D-day for gasworks site

Meeting will decide massive redevelopment and clean-up plan

COUNCILLORS have been recommended to give the go ahead tomorrow (Wednesday) for the clean up and redevelopment of a former Barnstaple gasworks site.

The double application – one for the demolition of existing buildings and site clean-up, and another for outline permission for 21 new two, three and four-bedroom homes – was deferred at the beginning of January.

This allowed a focus group of councillors, residents, officers and others to meet on site and scrutinise plans for the clean up of the contaminated land, which contains asbestos and other contaminants.

Residents had feared the “remediation” of the site could pose a health hazard and an earlier planning meeting had resulted in calls for the process to be explained “in plain English.”

The result is a “non technical summary” which details how contractors Erith would carry out the work and the measures in place to ensure the clean up proceeds safely, with close monitoring from local environmental health officers.

The summary has been added to the planning report and other suggested planning conditions include erecting a screen on the eastern site boundary to minimise impact to neighbours.

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The application has seen 14 letters of objection and five of comment over the one-and-a-half-acre site. Many residents have said they are not opposed to it being develop in principle, but feared a repeat of an initial clean-up in 2005, which they claimed blighted their summer with dust, noise and foul smells.

Tomorrow’s 2pm planning meeting in the civic Centre council chamber is expected to be a lively affair.

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