A contaminated land risk assessment has been carried out at the controversial Consett Academy school development site.
Asbestos, carbon monoxide and mercury have all been reportedly identified at the Belle Vue site. These findings are being considered a potential risk to the health of humans.
The report was completed by a geotechnical engineer Daniel Freeland, at the request of Carillion Building North. Carillion Building North were commissioned by the local authority to build the school and new leisure centre.
Durham County Council want to build a £44million Academy on the site. The development of the new Consett Academy has already been through many obstacles. This new report has been submitted to the council.
Back in August 2009 contamination fears were cited by council bosses as a reason for overlooking the former steelworks site a place to build a new school. Durham County Council’s Cabinet voted to build the school on the Belle Vue site instead of the seven hundred acre former steel works site at Berry Edge. Despite this concern of the former steelworks land being contaminated; new homes, a restaurant and a new supermarket (Tescos is being built) are all features of the former steelworks site here in 2012.
The contaminated land risk assessment has been said to be a health concern to construction workers and “site end users”. “Site end users” are teachers, pupils, and anyone else who will eventually attend Consett Academy.
“The contaminated land risk assessment has identified that siteworkers are most at risk from the contamination.”
“The assessment has identified that the risk to end site users is low, provided that localised areas of contamination are excavated in areas to be defined as a residential land use i.e. the school buildings and associated soft landscaping.”
Said Mr. Freeman.
“If asbestos containing material is encountered or anticipated then it is recommended to keep the material wet by damping it down so as to prevent loose fibres from becoming airborne.
“If potential asbestos is identified during siteworks then work should cease in the area and the advice of an asbestos specialist should be sought regarding further actions.
“The risk from carbon dioxide is considered low but gas protection measures are required.”
Said Mr. Freeman.
The report is to be included in the application to the planning department for permission to remove the existing leisure centre, swimming baths, and football club. The Civic Centre which was once part of the site has already been demolished.
The council’s Highways Committee could be expected to reconsider an application from Consett Green Spaces Group (CGSG), which has clearly opposed the new academy development, and wishes to have the land registered as a village green.
The Highways Committee is believed to be considering the application on January 17, 2013.
If the application is considered appropriate, the planning application would then have to be considered by the council’s county planning committee on February 5, 2013.