Call for probe into contaminated land

An investigation of the Cinderhill tar pits is urgently needed, says a local campaigner, after a lab report revealed high levels of contamination in the soil.

Resident Jonathan Hunt, who sent a sample of tar and water to Greenpeace’s research laboratories in Exeter seven years ago, says the report makes ‘horrific reading.’

The contamination - some of which, it is alleged, could be potentially cancer causing - has migrated under the ground from the Cinderhill tar pits, to parts of the site earmarked for development.

Mr Hunt said: “There is a definite need to conduct a full site investigation to find out where the contamination has spread to before an effective clean up of the site can be undertaken. This information makes a mockery of the notion that simply placing an engineered cap over the actual dumping site is a sufficient remediation option.”

Ashby-De-La-Zouche-based developer Fisher German (FG) plans to build 120 to 170 new homes next to the Old Denby Disposal Point, on land owned by Locko Park Estates. A public meeting on Monday at John Flamsteed School was attended by more than 100 local people.

Kay Davies, of FG, said the firm was currently sinking boreholes to work out the scale of the contamination and will meet the council in four weeks to discuss the results. She warned that if remediation costs were too high the project might be deemed unviable. The site is phase one of a much larger development which could see 3,000 homes built by the Commercial Estates Group.

Derek Stafford, assistant director of planning and regeneration at Amber Valley, said: “Any development proposals in relation to land at Cinderhill will need, amongst other things, to demonstrate that appropriate measures are put in place to remediate existing derelict and contaminated land, including the pits.”