THE Government has sanctioned an investigation into contaminated land in Ellesmere Port.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DeFRA) has given the official go-ahead for the borough council to carry out preliminary investigations into the Lime Street site.
Back in January 2007, the Pioneer reported how children were being warned to stay away from a mysterious black substance oozing from grassland behind the houses. The site had previously been used for industry.
However, despite our photographs of the strange substance and evidence from residents past and present, council officers claimed at the time that we were exaggerating the situation.
We denied this charge strongly and our position has now been backed by the Government.
Lime Street is one of the sites listed in the authority’s Contaminated Land Strategy, looking at locations across Ellesmere Port and Neston where it is suspected the soil might be polluted.
These inspections are costing £15,000 during the financial year 2007/08 as part of the council’s capital programme, according to its resources committee.
A committee report adds: “DeFRA approval has now been received for scoping assessments and investigations in Lime Street under the Contaminated Land Site Investigations.”
Other items in the capital programme 2007/08, alongside their progress status, include:
Repairs to the main drain at Whitby Hall to alleviate flooding of the cellar started in February at a cost of £20,000.
New Christmas lights have been bought for Ellesmere Port at a cost of £25,000; new Christmas lights for inside and outside Ellesmere Port Market were bought for £20,000, and the Christmas lights and display in Neston has been upgraded at a cost of £3,000.
A new bus shelter in Overpool Road, worth £10,000, has been built by the county council.
Schemes to identify potential planting sites along the M53 corridor off Lime Street and in Wolverham – at £100,000 each – are in progress.
However, a £70,000 proposal to renew the Lower Basin Ship Lock Gates by the boat museum might cost more money following “difficulties in reaching agreement with the British Waterways Board”, says the report.