to thank them all for their co-operation.”

The operation is one of the largest of its kind to have ever been successfully undertaken in Scotland and was funded by the Scottish Government.

Luke Walsh

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