Arsenic, gas and mine shafts found on controversial Darwen homes site
CAMPAIGNERS fighting a proposed 133-house development in Darwen have hit out after an assessment found arsenic, gas and three mine shafts on the site.
Ruttle Plant Holdings resubmitted its plans to build on vacant land between Pole Lane and Spring Meadows last month.
The plans were knocked back by the council last year, a decision that was upheld after an appeal was taken to the Planning Inspectorate.
The design and access statement submitted as part of the planning application contains details of a geo-environmental assessment. The assessment, by Cheshire-based Brownfield Solutions Ltd, said: “The site has low levels and localised arsenic contamination.
“There are three shafts on site which will require locating, filling and capping.
“There is a potential off-site source of landfill gas which will need further assessment.”
Town councillor for Marsh House Simon Huggill has sent a letter of objection against the plans. He said: “The proposed development will not be viable in the current economic times. This green field site needs extensive remediation work to the land, affected by mines, extraction and contamination.”
Sedgwick Associates, who represent the developers, and builder David Knowles denied any problems.
Sedgwick’s Matthew Symons said: “Geo-environmental assessments have been undertaken that demonstrate there are no issues that cannot be mitigated against. Should planning permission be granted, a condition can be imposed requiring further investigation.”
Mr Knowles said: “There is no arsenic on the site. Even if there was some it can be dealt with chemically.”