Aerial images from 1940’s sparks new fears of buried munitions

Pinefield had a history of military activity including this ‘Area Control’ building on the edge of the former army camp. (image: © Subterranea Britannica)

An Elgin housing estate built on the site of a former military camp is to be studied by specialist contractors to ensure that no unexploded ordnance is buried.

Work will begin next week at the Pinefield Housing Estate on the east end of Elgin after studies of second world war aerial photographs appeared to show several old military defence trenches on the estate.

A similar exercise was carried out in August last year when old aerial photographs indicated the possibility of munitions being buried on the grounds of West End Primary School, which had been vacated during the second world war and used as a military training site.  A subsequent detailed survey revealed no modern-day danger to the public.

In 2012 army bomb disposal experts were called to the Chanonry area of Elgin after second world war munitions were found while work was being conducted on the Elgin Flood Alleviation Scheme. The area had hosted a firing range at the same time as the Pinefield military barracks were in place.

Confirming the new study will be carried out a spokesman for Moray Council said:  “A Second World War aerial photograph of the former Pinefield Barracks shows several military defensive trenches on what is now amenity ground within the Pinefield housing estate.

“The object of the investigation is to rule out any risk to the public from the possible presence of ordnance.

“Although the likelihood of finding any ordnance is thought to be low, it is a precautionary survey to ensure the risk is minimised.”

The survey work is expected to take several days.

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