Fears housing would disturb nuclear tip

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A proposed housing development could churn up radioactive waste from a nearby quarry, a campaigner has warned.

Patrick Cooke, of Crich, says the site chosen for 113 new homes off Roes Lane, Crich, abuts Hilts Quarry, which was used for a number of years by Rolls Royce for dumping low–level nuclear waste.

The 70–year–old said: “They are proposing to put 113 houses to the side of an ex nuclear tip.”

Patrick, a former retained firefighter, was awarded in the Mercury’s New Year Honours in 2004 for his efforts as chairman of the Crich and District Environment Action Group to stop the firm filling the quarry with the nuclear waste.

“We fought for three years to get it made as safe as possible and Rolls Royce have put a lot of work into making it safe now,” he added.

Gladman Developments is proposing to build homes of varying shapes and sizes, 30 per cent of which would be affordable.

“This new development is to the east of the quarry,” Patrick continued.

“As far as I can find out they have got to put services on there, because there are no services such as drainage or sewers.”

He raised concerns that by digging down to put in a sewerage system, the developers would disturb the landfill, containing nuclear waste.

“If there was already drains and sewerage systems in place it wouldn’t be such a problem, but they have got to dig and they have got to put sewers in,” Patrick added.

“If it was just a matter of putting in foundations and stuff like that you could put up with it.”

Derek Stafford, assistant director or planning and regeneration at Amber Valley Borough Council, said: “We have had a large number of representations that have been submitted on this application. There is a whole range of different issues that we need to look at very carefully before we take a view as to whether the application should be supported or not.”

He said the subject of nuclear waste of the quarry site was a long–standing issue with local people.

“I can understand the concerns that the prospect of a development creates,” Derek added.

He said the council would consider all the issues raised before making a decision.

To view the application, search for reference ‘AVA/2014/0281’ on Amber Valley Borough Council website, www.ambervalley.gov.uk

Members of the community will hold a meeting on the issue at The Glebe Centre, Crich, on June 4 at 7pm.