'Development must be stopped' until dangerous chemicals cleared

An artist's impression of how the Festival Park Persimmon Homes Anglia development will look off Dereham Road in Easton.

An artist's impression of how the Festival Park Persimmon Homes Anglia development will look off Dereham Road in Easton. - Credit: Persimmon Homes Anglia

Development on land found to contain chemicals dangerous to human health must be stopped until the contamination is cleared, a parish council has pleaded.

Two dangerous chemicals have been found on land set to form open green space as part of a 1,000 home Dereham Road, Easton development.

The contamination was discovered as part of an examination ahead of the second phase planning application being submitted to South Norfolk Council (SNC).

The Easton village sign.

The Easton village sign - Credit: Bill Smith

The contaminated soil was found on land north of Hall road, with high levels of lead and Beryllium - both of which can lead to chronic disease and ill-health -while arsenic was just 2mg below unsafe levels.

The developer, Persimmon Homes, has insisted that such issues are not uncommon and can be fixed.

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Peter Milliken, the former chair of Easton Parish Council (EPC), wrote to the South Norfolk Council calling on them to defer the latest stage of development until a plan is in place to clean up the land.

He also argued EPC should not be held liable for the site if it was to be given to the village for open space.

Easton Parish Council chairman Peter Milliken. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Easton Parish Councillor Peter Milliken. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

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Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Milliken said: "How can this be handed over to the people of the village?

"That Beryllium is really dangerous stuff.

"Should development be allowed to go ahead until they have sorted this contamination?

"It needs to be guaranteed 100pc safe for people to use as open space for the residents of Easton." 

SNC has said they are considering the phase two application, which will include looking at contamination.

A spokesperson for SNC said: "The conditions attached to the original permission will ensure that any contamination issues are dealt with as part of the current reserved matters application."

Persimmon Homes Anglia said they were aware of the contamination, which was found as part of their "due diligence appraisals".

A map showing where the 291 homes will be built by Persimmon Homes Anglia off Dereham Road in Easton.

A map showing where the 291 homes will be built by Persimmon Homes Anglia off Dereham Road in Easton - Credit: Persimmon Homes Anglia

“The soil report includes details of the remediation strategy proposed to overcome these issues, which would enable the development of phase two to take place in the future," a spokeswoman said.

"Such issues are not uncommon and can be rectified before any development commences.

“We are not considering halting development of phase one.”

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