Con­tam­i­na­tion tests for 112 prop­er­ties on old works site

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

A CAR, parked in a pass­ing place on a nar­row, sin­gle track road for sev­eral months, is caus­ing prob­lems for res­i­dents.

The black VW Bora was first spot­ted on the road that leads from Val­ley to Llan­fair-ynNeub­wll near Holy­head in July.

Ini­tially res­i­dents thought it was parked by some­one stay­ing in the area.

But one lo­cal said it had not moved since it was first seen in July.

“The road is sur­pris­ingly busy and is used by milk tankers and agri­cul­tural traf­fic and if two of th­ese ve­hi­cles meet near this car they are sup­posed to use the pass­ing place to get past each other.

“This car is block­ing that space caus­ing dif­fi­cul­ties,” he said.

In­quiries on­line have re­vealed the car has a valid road tax but its MOT ex­pired ear­lier this year and there is no cur­rent in­sur­ance pol­icy in force.

Although locked the ve­hi­cle has A GROUND sur­vey of over 100 homes built on the site of an old cop­per works is to be car­ried out due to fears over pos­si­ble con­tam­i­na­tion.

An­gle­sey Coun­cil will carry out gar­den soil sam­ple stud­ies at the Craig-y-Don Es­tate in Aml­wch to check for con­tam­i­na­tion in an area which was used for smelt­ing cop­per more than two cen­turies ago.

Aml­wch has a proud industrial his­tory and dur­ing the 19th Cen­tury be­came the world’s pri­mary cop­per pro­ducer, with much of this in­tense ac­tiv­ity lo­cated be­tween the Parys Moun­tain mine and its port.

Be­fore Craig-y-Don was built in the early 1950s, the site was of­ten re­ferred to as “Gwaith Hills” (Hill’s Works) a ref­er­ence to the Hill’s Chem­i­cal Works which man­u­fac­tured fer­til­iz­ers there from around 1889. How­ever, from around 1786, the site was also used for smelt­ing cop­per.

Ac­cord­ing to coun­cil of­fi­cers, they have al­ready writ­ten to fam­i­lies liv­ing at Craig-y-Don to in­form them that it cur­rently has no ev­i­dence of any con­tam­i­na­tion in the ground.

But a spokesman con­firmed that the coun­cil has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to in­ves­ti­gate and as­sess sites with pre­vi­ous his­tor­i­cal uses that could pos- been the sub­ject of van­dals with one rear win­dow smashed.

The in­side of the ve­hi­cle is un­tidy with drinks car­tons in the footwell along with re­ceipts and other pieces of pa­per. There are other items on the rear seats.

Loose change can be seen in the com­part­ment be­tween the front driv­ing seats.

After it be­came ap­par­ent the car was not go­ing to be moved res­i­dents con­tacted the po­lice and An­gle­sey Coun­cil but nei­ther body has taken ac­tion.

An An­gle­sey Coun­cil spokesman told the Mail: “Our ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion found that the ve­hi­cle was taxed and in a road wor­thy con­di­tion, and so it did not fall un­der Aban­doned Ve­hi­cle Leg­is­la­tion. “In light of claims that the ve­hi­cle has been van­dalised, we will in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther and taken ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion.”

A North Wales Po­lice spokesman said the ve­hi­cle was a mat­ter for the coun­cil. sibly have caused con­tam­i­na­tion.

Coun­cil Leader, Cllr Lli­nos Medi, em­pha­sised that keep­ing res­i­dents in­formed through­out the process would be a pri­or­ity.

“We’ve writ­ten to all 112 prop­er­ties pro­vid­ing de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about how the sur­vey process will be un­der­taken and back­ground to the site’s his­tory and pre­vi­ous uses,” she said.

“We cur­rently have no ev­i­dence of any con­tam­i­na­tion in the land and the sur­vey is a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.”

“The aim of the sur­vey is to en­sure that the land has not been con­tam­i­nated by past industrial uses. With the co­op­er­a­tion of res­i­dents, all the gar­dens and amenity ar­eas owned by the coun­cil will be as­sessed dur­ing De­cem­ber and Jan­uary.

“We ex­pect to re­ceive a re­port out­lin­ing ini­tial find­ings around March 2018.

“I re­alise that this will raise con­cerns, but I also want to re­as­sure res­i­dents them that the county coun­cil will do ev­ery­thing to en­sure ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port and guid­ance un­til this mat­ter is re­solved.”

A project group to mon­i­tor the work will be led by the head of hous- ing ser­vices, Shan Lloyd Wil­liams.

She added, “A large num­ber of prop­er­ties on the es­tate are now in private own­er­ship, but as this is­sues af­fects the whole es­tate we will en­sure that the sam­pling process is un­der­taken on be­half of all res­i­dents, at no cost.

“Th­ese as­sess­ments are es­sen­tial to re­as­sure in­di­vid­ual fam­i­lies and the lo­cal com­mu­nity.”

“We are en­cour­ag­ing all res­i­dents to com­plete an ac­cep­tance form which will give per­mis­sion for a sur­vey team to en­ter into their gar­dens to carry out the soil test­ing to a depth of around 600mm (two feet). This will have no last­ing ef­fect.”

A Welsh Gov­ern­ment grant is pay­ing for the study, while a coun­cil spokesman added that both the Welsh Gov­ern­ment and Pub­lic Health Wales of­fi­cials were be­ing up­dated.

Cl­llr Aled Mor­ris Jones, one of the three mem­bers for the Twrce­lyn ward, said: “The first we were made aware, as coun­cil­lors, was last week.

“But it is im­per­a­tive that the res­i­dents are kept reg­u­larly in­formed with the lat­est, and that the coun­cil stands by the find­ings of the re­port’s con­clu­sions, what­ever they may be.”

The car that’s block­ing the im­por­tant pass­ing place on the Val­ley to Llan­fair-ynNeub­wll road

The Craigy-Don area of Aml­wch, above, is to be tested for pos­si­ble con­tam­i­na­tion from the site’s his­toric use for smelt­ing cop­per from Mynydd Parys, right

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