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Investigations into potential contamination on Forres site

Date Added - 15/01/13

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Ground investigations are to be carried out at a Forres housing development which was built on the site of former Ministry of Defence land and a former sawmill.

The work is designed to establish whether the site has a legacy of contamination as a result of activities carried out when used by the MOD or when the sawmill was in operation.

It made way for the Ferryhill housing development in the 1990s.

Moray Council’s environmental services department has written to residents informing them of the proposed ground investigations, which it is hoped to begin early next month.

Soil samples will be taken from gardens within Ferryhill for analysis.

While occupied by the MOD, a fuel oil storage facility was located on site. Timber treatment work may have taken place at the sawmill and desk-based research has indicated that the potential exists for historic contamination on the site.

In common with other areas, Moray has a number of sites formerly used for industry that have since been developed for a variety of purposes, including housing.

Environmental legislation places a duty on councils to inspect these sites for historic contamination and to ensure that human health and the environment are safeguarded.

A Moray Council spokesman said the investigations at Ferryhill were routine but nonetheless important in establishing whether any remediation work was necessary.

“It is proposed to take soil samples from 28 gardens and permission will be sought in advance from property owners.

“Taking samples will involve digging a small shallow hole and the ground will be reinstated immediately afterwards.”

A drop-in session for residents will be held at Forres House Community Centre on Monday, January 21 from 2pm to 7pm when staff from the council’s contaminated land section will be in attendance to explain how the ground investigations will be carried out and to answer questions.

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