Concerns over ground report

Robert and Cameron Sanders and Alan Wilson  are worried about what may be beneath their feet.
Robert and Cameron Sanders and Alan Wilson are worried about what may be beneath their feet.

Concern has been expressed about the results of a ground investigation report into the former Strathclyde Hospital site.

Bellway Homes was granted planning permission by North Lanarkshire Council to build 92 homes on the site in July after a hearing.

Local residents fought a campaign against the development after objecting to the loss of dozens of mature trees, a reduction in privacy due to the density of the site, the effect on wildlife and an increase in air pollution and traffic.

Since the hearing a 24-part report has been published on the council’s eplanning portal detailing ground investigation work carried out by Glasgow-based Johnson Poole & Bloomer Ltd on behalf of Bellway.

It lists dozens of chemicals found in the ground, with the suggestion that some may cause concern for human health.

Alexander Gibson Way resident Lynn Sanders said: “I spent several hours in North Lanarkshire Council’s offices in Cumbernauld reviewing the 750-page report and the results were extremely concerning.

“Reviewing the material shows statistically significant p values for several chemicals and contaminants, some of which are directly outside my house, asbestos being one of them.

“There are many contaminants which I could list, but not having a chemistry degree I have no idea if this will be meaningful.

“The contaminants are both naturally occurring substances, but are also contributory to the previous status of the land as a working hospital.

“Whilst some of these contaminants are probably okay when left alone, Bellway have been digging all over the site looking for the culvert, so who knows what is being thrown up into the atmosphere?

“Presumably the site will need to be decontaminated. We didn’t get the buffer zone we asked for between ourselves and the development, meaning the site basically comes up to our back fences, so how will be affected during the clean up?”

Motherwell West councillor Paul Kelly has promised to find out why the report was not made available to councillors prior to the planning hearing.

He said: “I was not aware of the existence of this report at the time planning permission was granted.

“Given the date it was written I see no reason why elected members were not given access to it and I will be asking questions of the department.”

The Times asked Bellway Homes about the report, but received no response.