Welsh Assembly pays for brownfield investigation

Clean-up projects at over 40 former industrial sites across Wales are to receive funding totalling almost £1.88m from the Welsh Assembly Government.

The sites to benefit from the latest round of funding include a broad spectrum of contaminated sites including abandoned mines, former factories, disused ironworks, quarries, landfills and docks.

Jane Davidson, Welsh Assembly Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development, said restoring contaminated land means brownfield sites can be reused, relieving the pressure to develop greenfield sites and therefore preserving the countryside and prompting opportunities for environmental, social and economic regeneration.

“Contaminated land is an inevitable symptom of Wales’ industrial past which the Assembly Government is addressing as a priority,” she said.

“While many contaminated sites are picked up through development proposals and regeneration activity, with the substantial budget being allocated, more land across Wales can be investigated and remediated so that we can develop in a more sustainable way.”

Most of the 43 projects will each receive £10-£35,000 for investigation and remediation work but there are a number of larger or more technically difficult sites which are to receive £100,000 or more.

These include the Penydarren Ironworks in Merthyr (£100,000), Connah’s Quay in Flintshire (£139,300) and the Glamorganshire Canal in Cardiff (£174,300).

The vast majority of funding will be spent on investigation of potentially contaminated sites rather than the remediation itself.

Since 2001 local authorities in Wales have had a duty to identify contaminated sites and ensure remediation work is carried out to prevent unacceptable risk to human health and the wider environment.

This latest wave of funding is the final round of a three-year funding programme designed to help councils and the Environment Agency Wales with investigation of suspect sites and their subsequent remediation.

Sam Bond

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