Contaminated land case is thrown out

Contractors looking for evidence of contaminants in 2010
Contractors looking for evidence of contaminants in 2010

A North Motherwell couple who claim they inhaled harmful vapours from living on contaminated land have had their case dismissed.

At the Court of Session in Edinburgh Angela and Robert McManus were told their action raised against City Link Development Company and Lanarkshire Housing Association was irrelevant.

Mr and Mrs McManus claimed contaminants on the Watling Street site of the former Metropolitan-Vickers/Sachwell Sunvic factory caused them to experience “neuropsychiatric symptoms” at houses in Tiber Avenue and Empire Way.

Mrs McManus suffered headaches which became more severe and at one stage was treated for migraine.

Mr McManus also suffered headaches which were attributed to migraine and in 2010 experienced sudden reduced power in his left arm and the following year he felt ill and had pins and needles and sweating in the limb.

Lord Jones said: “At the heart of the pursuers’ case is an allegation that, as the result of uses made of the site before it was developed for housing, it was contaminated with chemicals harmful to health, which remained present on the site during and after development.

“The pursuers offer to prove that harmful chemicals remained in the ground when the houses were built, and that, therefore, Watling Street was not safe for residential development.”

In the action it was alleged that because of failures “the site continued to be contaminated by the presence of a variety of volatile and semi volatile organic compounds under the ground”.

The case came before the judge at a procedural hearing during which all three firms sought dismissal of the action against them.

The couple also claimed Scott Wilson Scotland were the environmental consultants on the development which was denied.

However, Lord Jones said they’d pled a relevant common law case against Scott Wilson Scotland and were entitled to a proof of their claims.