Thursday, 1 November 2012

Nook Lane update - Multi-Agency Briefing

The Environment Agency

Waste Update
All the waste has been removed from the site, and we are satisfied that the waste which was illegally deposited has now been disposed of at regulated facilities within Lancashire including Whinney Hill and Pilsworth Landfill site. No more waste has been deposited at the site.

Lottice Brook Water Quality Update
This is a former chemical site, and as such we would expect there to be some historic contamination of the land and water. We have been continuously monitoring the water against water quality standards over the last 4 months. This has continued until the end of October. We are now in the process of analysing the results of this monitoring to understand any possible impacts that this site may have had on the water quality of Lottice Brook. We expect the analysis to be complete by the end of November so the Environment Agency can make recommendations to Hyndburn early in the new year on whether the site could be determined as contaminated land.

Legal Update
Our teams are continuing their investigations in the illegal activities at the site. Once we know what course of action we are taking, we will make our decision public.

The Health and Safety Executive

Supplied by Mike Sebastian; HM Principal Inspector of Health and Safety

Received by Hyndburn BC 26th October 2012

Following the HSE formal enforcement action (improvement notices under s21 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974) taken in August, we are pleased that the most obvious means of access onto the site (which does not have permitted public access) have been closed off, eg by fencing repairs or by re-erecting concrete panels. Our current view is that access onto the site can only be gained by deliberate action and not accidentally; however, our enforcement action requiring the owners of the land to eliminate the remaining drowning hazards at the site continues.

Hyndburn Borough Council

Officers continue to work with the Environment Agency in relation to contamination of the site, and its impact on Lottice Brook, for its possible determination as a contaminated land site. This is within the guidance and legal framework as directed by Central Government.

We also continue to visit the site regularly to maintain a watching brief as to any physical activity on the site, and we liaise closely with the EA on this. This also forms the basis for any need to intervene on a planning basis if illegal development is taking place.

We have also attended a preliminary meeting with an Environmental Consultant working on behalf of the owners who wanted to properly understand the difficulties and hurdles the site presents for re-development. The EA and ourselves fully explained concerns over the site, the complexity it presents for development in isolation, and the high level of public anxiety over any un-sympathetic redevelopment that might be proposed.

Concern has been expressed about the water spilling over Brookside Lane. This water has been sampled by the Environment Agency and results of the sampling forwarded to the Health Protection Agency for their comment. The Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (CRCE) have looked at the results and concluded they are unlikely to be a hazard to human health for two main reasons:
no obvious pathway to humans the levels in the run-off are actually below the World Health Organisation drinking water threshold values.