Calls for probe into ‘polluted’ land by concerned councillor

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A PROBE should be held into ‘contaminated’ land which the council bought – despite pleas for tests to be carried out first.

That’s the view of East Dunbartonshire Council’s SNP group, which is contacting the Health and Safety Executive and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

The council agreed to buy land to the west of the Park Burn, near Kirkintilloch’s Southbank Marina, for a road leading to the planned new £5million Lairdsland Primary.

That was despite concerns from SNP councillors and a call for “a detailed site investigation to establish the scale of contamination prior to concluding the sale”.

The site and surrounding land has, at various points in its history, been the location of a nickel works, a distillery, a printworks, an iron foundry, a cement works and a refuse tip.

It’s feared that the mix of industries could have potentially left a mixture of dangerous toxins in the soil.

SNP group leader, Councillor Ian Mackay, said: “The idea that the council can spent £300,000 on a site which they know to be contaminated without investigating exactly how contaminated it is, and have no notion of what costs will be incurred by

the public purse when the site has eventually to be remediated and the contaminants removed, is staggering.

“The suggestion that you merely cap the site with a layer of clay without knowing what’s in the ground and thereby restrict any future site use to hardstandings is at best optimistic and more probably dangerous.

“Add the fact that this site forms part of the canal bank and the question of seepage into the watercourse when any ground is disturbed must be considered.”

However, Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and infrastructure, said: “It is important to stress that the site is not classified as an official contaminated site in terms of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and is therefore not listed on the Contaminated Land Register. Potential contaminants have been identified in a recent site investigation report, but these can be effectively dealt with by the appropriate land remediation measures.

“During the planning application process for the new school, which includes the proposed access road, any identified and necessary remedial works will be carried out to the satisfaction of the environmental health team in conjunction with SEPA.

“I would like to stress to residents that this area is suitable for the construction of an access road for the new Lairdsland Primary, and that all legal requirements will be met to ensure compliance with environmental protection issues and include any potential land or water contamination.”

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