Wolston villagers fear new housing development built near cyanide dump is 'accident waiting to happen'

“The clock is ticking. I hope any potential buyers of Spitfire’s houses are given full disclosure of the situation so they can make informed decisions. Maybe then we can welcome new residents to our village confidently and safely”
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Villagers in Wolston fear a new housing estate being built near a cyanide dump is an ‘accident waiting to happen’.

The new 48-home Spitfire Homes development is being built on former allotments in front of the disused waste tip site.

Residents say more reassurance needs to be given about the safety of the site.

The site is being built on in Wolston.The site is being built on in Wolston.
The site is being built on in Wolston.

But Ben Leather, managing director of Spitfire Homes said everything possible is being done in the name of safety.

He said: "We acquired the Wolston Allotments site in 2022. It is adjacent to a former tip site, which was used for waste disposal in the 1970s.

"The Wolston allotments site has housed local community allotments since the 1900s with no known waste issues.​ As part of the redevelopment new allotments have been provided between the former tip site and the new housing​.​

"Tests conducted at the site have given no cause for further investigation. We continue to work closely with the council."

People in Wolston are concerned about the development.People in Wolston are concerned about the development.
People in Wolston are concerned about the development.

But mum Jessica Ramsay said: "I am very unsettled by this whole saga as I believe the rest of the village is, one way or another. Many people are too afraid to speak up.

"I would like to see pro-active measures in the village and at the site. This should include regular monitoring and testing of our village brook and testing the outfall from the housing development site itself, especially now that such intrusive land disturbance has already taken place downhill and so close to the illegal dumping.

"No one knows what may have migrated underground from where these illegal wastes were so carelessly dumped. More reassurance needs to be given by the relevant authorities, not just this ‘wait and see’ approach as concluded in Rugby Borough Council’s report.”

She said conservation experts at the time of the dumping made it clear that the impact from the cyanide barrels degrading would not be felt for some years.

Jessica added: “The clock is ticking.”

Some villagers believe the fears are completely unfounded.

"Not everyone is against these new homes being built,” said one man, who did not want to be named.

"There seems to be a lot of unfounded paranoia in the village.”

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “The council carried out its assessment after residents raised legitimate concerns about the condition of the land. The assessment was conducted under the contaminated land statutory guidance issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and, based on the evidence gathered, concluded the site does not meet the statutory definition of contaminated land as set out in the guidance for current uses of land or uses which have planning permission.

“The council remains in regular discussions with the developer of the site to ensure full compliance with the conditions attached to the planning permission by the Planning Inspectorate, and has liaised with the Environment Agency in order for further water sampling to take place.

“Should new evidence emerge, the council has committed to conducting further investigations within the legal frameworks set by Government.”

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