Good news for Linwood residents – no land clean up needed

Residents living on the site of the former Sun Iron Foundry and Brediland Chemical Works in Linwood are to receive the good news that the land their homes are built on is safe and no major clean-up is needed.

Around 300 homes were built on the former industrial site in the 1960s.

In 2010 Renfrewshire Council began an exhaustive investigation to find out if there was pollution under the ground, after small amounts of black tar started coming to the surface in the Erskinefauld area.

The investigations involved digging boreholes and testing soil and ground water samples taken from gardens and public land in the area.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said, “This is really good news for the residents living in the Erskinefauld area of Linwood. The council has thoroughly checked the ground their homes stand on and they can rest assured it is safe.

“We have consulted closely with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and expert advisers on the results of the investigation. They have confirmed that there is no need for a major clean-up on health grounds.

“Our investigation also involved a wide-ranging review of health statistics. This showed there is no difference between the health of people in Linwood and anywhere else in the west of Scotland.

“This has been a long process and I would like to thank the people of Linwood for their patience while we carried out this work and processed all the information from the test results.”

The results of the investigations will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s Environment Policy Board on 13 March 2013.

The meeting will also hear proposals to cap the ground at Erskinefauld Road play park with a new layer of fresh soil so that it can be brought back into use as public open space.

When the investigation work started residents were advised to avoid contact with the soil as a precaution. This advice no longer needs to be followed.

The west of Scotland’s industrial heritage means that many homes are built on the sites of old factories. Often accurate records aren’t available on how thoroughly these sites were cleaned up when they closed.

Procedures are very different today and developers must agree to clean up land affected by old industries as part of the planning and development process.