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Almost 2,000 'potentially contaminated sites' identified

Almost 2,000 'potentially contaminated sites' identified

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 2:07pm 4th March 2020. (Updated at 2:13pm 4th March 2020)

Almost 2,000 'potentially contaminated sites' have been identified in Cornwall which are going to be investigated.

Cornwall Council is carrying out an online survey where you can give your views on its approach to dealing with contaminated land affecting parts of the Duchy.

With its mining and steam engineering past, Cornwall is rich in industrial heritage, but over the centuries some land has been impacted by industrial and commercial changes.

A new contaminated land inspection strategy has now been produced.

Experts say this will help protect the health of the environment and the people who live in it from land contamination that can pose a serious threat. 

The Council has identified 1,920 potentially contaminated sites that require investigation. No information has been revealed as to where these are though.

What does this mean?

Officials say that many of the sites that have been identified for inspection may not be considered to be a cause of potential harm and nothing may need to be done to the land. 

For example, a former mining site that has no person living on it and where the environment is not being significantly impacted by contamination may need no action. 

However, where land contamination poses a serious threat the council can require a number of remediation measures to be carried out, including treatment of contamination on site, removal, barrier or capping methods, or putting other measures in place to restrict access to a particular area.

"The Cornwall Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy is vital. 

"We all know that Cornwall has a legacy of mineral wealth, but that has left us with uncertainties about just what remains under the soil. 

"This work allows us to plan and develop with certainty and safety, but also to conserve Cornwall's rich heritage on important sites." 

Rob Nolan, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection

About the strategy?

The Cornwall Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy 2020-2025 includes a programme of inspection of identified sites involving desktop work, site visits and preliminary risk assessments. 

The Council will also investigate areas of potentially contaminated land brought to its attention, provide advice and information, including to developers to help them regenerate underused or derelict sites, freeing them up for future housing, leisure and employment uses.

The strategy describes how the Council will deal with the identified sites, using a risk-based approach over the next five years.

You can take part in the survey online, and you can also study the Cornwall Contaminated Land Inspection Strategy.

If you need assistance with completing an online survey, staff in libraries and council offices across Cornwall will be happy to help.

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