‘Unacceptable’ contamination risk discovered below Moray homes

Investigations into possible contamination from a historic gasworks in Moray has revealed an “unacceptable risk” to human health at a Moray housing complex.

The investigations conducted earlier this year centred on Burnbank in Fochabers where homes were built in the 1950’s at a site that was once occupied by a gasworks from the later half of the 19th century before being closed down in 1905.

Researchers have now concluded that remedial work would be required in the gardens of 27 and 28 Burnbank, with a Bristol-based company having been awarded the contract to decontaminate the site, with the costs of the work estimated to be over £50,000.

A spokesman for Moray Council said: “The risk is from airborne dust that may arise from recreational digging, so works will be undertaken to eliminate this risk and conform to legislative requirements.

“The site is one of a number identified as potentially requiring treatment for contamination from historic activities.”

Homes on the site were constructed by the then local authority at a time when no legislation or practice existed to protect against the possible harmful effects of soil contamination.  The spokesman added: “Thankfully this can be remedied – albeit at some cost to the council.”

Similar ground contamination investigations were conducted at Mosstodloch where homes were built over land once occupied by a sawmill.

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